Pastinaca sativa 

Panais    Parsnip   Chirivia   Pastinake

Crop Rotation Group :Umbelliferae (Carrot and root family)Parsnips

Soil :For all plants that have deep-growing roots as the parsnip and if you wish to grow the long, ‘perfect’ looking parsnip, you will need deep soil, that has recently been manured and is stone free. If parsnips hit a stone while growing they tend to fork.
They grow best in a light, rich soil. A generous amount of compost or humus in some other form, incorporated in the soil will help provide soil aeration and a uniform distribution of moisture, besides the source of food supply for the plants.

Position : Sun or partial shade

Frost tolerant : Yes.


Helps: fruit trees
Helped by:
a variety of predatory insects


Sow and Plant :To improve germination results, try sowing into cardboard cylinders. This method enables us to more closely monitor temperature and moisture levels during germination and avoids the difficulty of disturbing the long root of the parsnip.
Collect the cardboard tubes from toilet rolls or make newspaper cylinders made by wrapping newspaper around a brush stave, secure with tape. Fill with compost, stand in a plastic box and moisten. Sow three or four seeds into each cylinder and cover with a little more compost.
Keep watered in an unheated greenhouse until germination. Allow only the strongest plant in each cylinder to grow on. Once the little plants have established themselves, dibber the cardboard cylinders into the bed that will be their home until harvesting.
Sow direct into soil, and cover the seeded bed or furrow with a board to keep it moist. Germination often takes up to 2 weeks.
Thin seedlings to proper spacing when they are 4 inches tall. Mulch to deter weeds and keep soil moist.

Germination:  7-21 days

Spacing : Single Plants: 7″ (20cm) each way; Rows: 7″ (20cm) with 11″ (30cm) row gap

Feeding : Not required.

Harvesting :Use a digging fork to loosen soil along outside of the planting before pulling roots. Can be left in the soil through winter in many areas.

Yield per 10ft of row:10-12lbs

Time to harvest: 140-160days

Troubleshooting :

Notes :The flowers of the parsnip plant left to seed will attract a variety of predatory insects to the garden, they are particularly helpful when left under fruit trees, the predators attacking codling moth and light brown apple moth. The root also contains Myristricin, which is toxic to fruit flies, house flies, red spider mite, pea aphids, a simple blender made extraction of three blended parsnips roots to one litre of water through a food processor (not one for preparing food) and left overnight, strained and use within a few days.