by National Gardening Association Editors
This vegetable was popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans, and has been grown in America since the first colonists brought it over from Europe. Unfortunately, not many gardeners grow parsnips, perhaps because they take so long to mature. Their flavor, however, is worth the wait. Parsnips are tasty by themselves, as well as in soups and in stews.
Some gardeners say that if you can grow parsnips, carrots and beets, you can grow anything. But parsnips aren't really hard. The tricky part is getting them to germinate. Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting and mulch the row with peat moss or sawdust to keep the soil from forming a crust. Then be patient -- parsnips can take up to three weeks to sprout! But once they're up and growing, just leave them in the ground until after a few frosts for a great-tasting spring treat!
- 'Hollow Crown' (105 days). The fully developed roots are 12 inches long, tapered and relatively free of hairlike side roots.
- 'All America' (120 days). This broad-shouldered type has white flesh with a small core. The roots average 12 inches long.
- 'Harris Model' (120 days). An attractive variety with 10- to 12-inch-long roots. It has smooth white flesh and is very free of small branching roots.
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