How Do I Know When Parsnips are Ready to be Lifted?

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After the critical germination process and the long wait, your parsnips seem ready to be harvested.  But are you sure they are ready?  You may have waited long enough but still, it’s possible you may be picking them a bit early.  What are the tell-tale signs that they are ready to be lifted?

Once you notice their leafy tops begin to wilt and die, you can be sure they are ready to be harvested.  Some gardeners start their harvest as early as November.  But traditionally, parsnips are left on the ground for a couple of more months so they will be exposed to frost.

The cold temperature of winter actually helps parsnips turn starch to sugar, so most gardeners leave them on the ground and harvest only a few parsnips as needed.

If you will be using the garden space for other plants, you can dig them all up and leave them on the ground in a heap.  That’s where they will be waiting for the frost to come.

However, do take note that old roots will develop a hard, woody core, so don’t leave them out too long.  Harvest them before any signs of foliage appear.

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