How to Prepare the Soil for Parsnips

Soil is the first thing you should prepare before growing parsnips or any other vegetable.  Soil is where their life will begin, where they will get nutrients as they grow, and where they will fulfill their purpose come harvest time.

Parsnips are hardy and may grow to almost any type of soil – mineral soil, muck soil, heavy soils.  However, they are partial to rich and loamy soil that drains well.  Severe water logging might lead to crop failure.

They also like soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline.  To be sure, you can use a soil test kit and add lime when needed to reach 6.5pH.  Do this several weeks prior to sowing.

Adding manure to the soil must also be done a few weeks before sowing.  If you don’t, the roots of your crops will fork, split and be misshapen.

Fork the soil over to a depth of about 12 inches.  Remove all visible obstructions – clods and lumps, rocks, debris, weeds.  These things would make the seedlings sprout from the ground with difficulty and again, may cause the roots to split.

Till the soil until it acquires a fine tilth then level the bed off.  Your seedbed is now ready for sowing.

Some tips though before you start planting.  Another thing that will make parsnip roots fork is if they are not planted deep enough.  To avoid this, make sure the soil depth is at least 45 centimeters.  Also take note that the top half-inch of the soil is moist evenly.


One Response to “How to Prepare the Soil for Parsnips”

  1. wendy says:

    I live in Greece and have tried many times to grow parsnips but have found this hard because of the heat, this last year I seceded although I had to water everyday in the summer and did not harvest until I saw new growth in January before this they had no taste. Thank you for your advice and some new recipes I will now try.