When Do I harvest Parsnips?

parsnips

Parsnips are notorious for being difficult to germinate.  Plus, the wait for it to mature so you can taste its sweet, nutty flavor is agonizingly long – about six to as long as 11 months, depending on the variety.  But no matter how long it is, it would still come.  How would you know when your parsnips are ready to be harvested?

You can begin harvest in November.  You would know they are ripe for harvesting when their foliage or tops have died away.

However, it is better to leave them on the ground and expose them to a few hard frosts.  The cold help parsnips convert starch to sugar.  That means exposing them to cold temperatures would actually improve their flavor and make them taste sweeter.

Because of this, a lot of gardeners wait a couple of more months before lifting parsnips from the ground.  Harvesting can even continue as late as February.  They leave the parsnips on the ground and lift only those they would be using immediately.

If you are planning to leave them on the ground over the winter, just cover them with a layer of mulch.  Do not wait for parsnips to have new growths before lifting them lest their taste would be bland by that time.

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