UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

UC Links

Pest management: Refer to carrot tips for cultural tips, pests, and diseases 

The Basics

When to plant: Direct seed January–March (possibly April), September

Harvest window

  • Harvest when the roots reach 1" diameter at the top.
  • Expect 90–120 days to maturity.
  • Flavor is best when the mature plants are exposed to cool weather for 2–4 weeks which encourages the starches in the roots to convert to sugars.
  • Loosen soil with a digging fork before pulling roots.

Care overview

  • Soil temperature should be >50º F for germination. Seeds are very slow to sprout at that temperature (3–4 weeks). In general, expect at least two weeks for germination.
  • Plant seeds 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep.
  • Thin to 2–4 inch spacing. When thinning, it's recommended to snip off unwanted seedlings rather than pulling to avoid disturbing the roots of remaining plants.
  • Mound soil at base of plant to prevent greening of the root shoulders.
  • Cultural requirements are very similar to those of carrots.

More links

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County

There are no specifically recommended varieties of parsnips yet.

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