Plenty of books talk about leaving carrots in the ground and harvesting them all winter. Can you do the same with parsnips?
Which root crops need to be harvested when mature, and which ones can stay in the ground until needed?
Parsnips can be left in the ground all winter and are said to best wintered-over and harvested in spring. I'm looking forward to harvesting some as soon as the snow is gone (maybe later this week)! I find parsnips need less protective mulch than carrots.
I think most hardy root crops can be wintered-over with protection, though I've only tried carrots and parsnips.
I didn't ask my question clearly enough, sorry. What I mean is, do the parsnips *have* to stay in the ground all winter to be harvested in one fell swoop in spring, or can I nibble away at them during the winter, like carrots? I was thinking to plant quite a few parsnips as a major "calorie crop" and harvest them gradually all winter long. The ones that go through the entire winter will be the sweetest, but will the others be acceptable for the table, too?
They are perfectly good in the fall too. I ate half of my parsnips before the snow piled on top of the bed and look forward to eating the rest this spring. Eating them through the winter is the best approach -- as long as you don't have shovel snow.
Thank you, Faithling, that's what I was hoping to hear! It makes sense to eat them gradually but what would we do with a million parsnips all at once in the spring? Do you have a favorite way of preparing them? Mostly I steam them and mash them with potatoes and other root vegetables.
Faithling - you said parsnips can be overwintered as long as you don't have to shovel snow. I'm in zone 5, so most likely will be shoveling snow. Does that mean I can't leave my parsnips and carrots in the ground?
Just checking, b/c I was planning on doing this. Are there any special precautions I should take?
I like to roast parsnips with beets & turnips. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil & thyme. Put them in a shalow pan or cookie sheet and roast at 400 for about 40 minutes. Delicious!
Katrs, I think Faithling means that it's difficult to harvest parsnips when they're blanketed with snow, but they're still OK under there.
I think you either love or hate the taste of parsnips. I love them and we always had them in the spring when I was a kid. My wife says they taste like "licking the basement floor". I boil/steam them with a little water until tender and then fry in butter. Nothing better!!!
I have a dumb question about parsnips.
I planted a bunch of seeds (more or less densly broadcast cause I heard they have poor viability), kept watered, how do I tell the 'snips from the weeds?
I don't want to start pulling stuff and find out i pulled the 'snips.
Request: probably a long shot but does anyone have a pic of a baby parsnip sprout that they can email to me at:
thanks in any case!
In our family, the chicken soup is bland unless it is the broth was made with parnips, onions, garlic, carrots, and a rutabaga.
TN Mama, you forgot turnips! Mmmmm, I made chicken soup like that for Passover. Also squeezed in a fresh Meyer lemon.
Photos of parsnip seedlings below.
They are said to be best "after a few good frosts".
I read about an idea to keep parsnips & carrots available during the winter: Fill garbage bags with leaves & tie closed (use cable ties, not twist-ties), then set the bags over the crops. Knock the snow off the nearest bag, set bag aside, harvest the parsnips or carrots, replace bag. Of course, if you get 8 ft of snow...
Here is a link that might be useful: Parsnip seedling photos
I love parnip chips (fries). Slice thinly and deep fry