A favourite for winter roasts
Parsnips have made a stunning return to fashion. This revival in fortune is largely due to the realisation that, if the plants are grown in the home garden and the roots pulled while they’re young and fresh, parsnips have a really sweet flavour.
Then, of course, it helps if the parsnips aren’t boiled to within an inch of their lives as used to happen in the good old days. Boiling removes much of the flavour and this method of cooking is no doubt responsible for the antipathy that so many of us bear towards this pleasant vegetable.
Dig soil well beforehand, as deep, welldrained soils produce the best parsnip results. Mix in some Yates Blood & Bone, water and, when the soil’s evenly moistened, create a groove and sprinkle the seeds along the row. Cover, and water again.
It can be helpful, especially during warm weather, to lay a plank of wood over the row to help retain moisture around the seeds.
Check regularly and remove as soon as there are signs of germination. When seedlings are four to five weeks old, thin out and discard the excess.
Parsnips can take four or five months to reach maturity but its important that the plants are well settled in before the really cold weather arrives. However, once the plants are established, frost is said to sweeten the flavour of the roots.