White Spear Parsnips
NEW! 120 days. This outstanding cultivar is one of the most productive and mighty parsnips we've seen. Strong plants produce tapered roots with hefty shoulders and refined, smooth skin. Performs equally well when sown in spring or late summer. Left in the ground, late crops of White Spear pierce depths up to 36 inches with their immense roots!
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||Approximately 175 seeds per gram.|
Pastinaca sativa: This hearty, sweet vegetable is often overlooked by gardeners, yet it deserves a place in both spring and fall plantings. A rich source of copper, this trace element is said to support hemoglobin formation for healthy bones, blood vessels, and nerves.
CULTURE: Parsnips do not require high nitrogen fertilizer or manure, as rich soils cause roots to fork and become hairy. Soil that was manured well the previous year is the best place for parsnips. Wait until the soil is dry enough to form a clodless growing medium, then till or spade the bed deeply (12-16 inches) to allow roots to elongate and develop to full size. Do not step on or near the bed at any time until harvest. Plant between early March and mid-July. Sow in rows 12-18 inches apart and cover with vermiculite or sifted compost to ensure good germination. Keep the soil moist. Parsnips are slow to germinate and seedlings are weak and won't push through crusted soil. Savvy old timers sometimes plant radish seed in the furrow with parsnips to mark the rows and help break the soil surface for the slower-growing parsnips. Thin plants when established.
DISEASES: Parsnips are sometimes bothered by celery blight. Keep parsnips well watered to avoid this problem.
INSECTS/PESTS: Carrot rust fly maggots may injure the roots of parsnips. A reliable control is to cover with crop row covers, such as Reemay or Summer Insect Barrier, until tops are 3-4 inches tall.
HARVEST: Flavor is enhanced after a couple of frosts. Dig the roots any time from October 1 through the winter, as needed. Protect from freezing in the soil with a thick straw mulch. They keep better in well-drained soil. Store at 34°F and 100% humidity.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 65%. Days to maturity are calculated from date of direct seeding. Usual seed life: 1 year.