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good depth cotainer filled with multi compost the greenery above was staggering and i lifted one today because i could not wait any longer and it was awful very small

BobTheGardener

Parsnips are one of the slowest maturing veg, need sowing early and harvesting late.  I'm not expecting to harvest any of mine before the first frosts affect the top growth, so I think patience is the answer.

fidgetbones

Far too early to be lifting Parsnips.

Dovefromabove

And parsnips need a good frost on them to develop that lovely sweet flavour - it helps turn the starches into sugars. 

Italophile

Exactly. I don't touch mine till early December which is when our frosts usually arrive. Sow the seed in about April, so that's roughly eight months. Just as well they're worth the wait.

Parsnips are largely unknown these days here in Italy. I show my neighbours the photos on the seed packets and get very blank looks. I have to import seeds from the UK. Back in Roman times and a bit later they were immensely popular. For whatever reason, they disappeared from the Italian scene. They're only grown a bit further north, around Parma, as food for the pigs for prosciutto, et al. Bah!

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Berghill

The roots do not even develop until the weather starts to cool down in Autumn.

By the way, lifting blanching and freezing has the same effect as waiting for frost.

Fairygirl

Italophile 

Philip - if you think about your Christmas dinner- that's why parsnips are a such popular accompaniment then! Autumn/winter is their season 

Nice soup from them too.

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