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Parsnip Growing Guide

5 Steps to Parsnip Planting Success

  • Choose a spot in full sun and prepare your soil with organic matter like sheep pellets and compost. Parsnip like a loose, free-draining, fertile soil.
  • Sow seed directly in the soil in spring and early summer. If sowing in rows, make sure each row is 40-50cm apart.
  • Add a layer of seed raising mix to sow into. 
  • Feed parsnips regularly with vegetable food as they grow. 
  • Water parsnip regularly and deeply, particularly in dry periods. 

Follow our full guide below to a bumper crop of homegrown parsnips.

Parsnip, the sweet root crop closely related to carrot is becoming increasingly popular. This crop comes into its own with cold, crisp winters.


Parsnips, like carrots and other root crops, require a loose, deeply worked, fertile soil to allow the roots to develop evenly.

Ensure the soil is free of lumps, stones and debris as even the smallest stones can cause parsnip roots to fork and become distorted. 

Popular parsnip varieties include: Guernsey, Hollow Crown, Javelin, Supersnip. For the best tasting parsnips, leave them in the ground for a few frosts as the cold temperatures increase their sugar levels.

Refer to our Planting Calendar for when to plant parsnip in your region.


Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix. If planting in containers, fill with Tui Vegetable Mix.

The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away. Always water plants well before and after planting.

Sow plenty of seed directly in the soil in spring and early summer. If sowing in rows, make sure each row is 40-50cm apart.

Sowing direct into in garden beds

  • Add a layer of Tui Seed Raising Mix to the sowing area.
  • Make shallow furrows in the mix, and water well.
  • Sow the seed as directed on the packet.
  • Lightly cover with Tui Seed Raising Mix.
  • Press soil gently.
  • Water lightly and regularly.

If short on space, parsnips can be grown in deep containers or planters, with a soil depth of at least 30cm.


Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential.

Select a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like Tui Vegetable Food.  

Well watered, well nourished parsnips will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay. While your parsnips are growing regularly apply a dose of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic to give them a welcome boost.

Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants. Slugs and snails can be an issue - lay Tui Quash slug and snail control around young plants.

When should I plant
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Harvest in 50-65 days