These plants are very useful crops in autumn and winter, and are not very exacting as to their requirements. They do, however, need a deeply cultivated soil, owing to the long taproots which these plants form. If farmyard manure is available an addition of 2.J owt. With 1 lb. Of sulphate of potash per rod would be of great assistance.
These plants are fairly hardy, and as they require a long season of growth the seeds may be sown in February or early March. Drills 1 ½ inches deep and 18 inches apart should be drawn and the seeds dropped in clumps of four or five seeds every 9 inches. The seeds should not be covered too deeply, but the soil should be pressed down firmly.
When the plants are 2 inches high they may be thinned, leaving the stronger ones where they are growing.
The plants should not be pulled until November, after a frost. When this is done they should be stored in sand and used as required.
The main pest of the parsnip is leaf miner. This is located by blisters appearing on the leaves. The affected parts should be pressed with the finger and thumb, to kill the maggot inside the tissue of the leaves (for remedy see PESTS AND DISEASES).
Some of the best varieties for the amateurs garden are: Early Intermediate; The Student.
Guernsey Hollow Crown.
Imjwoved Hollow Crown.