I tried to grow this sweet earthy vegetable in 2010, failed miserably and gave up! Roll in 2013 and a resolution to discard the wimp mantle and try again. To give myself a fighting chance of succeeding, I spent one late winter afternoon reading the best way to sow parsnip seeds. Pre-germination was the light bulb moment.
I opted for the damp paper towel method. Spacing the seeds 1” apart on damp paper laid in two plastic trays. I enclosed both trays in a plastic bag and left to germinate in a cupboard (dark and fairly warm). The seeds sprouted after a couple of weeks! I planted all one windy day towards the end of March together with seeds not pre-germinated as an experiment. The pre-germinated seeds grew and grew. The direct sown seeds refused (could this be due to the soil, I wonder). Oh the wonderful feeling of seeing a tiny seed reach fruition.
The wimp is dead – hail the parsnip year!