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Pastinaca sativa
A selection of parsnips
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Apiales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Apiaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Pastinaca {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} sativa {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa, which see). A favorite vegetable, cultivated for its edible root, which is used mostly in winter and spring.

The average home-gardener thinks much of quick results. The drawback to parsnip-growing, in his estimation, is the length of time the crop requires for its development. When seed is sown, in early spring, the harvest seems a long way off. To offset this disadvantage, however, parsnips become available as green material when other things fresh from the garden are very scarce or entirely absent, that is, in open spells in winter, and in the very early days of spring. A crop of good straight roots may not be so easily produced as a crop of smooth carrots, but when once grown it does not burden one with much responsibility in regard to storage or keeping, which is an important point in its favor. The roots may be left in the ground where they grew or stored in moss or sand in the cellar. The winter freezing in the ground does not injure them; in fact, some growers suppose that it improves the quality. This ability to withstand the winter makes them valuable also as food for cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry in the early spring, in case the table or market should not call for them at that time. If dug in autumn, they may be stored in a cool, moist cellar (or buried) as other roots are kept.

The best soil for parsnips is a clean rich loam, which offers no obstruction to the uniform expansion of the roots. Straight deep roots must have a deep soil. Prepare it the same as for beets or carrots, or for any other garden crop. The seed should be strictly fresh, as it soon loses its vitality. Seeds germinate rather slowly and therefore the ground should be clear of roots and seeds of weeds, otherwise the young plants may be smothered. Sow in early spring, preferably with a garden seed-drill,1/2 to 1 inch deep, in rows 15 to 20 inches apart in the garden, and somewhat farther in field culture, in the place where the plants are to stand.

Be prompt in thinning the young seedlings to 6 to 12 inches apart in the row; at the same time pull up or cut out all weeds. The free use of the hand wheel-hoe will keep the patch clean until the entire surface of the ground is covered with foliage, thus preventing further growth of weeds. Tillage may then cease. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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Seed is easily grown. Plant the roots in spring in any good soil, and gather the seed-heads in summer when most of the seeds in them are mature. Dry them on sheets, and then thrash or strip.CH

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The varieties of parsnip are few in number. For shallow, stony or otherwise unfavorable soils the best varieties are the Round or Early Short Round; for better soils the Half-Long, Student, or Hollow Crown; and for deep clean soils the Long Smooth.CH


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