Parsnip is a vegetable that is not so well known in Spain but it has interesting applications in the kitchen. Like any other plant, we can adapt it to grow it on our own if we follow a few little tips.
A LITTLE THEORY ABOUT PARSNIP
In fact, in Spain it is little known. I could even assure that there are people who do not know what it is and that when they saw it it is very possible that they said it is some kind of rare carrot or turnip. But neither is it a carrot (although it is also an umbelliferous) and even less a turnip (which is a cruciferous).
Where it is best known and used is in the eastern area and maybe in Galicia, although the latter I suppose (actually I don’t know it, but I don’t know why, it fits me).
Parsnip ( Pastinaca sativa L. ) is a European wild plant that has been selected for centuries like other horticultural crops until it achieves the desired characteristics (in this case the thickening of the root among other things).
It is a bi-annual temperate zone plant like beets for example. This does not mean that we have to wait two years to collect it because, as we are interested in the root, in 3-4 months we will have it ready.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW TO GROW PARSNIP SUCCESSFULLY?
Not really too much since it is quite resistant and rustic but basically it needs conditions very similar to those of the carrot crop . Of the few differences with carrots, it stands out that the pH of the soil should not be acidic, below 6.5 it can start to suffer somewhat, and below 6, we will have serious difficulties to bring it to fruition.
Carrot tolerates acid pH somewhat more.
In general, we should not worry too much about the pH of the soil since any garden soil, more or less well cared for, has fairly standard pH thresholds.
It should be a slightly sandy but not excessively loose soil and it should not contain coarse elements as it will cause the root to become deformed due to a pure physical matter.
It is of temperate climates and especially humid. We must not neglect irrigation since it requires enough to thicken the root in conditions that we are going to take advantage of later.
SOWING THE PARSNIP
As for sowing, it can be done in spring, starting in April in colder places and we will advance 1 or 2 months depending on where we are in hotter climates. Basically avoid prolonged frosts in the first moments of growth.
But it should not take too long since excessive heat causes them not to germinate well.
THINNING IN PARSNIP CULTIVATION IS VITAL
As it is in the carrot, if we want beautiful parsnips we need space on the ground and therefore, the thinning of plants is essential to achieve a considerable space between plants.
In commercial crops you can leave spaces of up to 25 cm between plants and about 40 cm between rows.
In the garden we can reduce if we walk just enough space to about 15 cm between plants.
THE GOOD THING ABOUT CHRIVÍA IS THE COLLECTION
One of the good characteristics of this crop is that, due to its great rusticity, we can leave it in the ground for a long time and collect as needed.
Many other horticultural crops, when they are; They are … and you can do nothing but collect it and start eating like crazy or blunt and distribute.
AND WHAT DO WE USE PARSNIP FOR?
Being a little recognized and used crop, if you have never noticed it, we challenge you to try it and incorporate it into stews and stews, which is where they have traditionally been used.
Anyway, surely looking on the web there are hundreds of things to do with parsnip: creams, pasta, fish, etc. In the kitchen, imagination to power.