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The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a plant which in the past was cultivated as a vegetable and which returns to fashion. It is used to make soups, gratins or even raw salads. It belongs to the Apiaceae family. Today it is still popular in England, northern Africa and the Nordic countries. There are few varieties of parsnip. The most widespread is called the Guernsey half-length.
The parsnip is white and has a little sweet taste. This plant has abundant hairy foliage as well as small yellow flowers. Its shape is quite close to that of the carrot. The parsnip also serves as food for livestock and rabbits.
The plant should be sown in spring in normal soil or rich in humus and exposed in full sun. It is best to place the parsnip seedlings in rows spaced about thirty centimeters then thin the plants to maintain a distance of 20 centimeters between each. To avoid forked roots, the soil can be loosened deeply. You can also add sand.
The adult plant reaches a height of about one meter and flowers from July. The harvest begins in summer and continues until spring. The soil must be worked with care so as not to damage the roots. We can therefore uproot them at maturity but they can also spend the winter in the ground, which would sweeten their taste.
It is important to remove weeds growing around the plants. Otherwise, its cultivation is simple and requires no other work. You just need to water well in case of dry soil.
Enemies and diseases of parsnip
Parsnip is sensitive to downy mildew (to be treated with Bordeaux mixture). Powdery mildew, phoma canker, carrot moth, parsnip fly and carrot weevil can also cause significant damage.
Uses of parsnip
Today, we find the parsnip vegetable in the composition of many recipes: From mashed parsnip, parsnip au gratin in the oven, soup and parsnip soup ... Thanks to its sweeter taste than that of carrots, the vegetable is also a perfect match for couscous and stew. Find the parsnip plants in the shop! Reference: Parsnip: a root vegetable from the carrot family on Passeport Santé.