Parsnip: Student

Student is an old heritage variety that grows really well and has little in the way of a woody core, even when fully mature. The flesh is creamy white, and lovely and sweet, especially after the first frost.

Approx 400 seeds per pack. 

Seed Story: This variety did best in our parsnip trials last year as they grew beautifully, seemed relatively resistant to canker, and the flavour was superb. It’s an old, heritage variety that’s been around since the 1850s, with slender roots, though not too long, making it a good choice for heavier soils. It also has little in the way of a woody core, even in the largest, oldest parsnips harvested at the end of the season. The flesh is creamy white and lovely and sweet, especially after a frost. Great for roasting and in spicy soups, or my personal favourite, with date and yoghurt sauce (yes, really!).

Why not save your own seeds!? All our seeds are open pollinated, non-hybrid varieties.
See our seed saving guidelines here: Save Your Own Seeds

Growing instructions – Parsnips

Parsnips can be a little slow and erratic to germinate, but once they’re off, they need little maintenance and can be left in the ground until you’re ready to eat them.  Most gardening books say you need to direct sow, so if you’re doing this, you’ll need to wait until the soil is has warmed up, normally in mid-spring.  Make a shallow drill, then sprinkle the seed along it – you can use plenty, not only because of the tricky germination, but also because parsnip seed doesn’t keep well, so best use it all and buy fresh each year.  Cover with soil and water in.  Don’t add any organic matter otherwise your roots will end up ‘forking’.  Germination can take up to 30 days, so keep them well weeded so you can easily see when they start to appear, then thin to approx 6” spacings, when they’re about 1” high.  

You can also sow in modules and transplant, but bear in mind that parsnips don’t like their tap roots being disturbed, so you’ll need to use tall ‘modules’ that you can plant straight into the ground without removing the parsnip seedling first.  Use something that will disintegrate quickly, e.g. toilet rolls or extra tall paper pots, and make sure you plant them before they get too big.  Sow 4-5 seeds in each, and thin to just the best one.

Once planted, water regularly throughout the season.  Once the leaves have died down at the end of the season, they’re ready to harvest, though the ones you harvest after the first frost will be sweeter.  Make sure you mark the row where they are as once the leaves have gone, they’re difficult to spot!

Seed grown using agroecological principles. We are licenced to sell seed and issue plant passports. Reg number: 7710.