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As with other types of vegetables, the harvest season for parsnips is largely determined by the date of sowing. A special feature of this root vegetable is the simple winter storage outdoors, where the roots can remain unprotected in the ground until harvest.

Harvest parsnips as fresh vegetables in September

If you take advantage of the wintry soil moisture for germination and sow parsnips outdoors from March to May, you can harvest tasty and vitamin-rich parsnip roots as early as September. Foam soups and purées made from home-grown parsnips go perfectly with the game dishes in autumn. Grated parsnip roots with a dressing also make a tasty raw vegetable salad.

Sow in June for harvest as a winter vegetable

Late sowing of parsnips in June means that the root vegetables can be harvested in October or November at the earliest. However, parsnip roots have the practical property that, if grown late from June, they can be stored directly in the ground for use as a winter vegetable.

Cut off the leaves of the parsnips in autumn

If you want to get late-sown parsnips fresh from the bed all winter, it makes sense to cut off the leaves in autumn. This prevents the roots from drying out through the stem. In addition, the leaves of the parsnips can easily be used as green fodder for rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals.

Protect yourself from skin irritation

The leaves of parsnips contain compounds called coumarins which, when combined with sunlight, can irritate the skin. Since touching parsnip leaves can even lead to blistering and skin pigmentation, gloves are strongly recommended for any work involving parsnips. Harvesting the roots after removing the foliage is possible without protection as they are harmless.

tips and tricks

Since parsnip roots have a very high mineral content and low nitrate content, they can be used to prepare baby food. Only a very short cooking time is required to prepare it as a stew, puree or soup accompaniment. Parsnips cut into pieces can also be drizzled with olive oil and cooked in the oven at 150°C for about 10 minutes to become crispy and healthy parsnip chips.

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