Parsnip: Cultivation And Care In The Open Field, Pests And Diseases

The herbaceous perennial plant Parsnip is a species of the genus Parsnip in the Celery or Umbrella family. The name of this species was formed from the Latin word "pastus", meaning "food, nourishment". People call this plant also called white root, white carrot or field borscht. This species is native to the Mediterranean. Parsnip has been known to man since a very long time, with the first mention of it being found in the works of Dioscorides and Pliny, which date back to the 1st century BC.

The seeds of the crop were found in Switzerland during Neolithic excavations. The ancient Romans and Greeks knew this plant as pastinaca, which was used as a food and medicinal plant, and as fodder for livestock. By the mid-16th century, this culture had become very popular and available in Europe, like, for example, potatoes at a later time, it eventually will displace the parsnip ordinary from the gardens of European countries. In Russia, this plant first appeared in the 17th century, and at that time it was called "pole borscht". Today, under natural conditions, it is found in weedy places among the bushes in Turkey, Western Siberia, the Caucasus and Europe.

Parsnips are cultivated in almost every country.

Parsnip features

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

The furrowed, furrowed upright stem can vary from 0.3 to 2 meters in height, has a faceted, pointed ribbed shape, and has pubescence on its surface. The upper part of the stem is branched. Non-pinnate leaf laminae have 2 to 7 pairs of mostly or less pubescent large-fingered oval or lobate leaflets, sessile in the upper part and with short petioles in the lower part.

The root crop ripens in the first year of growth. It is thick, fragrant white in color, has a sweet taste, the root may be cone-shaped (like a carrot) or rounded (like a turnip). The color of the fruit in the section is dirty yellow. The compound umbels consist of 5 to 15 rays, which in turn consist of oval, regular small flowers with a yellow corolla. Flowering of parsnips is observed in the second year of growth.

The shape of the fruit is round-oval, this flattened lopsided fruit is colored with a dirty yellow hue. Parsnips are considered a close relative of the following vegetable crops: carrots, parsley, fennel, dill, celery, coriander and lovage.

All About Parsnips WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Growing parsnips from seed

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases


If you decide to grow parsnips in your garden, the first thing you need to do is sow them. Of all the root crops, parsnips are the most frost-resistant, and it would seem that their seeds can be sown directly into the open soil in early spring as soon as it has warmed up a bit. However, gardeners prefer to grow this crop through seedlings, as the seeds contain a very large amount of essential oils, due to which they germinate for quite a long time.

Big seeds of this plant need pre-sowing preparation. To begin with, they are immersed for 24 hours in warm water, which should be changed as soon as it has cooled down. After that, they are treated with a growth-promoting agent such as Epin, Heteroauxin or Zircon. The prepared seeds are sown into peat pots that are filled with peat-based substrate. Soil mixture can be bought ready-made in a special store or make it your own hands, for this you need to combine peat, perlite, garden soil and sand.

Remember that the substrate must be necessarily loose and light. Before sowing it must be disinfected by sifting it and either pouring it over with freshly boiled water or steaming it in the oven. Fill the pots with a moistened potting soil mixture that is tamped down so that it is at least 10 mm under the edge of the container, then put 2 or 3 seeds on its surface. On top of them should be covered with a thin layer of the same soil mixture. Then the containers should be put on a pallet and covered with plastic film.

Spring care

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Seeds should be aired regularly before they emerge by raising the cover once a day for 7-10 minutes. It has already been mentioned above that the seeds of this crop do not germinate very well because they contain a lot of essential oil, so the first seedlings should not appear until about half a month after sowing. When the first shoots appear, remove the cover and place the pots in a well-lit place.

The seedlings of this crop need quite a long light day (about 14 hours) so if necessary, additional lighting should be arranged. Water the seedlings as the top layer of substrate in the containers dries out.

Remember not to let the water stagnate in the pots because this can make the plants sick or even kill them.

Parsnips - grow parsnips from seed

How to pick

Remember that root crops react very negatively to picking and should therefore be sown in individual containers instead of in a box. After the plants have formed 2 true leaf plates, you need to select the most powerful of all in the pot, and the remaining seedlings carefully plucked above the surface of the substrate. Pulling out excess seedlings is not recommended, as this can cause injury to the root system of a strong plant. About 1.

5 weeks before transplanting parsnips into open soil, you should begin to harden it. To do this, take the parsnip seedlings out into the fresh air every day, increasing this procedure gradually.

Parsnip planting in the open ground

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

When to plant

Parsnip seedlings should be planted in the open ground in mid-May, after the plants are 28 to 30 days old. Most of the time, the spring frosts are already behind them and the soil is fairly well heated. Planting seedlings in the Moscow region should be done at approximately the same time, adjusted for the weather.

Suitable soil

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

For planting seedlings, you should choose a sunny site, but this plant can also be grown in a shady place. It will grow best in neutral moist loamy, sandy loam, peaty or sandy loam soils. This crop will not grow on sour soil; it can be corrected by liming. Plots, on which a year earlier was grown crops such as carrots, parsley, celery, parsnips and other root crops are not suitable for planting parsnips, as these plants suffer from the same diseases, and they also have common pests. It is best to grow such a culture in the area, on which previously grew cabbage, potatoes, onions or beets, especially if during their cultivation in the soil fertilizer was applied.

The fact that parsnips grow well on the soil, which was fertilized beforehand, so the site under the parsnip is recommended to prepare in advance. It should be done in the autumn time, the plot should be cleaned of weeds, and if the soil in the current season has not been applied organic fertilizer, then the soil should be made of decomposed manure (½ bucket of fertilizer per 1 square meter is taken). In the spring time, before planting seedlings in the open soil, the plot should be re-cultivated, its surface leveled, and then the formation of high beds.

Rules for planting seedlings

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Make several holes in the bed, keeping a distance of 10 to 12 centimeters between them, and the width between the rows should be at least 0.4 m.

The depth of the planting holes should be such that the plant and the peat pot fit freely in them. If the seedlings were grown in plastic cups, they should be watered very well before planting. Carefully remove the plant together with the root ball and put it into the planting hole. Water the planted plants generously.

Parsnip planting for winter

This crop can be cultivated using a winter planting.

The seeds are sown in autumn until the second half of October, and a site best prepared in advance should be used, and this is recommended to be done in spring. As the seeds are quite large, they are sown into a hole with 3 seeds per hole and 30-40 mm deeper into the soil. The distance between the holes should be 10 to 12 centimeters, and the width between the rows is about 0.4-0.45 m.

The advantage of winter sowing is that the seedlings in the spring appear very amicably. After the seedlings have grown a little, they will need to be thinned, choosing the most vigorous plant and carefully plucking the rest.

Care for parsnips

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Growing parsnips in a bed is quite easy. It requires timely watering, weeding, feeding, and loosening the soil surface between the rows. It is easy to take care of parsnips, because this plant is very undemanding.

Subsequently, the soil should be loosened after each rain or watering.

How to water

This plant is very water loving and needs water especially during the formation of the root crop. If parsnips do not get enough water, they will become lighter colored, grow more slowly and may develop shoots. Also because of this, the plant's root crops may become stiff, fibrous and dry, and cracks will appear on their surface. If water stagnates in the soil, it can cause fungal disease.

If parsnips are grown in damp soil, they only need to be watered 4 or 5 times a season and then only during a long dry spell. If it rains systematically in the summer, you will not have to water it at all. When the bed has been watered, it is recommended to perform weeding, as well as to loosen its surface.

We should remember that in dry and hot weather the leaves of this plant release quite caustic essential oil, which can cause burns. So try to work on such plants early in the morning or in the evening when the sun goes down.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

This plant needs 3 or 4 nutrients during its growing season. Fertilization should be done with liquid fertilizer only, such as a solution of cowpea water (1:10), mineral fertilizer or infusion of wood ash.

When parsnips have been transplanted into the bed for 7-15 days, they should be given a nitrogen fertilizer. After 20 days, re-feed with the same fertilizer. From mid-July bushes begin to fertilize with fertilizers containing phosphorus and potassium.

If the soil on the plot where parsnip grows is nutritious, the bushes may not be fertilized at all, especially if fertilizer was previously introduced into the soil.

Parsnip pests and diseases with photos and names

Diseases of parsnip

Parsnip can get the same diseases as other plants belonging to the Umbrella family. For example, it may be affected by septoriosis, cercosporiasis, bacterial wet rot, black rot (or Alternaria), and white and grey root rot.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Many medium-sized spots without clear borders appear on the leaves of septoriosis infested specimens, they become darker with time and eventually turn brownish brown. The diseased bushes turn yellow and wither away.

The disease develops rapidly in cool weather if there is excessive humidity in the air. Infection enters plants through stomata.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

If parsnips are affected by cercosporosis, irregularly shaped brown to light yellow spots appear on shoots and leaves up to 0.6 cm across. As the disease progresses, the spots fade in the center, and the border around them darkens.

The edge of the affected leaf plates becomes raised and slightly curled. On the surface of shoots, brownish-red spots of elongated shape look like indentations. Affected bushes are stunted and the foliage turns yellow and withers.

Wet bacterial rot

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Wet bacterial rot is a common disease, it develops intensively in high humidity and abrupt changes in temperature. Root crops are affected by this disease both in the open ground and during storage.

The disease begins with the appearance of rot in the tail part. At first, oily, watery, dark-colored spots form on the bush. Over time, these areas develop pits with a foul-smelling rotting mass, it leaks from the roots like mucus, causing the disease to spread to other bushes, and this happens quite rapidly.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Black rot (Alternariosis) - The development of this disease mainly occurs during storage. Slightly sunken spots of dark color appear on the surface of root crops, and in damp weather, a dark olive-colored coating appears on them.

The tissues affected by the disease have a charcoal-black hue in section.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Sclerotinia (gray rot) and Botrytis (white rot), these diseases differ in the color of the plaque that is formed on the surface of the rootcrops. On the root crops affected by gray rot, there is a fluffy, gray-colored plaque, and on those that are affected by white rot, a white flake-shaped plaque with black fungal sclerotia is formed. Such diseases develop most actively in high humidity in warm weather.

Treatment of parsnips

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

To prevent fungal diseases, a set of measures should be taken:

  1. Regulation of crop rotation.

    In a site where parsnips were grown, they may not be planted again until 3 or 4 years later.

  2. Cultivation rules. The agronomic rules of the crop must be strictly followed.
  3. Preparing the site. Before planting parsnips on the plot, it must be well prepared.

    Do not forget to be sure to clean it of plant residues.

  4. Presowing preparation of seeds. Before sowing it is necessary to warm the seeds for 30 minutes in very warm water (about 50 degrees). Then they are quickly cooled down and dried.
  5. Root crops shall be stored properly.

But if in spite of all preventive measures taken the first signs of rot appear in the storage or in the bed, all diseased crops shall be removed as soon as possible. The healthy ones should definitely be sprayed with a solution of Bordeaux mixture (1%), Topsin-M or Fundazole.

Parsnip pests

The greatest danger to this plant is the caraway moth, the striped scab, the field bug and the aphid.

The caraway moth

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

The caraway moth destroys the test-trees of this crop. The caterpillars of this pest are able to penetrate the shoots, roots and foliage of parsnips and feed on their tissues.

After the bush blossoms, the caterpillars wrap their web around the inflorescences and eat the flowers, pedicels and seeds, and then hide in the shoot again. To get rid of such caterpillars, the bush should be treated with decoction of tomato haulm. To prepare it, take 1 bucket of just boiled water and 3.5 kilograms of tomato heads, the mixture should be left for a couple of days, after which the broth will be ready. It should be strained and combined with 40 grams of grated laundry soap.

Shelled Shield

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Shelled Shield eats the juice of young buds and ovaries, causing them to die.

The Field Bug

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

The Field Bug is a gray-green-colored bug that is about 0.4 cm long. Female beetles lay eggs in the tissues of the bush. The larvae emerge from the eggs, sucking plant sap from the tops of stems and leaves.

In those areas where there are punctures, death, yellowing and drying of tissue is observed, and because of the toxic saliva of such an insect, the seeds become sterile. In regions with a warm climate, 3 or 4 generations of this pest are formed during one season. Actellic or Karbofos can be used to eliminate the Striped Shield and the Field Bug.


Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

The greatest danger to this plant is the aphid, this pest is the most prolific of all. It sucks the plant sap and as a result the bushes become sickly, deformed and their development stops.

In addition, aphids are the main vector of viral diseases that are considered incurable. Aphids can be tried to kill with folk remedies or chemicals such as Biotlin or Antitlin, but in this case the same preparations as in the fight against aphids such as Confidor can also help. To prevent this, it is necessary to remove all weeds from the plot in a timely manner. And when the whole crop is harvested, the plot should be cleaned of plant residues and a deep digging should be done.

Parsnip harvesting and storage

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Harvest the parsnips in the fall, after the leaves have begun to die off.

Remove the roots with a pitchfork, taking care not to injure them. If necessary, the harvest can be postponed until the onset of winter, the fact is that the low temperature makes the root crops much tastier.

Work with such a plant should be protected hands with gloves, as its tops can leave burns on the skin. Roots for storage are placed in boxes filled with sand, the temperature in storage should be from 0 to 2 degrees, with a humidity level of 80 to 85 percent. Note that the roots become soft when stored in the cellar, so in areas with warm climates, where there is no severe frost during the winter, they may not be removed from the soil.

Parsnip types and varieties

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Parsnips have not too many types and varieties. All species are divided into long and round by the shape of the root crop. Varieties that belong to the long species need a well-developed soil, while those that belong to the round species are characterized by their unpretentiousness.

Also all varieties are divided according to their maturity period into:

  • early-ripening - ripening lasts from 110 to 120 days from the day the seedlings appear;
  • intermediate maturity - they need 120-140 days;
  • late maturing - they ripen in 140 days or more.

The following varieties are most popular:

  1. Round.

    This variety is early maturing. The shape of the root crops is round-flattened cone-shaped, they are colored whitish-gray, and weigh about 170 grams. The flesh is white, flavorful, and has a heart of whitish-gray color.

  2. Kulinar. This early-ripening variety matures in 95-105 days.

    The leaf rosette is sprawling and small. The cone-shaped, runny root crop is cream-colored and weighs about 140 grams and is rounded and flattened at the base. The white flesh has a pale gray core.

  3. White Stork. This is an early-ripening variety.

    The smooth root vegetables are white in color and weigh 90 to 110 grams. The tasty and juicy flesh is also white. The variety has good storability.

  4. Boris. This early variety has a high yield.

    The shape of the creamy root vegetables is cone-shaped and the white, fragrant flesh is very tasty.

  5. Hormone. In this early variety, the white rootlets are cone-shaped, reaching about 22 centimeters in length and up to 5 centimeters in cross-section. The whole root crop is buried in the ground and weighs about 110 to 130 grams. Boiled or fried root vegetables are used as a garnish or as a condiment.

  6. Delicates. A medium-early variety. Roots have a rounded shape and store very well, they weigh 200-350 grams and reach 80 mm in length. The fragrant white flesh has spots of light yellow color.
  7. Best of all.

    This variety is medium-early. The pointed conical root crop is colored white and weighs about 200 grams. The white flesh is very tasty and fragrant.

  8. Petrik. This dietary medium-ripening variety of universal purpose is characterized by high yield and resistance to diseases.

    The white conical root crop is 35 centimeters long and 8 centimeters across. The dense whitish-gray flesh is juicy and fragrant.

  9. Gladiator. This medium-ripening hybrid is notable for its yield. The smooth white rootlets are cone-shaped.

    The white flesh is sugary and fragrant.

  10. Gernsey. Late maturing variety has a high yield. The root crops store very well, weighing about 200 grams and reaching about 25 centimeters in length. The white delicious flesh is fragrant and sweet.

  11. Student. This late, high-yielding variety is drought-resistant. The cone-shaped, white-colored root vegetables reach 30 centimeters in length and weigh about 160 grams. The tasty, fragrant flesh is white in color.

Also popular among gardeners are the Heart variety and varieties of foreign selection such as: Hollow Crown, Contessa, Javelin and Tender & True.

Parsnip cultivar KULINAR, description, growing experience.

Parsnip's properties: benefits and harms

Parsnip: cultivation and care in the open field, pests and diseases

Therapeutic properties of parsnips

The parsnip root crop contains carotene, ascorbic acid, carbohydrates, essential oil, mineral salts, B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3). Included in their composition of carbohydrates are easily digestible, and they also contain a fairly large amount of potassium, and it improves blood circulation and digestion, as well as a positive effect on the nervous system. The complex of macro- and micro-nutrients and vitamins contained in this plant is very similar in its composition to that of spinach. The leaves contain a large amount of essential oils and the root vegetable has fructose and sucrose which are harmless for diabetics, 3 times more than carrots.

This plant is unique in that it contains substances that can relieve cramps. If you eat grated root-crops on time and properly, you can relieve renal or hepatic cramps. Even this plant is a tonic, expectorant and analgesic effect. Since ancient times, it was used as a diuretic for swelling, and also as a means to improve appetite, strengthen the walls of capillary vessels and stimulate sexual activity. At the moment, this plant is used in therapy and also for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Scientists have conducted many experiments and have found that the furocoumarins present in parsnips increase the sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet rays. This property has been used to re-pigment discolored areas of the epidermis in people with vitiligo.

The roots are used to manufacture Beroxan and Eupiglin, which are used in the treatment of baldness and vitiligo. Pastinacin furocoumarin is also extracted as a vasodilator and is used for preventing attacks of angina in cardiac neurosis and coronary insufficiency as well as other spastic conditions.

In the past, to improve mood and appetite, it was recommended to take a tincture of the root crop on moonshine.

At the same time, the root vegetable tincture in water was used to restore strength in severely ill people. Such tinctures are also sedative and are recommended for neuroses and insomnia.

Parsnip Useful Properties


Parsnip and preparations made on its basis should not be used by individuals with individual intolerance and also by patients with photodermatosis - inflammation of the epidermis due to high sensitivity to the sunlight. The fact is that the substances contained in such a root vegetable, contribute to the strengthening of this sensitivity. Parsnips are also not recommended for young children and the elderly.


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