Parsnip, Hariss Model

 Parsnip, Harris Model

Heirloom. Organic. Harris is the parsnip that people think of when they think of parsnips.  This has been the standard for years and for good reason. Harris Model has smooth skin, a sweetish-nutty flavor and fine grained flesh.  You can expect 12" long roots, that are 3 1/2 " at the shoulder.  Parsnips can be substituted for carrots in many recipes.  You can remove the skin and mash them like potatoes with a little butter.  Some folks grate them into salads fresh.  Still others add them to stews and soups.  There are many ways to enjoy these tasty roots. Parsnips have 36mg Calcium and 71 mg phosphorous per 100gm. The vitamin C level though is 17mg per 100gm which is almost 3 times the level of vitamin C in carrots. Did you know that Parsnips over winter with no protection in most places and are even more tasty after a freeze!  Leave them right where they are until you need them.  Parsnips can be stored this way as long as the soil is not water logged.  You may also store them in the root cellar. Parsnips have been used form generations because they store so well and make excellent human/animal food.  Parsnips make an excellent rabbit food as well as being tasty for ruminants.

Planting Harris ModelParsnip

While starting seeds of the Harris Model Parsnip is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Harris Model Parsnip seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers several weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Harris Model Parsnip are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Harris Model Parsnip in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. In cooler climates, you can start Harris Model Parsnip seeds indoors 2-4 wks. before last frost to extend the growing season.

  Height: 12-24 inch Plants   Spacing: 1-2" inches, thin to 3” if necessary

Spacing between rows—12-15”

Depth: 1/8  inch Germination: 10-20 days

Starting from Seed Indoors. Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2-3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (3 to 5) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/8 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 10 to 20 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 4 to 6 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

Direct-seeding into the Garden.Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/8 inches of soil. You can also place 1 to 2 seeds every  to 2-3 inches in rows approximately 12-15 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/8 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Parsnip plants is approximately 10 to 20 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.