What are the pros? Makes a great perennial crop
What are the cons? None
I bought several packets of Hollow Crown Parsnips and planted them in the Spring of 2013 in a raised bed. To start them, I raked the seeds into the soil, then covered the entire bed in cardboard for 3 weeks. Since then, I've had healthy bountiful crops of parsnips with very little work. If you leave a healthy looking plant or two in the bed over the winter, you'll get heaps of parsnip seeds forming in the late spring to late summer of the next year. In addition to re-seeding the bed, the parsnip flowers have attracted lots of native pollinators.
We get enough cold in the fall that I dig my roots in the fall and dry them for storage. Spring can be messy in my area and I have a lot to do, so that works better for me than a spring harvest. The roots are plenty sweet and have a mild pine undertone that I love.
Fair warning: the seed is viable for at least 5 years so once an area is planted in parsnips, you will have parsnips there for quite a while.
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