Parsnips too small

by Margaret
(Norfolk UK)

My parsnips grew large but were very dumpy and twisted, just like octopus tentacles entwined together.
So I planted the pregrown plants in a potato barrell, to ensure no stones, and I mixed top soil with garden centre compost.
I fed with tomato food and watched the lush greenery grow.
However, on harvesting I was astonished to see no roots longer than 2" and no thicker than a pencil.
What can I do to grow my favourite vegetable, and what is going wrong?

Comments for Parsnips too small

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May 04, 2017
Parsnips very small
by: ~ Megan

Here are a few ideas, hope they help: Your entwined parsnips must have encountered too much resistance, such as hard clay lumps or stones, so you were right to try better soil. But it's best to plant parsnip seeds straight into where they will stay and grow, otherwise they may suffer a setback.

It does sound more like you've over fed your plants with too much nitrogen fertilizer, which will give lovely leafy growth and less large roots. With parsnips and carrots, it best to make sure the compost is well and truly composted with nothing remotely fresh in it.

Also make sure you waited long enough to harvest your parsnips. They take a long time to grow, so maybe they needed to be kept in the ground longer.

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