Also known as Hamburg Parsley
Soak the seeds in warm water overnight for better germination results as germination may take up to three weeks. Parsley seeds can be slow to germinate. Sow the seeds indoors in a warm place 5 to 6 weeks before last frost, starting indoors will extend your growing season as well as provide you with larger roots. Set transplants out to harden off prior to planting when the plants are at least 3” tall at 6” spacing and risk of frost has passed. You may also direct seed outdoors in early spring in full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil when all risk of frost has passed in your region. When sowing outdoors, cover the seeds with ¼” of soil, keeping them moist. Plant in rows 10-12” apart; sowing the seed 3” apart. Thin as needed to allow each plant 6” of space. Water root parsley deeply at least once a week to encourage the development of a long taproot if weather is dry. Keep the area weeded and supply the parsley with a side dress of fertilizer to help in growing throughout the whole season.
Growing in a Container:
Root parsley can be grown in containers as long as they are in a container that is deep enough for the roots to for and a supply of sufficient water is supplied. Regular water is vital and plants should also be kept out of bright sunlight to prevent scorching.
Cut the outer stalks of the plants just above the ground level to encourage additional growth, if you harvest from the top it will reduce your yield. You can freeze the leaves for later use, or dry them and store them in an airtight container. Use within a year for optimal flavour. When harvesting the root; dig up the whole plant, remove the top and store in damp sand or peat substitute just like you would with carrots, in a cool shed or garage. You can also leave them in the garden with a covering of mulch and dig them in the spring like parsnips. Raw or cooked, the roots are great in soups, stews and vegetable mixes.
Pests and diseases:
Generally pest free, however it can suffer from parsnip canker showing symptoms such as dark patches on the root. Dig up and dispose affected plants, ensure the soil is well drained, rotate crops, and maintain the soil at a pH of 7.