Parsnip Seed Starting - Knowledgebase Question

The Dalles, OR
Avatar for dickk
Question by dickk
July 21, 1999
For two years I have tried soaking the seeds for 24 hours.
It seems that only a few sprout. I have gone through 3 packs this summer and only have about 15 plants. That is after pains stakingly using tweezers to put them into the ground. I keep them damp but after two years I am ready to bag it if I can't get any help.

Answer from NGA
July 21, 1999
Parsnip seeds can sometimes be difficult to germinate because seedlings are weak and won't push through crusted soil. Try sowing the seeds about 1/2 inch apart and 1/2 inch deep, and covering seeds with vermiculite rather than soil. Optimum soil temperature for germination is 50F - 75F. Parsnips are slow to germinate and the soil must be kept moist. The seeds can take 15-28 days to sprout. Thin to 3 inches apart when the seedlings are established. The germination standard is about 65 percent, so your success rate should be higher than you've experienced. Better luck on your next try!

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