Wednesday, October 21, 2015

 Overwintering parsnips

We never want vegetables fresh from the garden to stop coming when the fall season rolls around. I personally dread the idea of grocery store produce in the middle of winter.  Wilted, soggy and poor flavour, right? Well there are a few vegetables that can keep producing for you year round! Parsnips are a perfect and very simple example.

Once the temperature starts to consistently drop to freezing it is time to over winter your parsnips. Cover the parsnips heavily with 6 to 12 inches of mulch, the mulch can consist of straw, hay or compost. Avoid using any mulch that may have unwanted seeds present (especially weeds) as this will help reduce the presence of unwanted plants in the garden next season.  Now that the crop is protected from the cold temperatures your bounty is safe until you are ready to harvest.  A few parsnips can be harvested during a winter thaw for a treat, to do this simply pull back the mulch from the area which you are going to harvest. Then using a garden fork loosen the soil and pull out the parsnips. Make sure to put the mulch back to keep the soil in that area well insulated. When springtime comes and the ground thaws it is time to harvest any parsnips that are left. Ensure that all parsnips are harvested immediately when the ground thaws, this will prevent the parsnips from rotting and therefore going to waste.  For more information contact me at and we can discuss any questions you may have!



  1. Great info! Can you do this with carrots, too?

  2. Yes Thelma! You certainly can overwinter carrots using the same method. I would remove the tops, and layer the mulch a bit heavier. Carrots are not a resilient as parsnips, so they need some more protection!