Despite the fact that this root crop is cultivated in many countries of the world, it comes from the south of the Urals and the Altai Territory, where, by the way, it is still found in the wild. Until the moment when the potato became our main food, so to speak, the second bread, the root crop, which will be discussed, occupied a special place in the nutrition of people in Russia.
Perhaps many have already guessed that we are talking about parsnips – a root crop that, in terms of its nutritional properties, is almost in the first place among other vegetables. And its productivity can only be envied. Parsnip is able to grow in almost any conditions, even without regular watering.
Parsnip roots contain vitamins C, B, PP, sugar, mineral salts and useful trace elements. Medicinal preparations, such as pastinacin, are made from parsnips, and its leaves are successfully used in dermatology.
Parsnip is a biennial plant and is a close relative of celery. In appearance, parsnips are very similar to large carrots with white roots and large leaves. In principle, parsnips in their development are similar to carrots, because. in the first year of growth, the formation of a root crop occurs in it, and in the second year the plant blooms and is able to produce seeds.
Parsnip is considered a frost and cold resistant plant. Its root crops can easily winter in the open field without any damage to themselves, even without shelter. Seed germination persists for a couple of years, and they begin to germinate already at +6 degrees. After sowing the seeds, the first shoots can appear in two to three weeks, but if the parsnip is not planned to be watered regularly, then it is best to sow it in early spring or before winter.
As already mentioned, parsnips generally resemble carrots. This also applies to the agricultural technology of its cultivation. True, it must be remembered that due to the fact that parsnip roots are large, then they should be sown with an eye on their size, i.e., more sparsely.
In order for seedlings to appear faster, before sowing seeds, it is recommended to soak them for a couple of days, and then dry them. In the process of sowing, grooves are made in the garden, the depth of which is no more than 3 cm, and after sowing, the grooves are carefully trampled down. The row spacing should be about half a meter. After the formation of the first true leaf in the seedlings, the crops are thinned out, leaving the largest plants, adhering to an average distance between them of 4 cm.
If there is a desire to get perfectly even root crops, the mass of which can reach one kilogram, attention must be paid to preparing the soil. In the process of preparatory measures, using ordinary scrap, it is necessary to make holes in the ground 1 meter deep and fill them with loose earth and compost. And after that, the seeds are sown, and the sooner the seeds are sown, the better.
To prevent root crops from cracking, parsnips should be watered regularly, observing a weekly watering rate of 10 liters per square meter of crops.
Harvesting of parsnips usually takes place in late autumn, almost before the onset of the first frost. In the event that the root crops are planned to be left in the ground for the winter, then all the leaves should be cut off from them, and the root crops themselves should be spudded. Dig up such root crops in the spring, even before they begin to grow.
You can store the harvested parsnips in storage, pouring them into PVC bags and pouring sand, or in heaps.
Parsnip fruits taste sweet and pleasant. In culinary business, parsnips are usually put in decoctions, soups, borscht, used as a side dish for cape or fish. Even vinaigrette can be made from parsnips, replacing them with the usual beets. And its young leaves go well in salads or as a seasoning for meat.