White Gem is a well established parsnip variety. With shorter roots than other varieties, it is suitable for all soils including heavier clay types. It has decent resistance to canker and nice smooth skin.
Direct sow in April/May when the soil has warmed up enough. Parsnip seed is slow enough to germinate and has a lower viability than other seed so early sowings in cold conditions increase the likelihood of seeds failing. Parsnip seed also has a short vitality so it is best not to keep seed for the following year. Sow generously in a drill aiming to drop a seed every 2-3cm and thin out to around 10-15cm when the seedlings have emerged. Make sure the soil does not dry out while the seeds are germinating. Once the precarious germination period has passed and the seedlings are thinned to their final spacing there is very little to do until harvest; just an occasional weeding.
Parsnips store best left in the ground and harvested as required. They are reported to improve in flavour after frost but I don’t notice any difference.
Average 400 seeds per packet. 10g average 2,000 seeds