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I grew some last year - first time ever - bought some plants, put them in 2 large pots in growing compost - my word they looked weedy and I never thought they'd survive but I grew a load of beauties - tasted delicious on the Xmas dinner BUT ...

They were gnarled with twisted roots - they also shot through the holes in the pot and rooted in the soil the pot was placed on - any ideas?

Did I have too many in a pot? Wrong soil?

Anyone grown them in tubes? I've got some left over waste pipe to saw up - might give it a go




  • DorcasDorcas Posts: 159

    it sounds like your pot was a bit on the shallow side or perhaps you chose a long variety.  I grow mine in large square tubs (45 - 60cm that sort of size) and pick a variety like White Gem which is shorter and resistant to canker.  Twisted roots usually means your soil was not fine enough.  I use an ordinary potting compost but mix it 50/50 with sand.  Make a hole with a dibber drop the seed in and then back fill with more sand and that should work a treat.  Space them about  10cm apart.  Don't use any type of feed on them just water in Summer.

  • They were plants and the pots were big but I will try the 50/50 sand & potting compost and maybe the White Gem

    Thanks - it's a learning curve and that's what I like about it image


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    Parsnips really need to be grown from seed and sown in-situ.  Plug plants will always produce twisted roots as the parsnip grows from a single main root which goes straight down very early in the plants life.  It cannot do that when started in a module.  I grew 16 in a 50x50cm, 70cm tall container last year filled with 50/50 sharp sand and multi-purpose compost mixture.  Three or four seeds per planting position, thinned to one if several germinated (which takes a few weeks - don't give up if nothing seems to be happening.)  I also very successfully grow carrots in the same way, but sow them in closely spaced rows (10cm apart) and thin the seedlings to about 3cm apart along the row.  It's surprising just how many carrots you can grow in a container!  image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Interesting - thanks Bob!

  • I always "chit" (placing them on damp kitchen roll in a warm place usually in a tub) my parsnips seed before placing then in the ground, that way I know the seeds are worth bothering with as I have had poor germination rates in the past and this method has worked the best for me.  image


  • I'll remember that - thanks image

  • Much obliged to you Runny

  • I note your comments Bob but I was planning starting a batch in 2 inch peat modules this weekend and planting the whole lot out after germination. If you think it won't work then I won't waste the pots.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    It will work Ivyhouse but you are unlikely to get nicely shaped long roots although if you cut the bottoms off of the peat pots before sowing and plant them out as soon as they have germinated, you might be OK.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • What about growing them individually, in drainpipe lengths? I've read about this on the internet and funnily enough, have about 15 feet of old plastic waste pipe ...

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