I'm just about to plant my parsnips which I raised from seed in pots.
Last year I used a long iron bar to make a deep shaft in the soil about a metre deep and 15 cm wide I filled this hole with sifted soil so it was completely stone free. I did this for each plant. I then planted the parsnip seedling in the soil at the top.
In December expecting huge long parsnips all I got was malformed ball shaped parsnips with roots spreading in all directions. What could have gone wrong? As I say the soil was totally stone free? Other people don't make these shafts they just plant them in the soil regardless of removing stones and sifting soil and still get great normal shaped long parsnips.
Parsnip variety is Javelin.
My soil is a deep free draining loam with compost added in early February.