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problem parsnips

I have been growing vegies on an allotment for 2 years. the plot historically is infested with carrot fly. My parsnips resemble carrots with carrotfly damage.

How can I deal with carrot fly? can carrotfly infest parsnips? If not carrotfly, what could cause parsnip problem?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,549

    Hi Terry, yes carrot fly does indeed affect parsnips in exactly the same way - these two veg are closely related.  The most effective protection is to grow them under fleece.  Other possibilities are to surround them by a barrier at least 18 inches tall (carrot fly are believed to not fly above this height) or to grow a row of 'sacrificial' carrots and hope the fly prefers them to the parsnips.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Emma1978Emma1978 Posts: 201

    I think that if the parsnips are growing stubby and bent, then it's more likely the ground they're being grown in that's causing the problem. Is your soil stoney??

  • My parsnips have a great size on them but when I lift them they are not really very good, in so much I have about 3inches of parsnip then about 12 little legs coming from the parsnip so therefore my parsnip is quite small , why is that ? 

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Lesley, sounds like they've forked. Either they've hit something hard in the soil or the soil had been over-fertilised.

    I'm with Emma on the stubby, bent parsnips. There might well be carrot fly damage but the description also sounds like a soil problem could be involved.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,351

    Or, did you sow the seed direct or try transplanting the seedlings? Damage the tiny tap root when they are moved and you get that problem.

    Get a long metal rod, put it in your soil, to a depth of about 18 inches, Move it around in a circular motion making a cone shaped hole in the ground. Fill that with sifted soil and sow the parsnip on top.

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