I've had my allotment for over ten years now and I've still not found out how to get a reliable crop of parsnips.
The photo shows a part of my allotment I have yet to clear from last year and you can see that as well as loads of weeds and foxgloves there are a lot of self seeded parsnips now coming up to flower, proof that parsnips can grow here. Last year I sowed parsnips from saved seed and got a good crop. This year I sowed some at the beginning of March. I know they can be slow to germinate, but after several weeks had passed and nothing was visible I sowed some more in another part of the plot. Nothing at all has come from either sowing.
I've found this before, some years I get a good crop, then encouraged by my success I sow loads the next year and get virtually nothing. I am hoping that a few self seeded plants will grow and I will just garden round them so that at least I have a few parsnips for next winter.
I wonder if any gardeners have any thoughts about this. I let three or four plants go to seed each year and collect seed from each to get a mixture. Could it be the way the seeds are stored, in a glass jam jar in the garage, cool but not that cold ? Would the seeds be better in the fridge -do parsnips need a cold spell?
Any advice would be most welcome because I really like parsnips!