The parsnip lover should act now to ensure next winter’s supplies. Sow the flat seeds in shallow drills with a foot between rows. The seedlings take a good three weeks to show, so it’s not a bad idea to sow some radish in the same row as rapid markers that can be pulled as a catch crop at will. The parsnip top is a coarse-looking thing compared with the elegant carrot, but it will prove its worth when the first frost of autumn sweetens the great root, a distinctively British culinary enthusiasm. Try Tender and True, my favourite.

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