A long-established favourite of the vegetable garden, ‘Gladiator F1’ is a top-quality variety that produces long, wedge-shaped roots with smooth skin and clean white flesh, so they are easy to wash and require minimum peeling. This winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit is winter hardy, canker resistant and a reliably heavy cropper that matures early, so can be lifted from October. They keep well in the ground to harvest over the growing season as required for the kitchen. Indeed, their fabulously sweet flavour is even better after the first frosts, which turn some of the starch into sugar. As well as being delicious, they are nutritious too, being a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and fibre, as well as low in calories. Easy to grow, parsnips prefer a light sandy, fertile soil that has been well worked and deeply dug so is free of stones, as this will ensure full sized, well-shaped roots of exhibition quality. Try growing faster cropping vegetables such as radish and lettuce in between parsnip rows to maximise the productivity of your plot. Supplied as a packet of 200 (approx.) seeds ready to sow outdoors from February to May, 40cm (16in) apart, directly into their cropping position. Harvest from October to February.
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