When growing parsnips, choose a well worked, weed free section of the garden. Cultivate it well, as soon as the soil is workable in early spring, before seeding parsnips in rows. Parsnips can take up to 2 weeks to germinate, so take care to keep them watered during this period and do not disturb the soil by weeding it. Once parsnips have sprouted, let the true leaves form and then thin them to 4" apart. Parsnips grow very slowly, so be patient and keep them watered and weeded for big, healthy roots.
Some people are allergic to parsnip leaves, which can cause a blistering rash on the skin. When working in your parsnip patch, especially on sunny days, wear long-sleeves, gloves and pants, and wash skin with a good soap right afterwards.