HOLLOW CROWN PARSNIP VARIETY
From literature we know that the parsnip variety Hollow Crown dates back to at least 1820 and quite possibly many years before. Out of all the older varieties of parsnips there are only two we would recommend and one of those is Hollow Crown.
There are no real weak, negative points to this variety and a whole pile of positive ones, the best being taste and texture.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF HOLLOW CROWN PARSNIPS
These are a long rooted variety, normally in the range 25cm to 40cm (12in to 16in) so they are best suited to lighter soils which have also been well dug. The name "Hollow Crown" sounds like a rather nasty disease but in fact refers to the top of the root, where the foliage sprouts from, which slightly sinks downwards.
The appearance when growing is not one of their strong points because the leaves tend to topple over rather than remaining upright. This gives the plant a rather untidy look.
The taste is top quality, buttery would be a good way to describe it. There is a good background of sweetness without any acidity. It mashes down to an excellent smooth texture. Taste and texture are the key reasons for growing this variety. It crops well even in bad years. Canker, the bane of many parsnips, rarely attacks Hollow Crown. This is an open pollinated variety so seed can be saved for growing later in the year.
HOW TO GROW HOLLOW CROWN PARSNIPS
Below we list our parsnip growing calendar which applies equally well to this variety.
Pre-germinate parsnip seeds (optional) – April week 3
Sow parsnip seeds outside - April week 4
Thin parsnip seedlings - May week 4
Begin to harvest parsnips - September week 2
BUYING HOLLOW CROWN PARSNIP SEED
Whilst you are unlikely to find this variety for sale in the garden centres it is widely available from many online seed merchants.