The Cottage Gardener

The Cottage Gardener Online Catalogue

We have been providing rare and endangered heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers to gardeners and market growers since 1996. Our online catalogue has over 650 heirloom seed varieties available, in retail packet sizes and bulk amounts. We have one of the most diverse selections of Certified Organic seeds in Canada, and we add to this each year.




  1. A Description of Parsnips

    History: The parsnip has long been a favourite vegetable in northern Europe. The Romans so loved it that it is said the Emperor Tiberius (14 AD-37 AD) had them brought to Rome each year from the Rhine region, an optimal growing area. Settlers brought them to the U.S. in 1609 and later to Canada. We have the ideal climate for parsnips because, although they need a long growing period, they only develop their sweetness after hard frosts. Still popular in Europe, England in particular, they fell out of favour in North America and are only now being re-discovered. Cultivation: parsnip seed is difficult to germinate, taking a long time. Henderson (1881) advised that it was one of the seeds "which should always be trodden in with the feet or firmly rolled after sowing.". He also advised growing it on poor land as it increased the sweetness and, indeed, parsnip does not like too rich a soil. Direct sow in early spring for a late fall harvest by sowing 1/2" deep. Germination takes approximately 3 weeks. Thin to 3" apart. Companions: onions, peas, peppers and radishes are good companions for parsnip.


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U.S. Customers Only Due to recent U.S. changes in import regulations, we regret that we cannot ship seeds to the U.S. at this time.