Germination issues

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So, I know that parsnips have a lower germination rate, like carrots, but I have tried 4 years in a row and I get a pitiful germination rate - even from new seeds (WCS gladiator). They're definitely not drying out. Would it be better only to cover the seeds with a bit of peat moss or something light like that, rather than a bit of soil? At a loss here! :)
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Carrots and parsnips are among the more challenging crops to germinate. Soil must be kept moist the entire time through the germination period (around 10-15 days for parsnips). Water frequently in short bursts through the heat of the day.

Alternatively, you could cover the ground after seeding with a sheet of plywood, a board or moistened cardboard. With the plywood in direct contact with the soil, the seed will be kept moist. Check under the plank of wood after 7 days. If you notice germination has happened remove it.

Late June, around the summer solstice, is the latest that we can sow parsnips here on the West Coast.
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