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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I have never tried Parsnips before but I had great success with carrots in a new planting area this June. I cut down an old Forsythia to get more food space. I just cut the forsythia to ground and left the roots in but the carrots were planted a couple of feet away. I just pulled the Creeping Buttercup that was covering the area, gave the ground a little broad forking with my Radius Stainless steel fork, spread a couple of inches of my compost and planted the seeds.

I made a strip depression with a piece of bamboo as a guide and after sowing the seeds into the rows, I covered the seeds in the depression with some of Andrew's Worm castings. After watering them in, I covered the new bed with a sheet of white polyethylene tarp. I have started to cover all my sown seeds to maintain moisture until I see a sign of germination in this way. The carrots did well. I believe that the worm castings may have been the key to the high rate of success in germination. Maybe try giving the seeds a boost with some great biology at the time of sowing with some Worm Castings.
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