Each year, I grow carrots and parsnips in the garden and I always leave them in the ground/garden as late as possible in October.
Frost makes carrots and parsnips sweeter, so I like to ensure that the crops have had a few good frosts on them before I dig them out for the winter. Also, if the ground is cold, the carrots come out of the ground cold, which means they will store for much longer.
Seeing the snow over top of the two crops can be quite distressing if you have not experienced this situation before. However, it’s nothing to worry about. When it snowed, the ground was not frozen and acts as insulation for the carrots. The snow itself acts like a blanket preventing the very cold air from reaching the carrots.
I harvested carrots and parsnips out of the snow on Sunday for Thanksgiving dinner. They were cold, crisp, beautiful and very tasty. The only downside, it was a wet, muddy job. The majority of my carrots and parsnips remain in the garden and when it (hopefully) dries a bit, I will harvest both crops in the next couple of weeks, wash them, and store them in the fridge in those “vegetable” plastic bags with the slits.
Last year, we ate fresh carrots from the garden till June!
— Jim Hole