Parsley is one of the most widely used herbs. It is rich in iron and vitamins A, B, and C. It belongs to the same family as Dill. Parsley comes in two types: curly and flat leaf. The flat-leaf Parsley is also known as French or Italian Parsley. Italian Parsley has a slightly stronger taste.
Parsley is a hardy biennial; it produces bright green, feathers-like leaves in the first year and only flowers in the second. Since the flowers are of no interest, growing Parsley as an annual is not needed.
How to grow Parsley:
- Parsley seeds are extremely slow in germinating. Thus it would be helpful if the seeds are soaked in the water overnight. It can take up to 3 weeks for the plants to sprout.
- It is advisable to sow them in flat or modules, keep them under cover and transplant them later.
- Alternatively sow them outdoors directly into the ground in mid spring or when the soil is warm enough. Ideally, the soil should be around 70-degree celsius. Note that the soil should be rich and moist with a pH value ranging between 5.5 and 6.7.
- For sowing pick an area that is weed-free.
- Do not forget to add a slow releasing fertilizer before or while planting Parsley.
- You can also use fluorescent light to help the seedlings to grow.
- Water the seeds regularly to avoid them from drying out.
- Seedlings should be thinned 9 in (23 cm) apart.
Where to grow Parsley?
- Parsley can be grown in containers and window boxes.
- It makes a lovely seasonal edging and provides a striking contrast to pansies, petunias and various annuals, perennials, and herbs in beds.
- Curled-leaf parsley has a more ruffled appearance when compared to the flat-leafed parsley, but both are equally lush.
Harvesting and Storing Parsley:
- When the leaves have three segments, you can harvest them.
- Pick the leaves fresh, as and when you need them. Cut them from the outer portions.
- The best part about Parsley is that more you pick the leaves, more they grow.
- If the second sowing of seeds is done in late summer, you will get a crop that will last in fall.
- Parsley can be kept fresh in a refrigerator. You need to put them in water and then place them in the fridge. Its leaves can be frozen or dried and stored in airtight containers.
Pests and Diseases:
Stem rot, Leaf spots, Black swallowtail larvae, Carrot fly and celery fly larvae pose a threat to this useful herb.
Recommendations for using parsley:
Use the Flat-leaf variety for better flavor and curly-leaf parsley for pretty garnish.
To soothe and clean add Parsley infusion to bathing water.