Parsley is a great herb which can be used in many recipes, such as my Risotto with Orzo or Stuffed Mushrooms. It is also tasty when eaten plain (it helps freshen and clean out your breath too!). I do recommend organic parsley, if you can find it. Over the last few years I’ve grown a great admiration for this herb. It has helped spruce up many of my recipes and I’ve also come to appreciate its many health benefits. Parsley is known as one of the most potent herbs for its nutritious value, especially it’s high content of vitamin C. The problem is many people use it as a garnish and not as an actual healthy food source!
Ok, moving on… here is what I’ve gleaned this past week about parsley so that we can grow it successfully.
Types: Flat and curly are the most popular. Curly parsley is what is found at restaurants for garnishes. Personally, I prefer the curly and not the flat in regards to flavor, but this is a personal preference since I know people who quite enjoy the flat parsley. No difference in growing techniques.
Sun light: Does best in full sun (at least 8 hours a day)
Type of Soil: A pH (acidity) of 6 or 7 is good. The soil should be well drained, meaning water will not pool there.
Planting by Seeds: Plant the seeds in mid-late March after the last frost. Similar to growing basil, you will need to thin the parsley plants about 10 inches apart when they start to grow. Keep the rows of plants about 11 inches apart and plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep.
Seed Germination: It can take 4 weeks before sprouting. This is a long time so do not worry.
Planting with store bought plants: Plant them in your garden in the early spring such as April when the ground is warmer. It takes 3 months until the plants become mature plants.
Watering: Water regularly but do not soak them.
A few notes:
#1: Parsley is best picked earlier in the day. The reason is because the plant’s oil is more abundant giving more flavor.
#2: It is also stated that parsley does not do well with transplanting. Apparently it is very fragile. I think for myself, I will either plant the seeds where I want the plant to grow… or I will just buy a plant at a store which has the biodegradable packaging so I won’t have to mess with the roots.
#3: Remember these can take even up to 6 weeks to germinate from seed. Be patient.
#4: To help the parsley, use an organic feed once a month to keep them strong.
#5: When planting seeds, it is suggested to use bonemeal. Simply add it to the top layer of the soil.
#6: Start harvesting (this means to start using) the plants when the stems are about 6 to 8 inches long.
Hopefully, these tips will help you along. The more we can learn the better off we are!
If you have any tips of your own… by all means post them here!