Parsley

Parsley is a delicious herb that is really easy for anyone to grow. It is not fussy and as long as it gets at least partial sun it should flourish just about anywhere, though it does prefer a soil that is rich in nutrients. Parsley is a widely used herb and can bring a pleasant flavour to many dishes. It can also be chewed to freshen breath. It is one of the most popular herbs in the UK.

Growing parsley:

Parsley will grow happily in the garden, in a pot on a patio or on a sunny windowsill. Parsley seeds have a notoriously tough outer shell so germination can take as long as a few weeks and it requires fairly warm temperatures. For this reason, parsley is best started indoors and transplanted to its final position later. To aid in quicker germination, some people soak parsley seeds in warm water with a dash of dish soap, rinse in tepid water to remove soap residue, leave in hot water overnight, dry fully and then plant as normal. This will break down some of the tough outer casing of the seeds and can increase speed and success rates for germination.

If you are growing parsley in the garden, it is a good idea to mulch the area during the summer to prevent weed growth, provide extra nutrients to this heavy feeder, and reduce watering needs. You should still make sure to water well and frequently during dry periods. Parsley does need plenty of moisture and you should remember that plants in pots will dry out more quickly so make sure that you see to it that parsley plants in pots get all the water that they need.

Pots used for parsley should be deep as parsley has a long root system. You may not be aware but these long roots are also an edible part of the plant and can be like parsnips in some cultivars. Parsley roots are commonly eaten in central Europe though less well-known elsewhere, where types grown for leaf are far more common.

Parsley should be harvested by gently removing the outer stems round the base of the plant, as close to the ground as possible. Harvesting leaves from the top of the plant will decrease the yield you get from your parsley and slow growth considerably.

Why grow parsley in the garden or house?

Parsley is extremely useful in the kitchen as a herb or used to make a sauce for a variety of different dishes. Used as a garnish, it can be used to freshen breath after a meal.

Parsley can also be useful in the garden. Planting sacrificial parsley near tomatoes will help protect your tomato crop, as insects will attack the parsley rather than the tomatoes. Roses are said to smell sweeter when parsley is planted nearby. Parsley will attract swallowtail butterflies to your garden.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Petroselinum Crispum