Parsley is a highly nutritious herb that is best known as a garnish but also appears in many sauces, soups and salads. It also has a surprising number of health benefits. Although usually grown as an annual, it’s a biennial, though in warmer areas it can survive the winter. Fresh parsley is a delicious and highly rewarding herb to have in your home garden. Flat-leaf varieties are considered best for cooking due to their rich flavor. Curly-leaf parsley is best used as a pretty garnish. These tips on how to grow parsley will help get you started.
WHEN TO GROW
Parsley is best grown from late spring until winter. In mild climates, it will live through the winter and produce another harvest in its second year. However, for most areas, it should be started indoors 6-12 weeks before the last frost of winter and transferred outside once soil temperatures reach 70° F and then planted again in subsequent years.
WHERE TO GROW
Parsley is best grown in hardiness zones 5-9. It does well as an edge trimming near tomatoes, corn and asparagus. It can tolerate full sun or partial shade. Grow parsley with radishes to mark rows and to help loosen the soil.
Parley can also be grown indoors in a sunny window.
Parsley does best in loamy soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. It can be grown in almost any type of soil as long as it is enriched with plenty of mature compost and fertilizer.
Parsley seeds should be sown as instructed on the seed packet, usually about 6-10 inches apart. It takes about 3-6 weeks to germinate and needs consistent soil temperatures of 50° F – 70° F for best results. Do not plant or transfer parley seedlings outdoors until the danger of frost has passed. Seedlings should be at least 3 inches tall before being transplanted and should be hardened off to avoid transplant shock.
Parsley seeds are known to be difficult to germinate. For better results, soak them in warm water overnight before planting.
WATERING & CARE
Keep the soil consistently moist. This is particularly important the first few weeks after sowing seeds to ensure proper germination.
Use mulch to keep the soil moist and fight weed competition.
Parley may benefit from a monthly feeding of compost tea or an organic fertilizer.
Parsley is ready for harvest when the leaf stems have 3 segments and once the plants are growing vigorously. Trim carefully from the outside as needed, allowing the inner leaves and top leaves to continue growing.
Have tips on how to grow parsley? Let us know in the comments section below.