Parsley, known by the botanical name Petroselinum crispum, is a herb grown extensively for its aromatic flavor. Parsley is used in many dishes and also used as a garnish to give a fresh punch to your food. Growing Parsley is not only useful in the kitchen but also is a beautiful ornamental looking plant. Parsley leaves some-what resemble cilantro or coriander in its appearance. The nutritious plant is rarely affected by diseases and pests.
Parsley is a biennial. In tropical places, it continues to grow as long as the weather allows it. In temperate weather, Parsley is treated as an annual. Parsley can be grown in containers or out in the garden.
When should I plant parsley?
Parsley is started from seeds. They seeds are tiny and are very slow to germinate. If you are planting parsley seeds, you better hang in to some of your patience. Parsley seeds can take up to 20 days or 3 weeks to germinate. Germination takes longer in colder weather and shorter in warm weather. For colder climates, parsley seeds can be started indoors and planted when summer arrives.
How to grow parsley?
Parsley seeds are very tiny, so they should not be buried. Parsley seeds should be sprinkled over the top and a spray of water is given. Cover the seeds with a polythene film to hold the humidity in. The seeds will germinate in 3 weeks time. Because of the tiny size of the seeds, it is sometimes difficult to sow just 1 or 2. It is common that multiple parsley seeds get sown and later the parsley herb plants are thinned to one or two per pot.
Parsley herb tolerates average soil but it is recommended that it be planted in soil rich in organic matter and well draining soil when growing parsley. Always choose a location that gets full sun to partial shade when planting Parsley. Parsley herb needs very little maintenance. Just keep the herb watered and the weeds removed. Weeds can be reduced by adding mulch around the parsley plants. If you are planting parsley in a container, ensure you have a good potting soil.
One of the best thing about growing parsley is that you can harvest parsley leaves through out the year. Some times the leaves will start to curl indicating the right time to harvest those leaves. For good flavor, harvesting parsley leaves in the mornings are best. Parsley leaves are best used immediately after harvest while fresh. However, freezing parsley leaves is also an option.