These are the Best Tips to Grow Parsley
Parsley grows (growing parsley) to its full size the first season and after winter’s cold temperatures, it blooms, sets seeds, and dies in its second season. If you are growing parsley for kitchen use and not seed, you may want to simply treat the plant as an annual and plant it anew each spring.
- Best location: Grow parsley in morning sun or partial shade in the afternoon. Parsley grows best where the air temperature is about 60° to 65°F. In hot summer regions, start parsley outdoors in the fall and let it grow on through the winter.
- Soil preparation: Parsley grows best in compost-rich, moist soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.7. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before or at planting time.
- Seed starting indoors: Sow parsley indoors in late winter or early spring 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting. Seeds germinate in 5 to 6 weeks and plants mature in 70 to 90 days.
- Transplanting to the garden: Transplant parsley outdoors in mid to late spring after the soil has warmed to 50°F.
- Outdoor planting time: Sow parsley seed outdoors in spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is at least 50° Parsley is slow to germinate and emerge from the soil—usually 5 to 6 weeks after sowing. For best germination soak seed overnight in warm water before sowing or pour boiling water in the planting hole before sowing seed. In mild winter regions and hot summer regions, sow seed outdoors from early winter to late spring.
- Planting depth: Sow parsley seed ¼ inch deep.
- Planting and spacing. Space parsley 6 to 8 inches apart in all directions.
- How much to plant: Grow 6 plants for cooking; grow 10 to 20 plants for preserving.
- Companion planting: Grow parsley with asparagus, sweet corn, peppers, and tomatoes. Parsley is said to repel asparagus beetles and reduces the number of carrot rust flies. It’s best to grow parsley apart from like family plants including carrots, celery, and parsnips to avoid cross-pollination.
We tested the growing system by ourselves, these are the results after 3 weeks.
HOW TO GROW PARSLEY
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist; do not overwater parsley.
- Feeding: Parsley is a heavy feeder. Feed parsley with liquid seaweed extracts two to three times during the growing season. Side-dress parsley with aged compost in midseason.
- Mulching: Where the weather gets hot, mulch around plants to keep the roots cool; be sure not to cover the crown which can cause rot.
- Care: To keep parsley productive, cut back the full length of outside stems (cut at the base). Remove flower stalks that form. (When flowers are allowed to remain, the leaves will become bitter.) Prune away dead leaves as needed to keep the plant tidy. Towards the end of the growing season, cut back plants to promote new growth.
- Container growing: Parsley grows and yields well in a container. Choose a container at least 6 inches wide and deep. Grow parsley indoors in summer or winter in 6-inch pots.
- Winter growing: Bring parsley indoors for winter harvest and to avoid freezing damage and continue cut-and-come-again harvest. Parsley leaves grown in the house will be tougher than those grown outdoors.
TROUBLESHOOTING WHEN GROWING PARSLEY
- Parsley (along with dill and fennel) is a favorite food of the brightly striped parsley worm caterpillar, which becomes the treasured black swallowtail butterfly. Some gardeners plant enough parsley for themselves and the beautiful butterflies-to-be, which are likely to appear in late summer and fall. While parsley worms may eat much of the plant, they won’t kill it and giving them habitat is worth it. A serious pest, though, is the whitefly. To get rid of it, spray the undersides of the leaves thoroughly with insecticidal soap.
HOW TO HARVEST/STORAGE PARSLEY
- When the leaf stems have three segments, parsley is ready to be harvested.
- Cut leaves from the outer portions of the plant whenever you need them. Leave the inner portions of the plant to mature.
- One method of storing the parsley fresh is to put the leaf stalks in water and keep them in the refrigerator.
- Another method of storage is drying the parsley. Cut the parsley at the base and hang it in a well-ventilated, shady, and warm place. Once it’s completely dry, crumble it up and store it in an airtight container.
- If you want fresh parsley throughout the winter, replant a parsley plant in a pot and keep it in a sunny window.
HOW TO USE PARSLEY IN THE KITCHEN
- Parsley pairs well with meat and egg dishes, potato and pasta dishes, vegetables, rice, salads, and soups, as well as cottage cheese and herb butter. Add chopped parsley to a dish near the end of the cooking process or sprinkle it on vegetables or salads immediately before serving to keep the fresh flavor. Parsley is also a chief ingredient in bouquet garni.
- Flat-leaf varieties: Use in cooking because they have better flavor and are easier to work with than curly-leaf parsley
- Curly-leaf varieties: Use when you want a fancier garnish