Parsley is one of the most recognized herbs as it tends to make its way onto most restaurant plates as a colorful garnish. Parsley does in fact make a great garnish for just about any dish, but it can be used in a variety of recipes for its flavor as well. Parsley is easy to grow, and with just a little tender loving care you will find that it is happy to perform for you all summer long. If you are considering growing parsley, take a look below at some helpful tips on how to grow parsley in your own garden.
How to Grow Parsley
How to grow parsley seedlings:
While parsley can be grown from seed, you will find it easier to plant it as a seedling. This way, you can enjoy the crop faster and also be assured that your plant will enjoy a hardier start. When planting your parsley you can pick any full to moderate sun spot. Soil should be soft and not clumpy or clay, well draining, and nutrient rich.
When planting, space your parsley seedlings 8-10 inches apart and add some slow release fertilizer to the soil as you plant. Cover the base of the plant with an inch to two inches of mulch when finished to offer some root protection and help the plant keep cool and moisturized.
How to plant parsley in pots:
No worries if you are limited on planting space, as parsley can be just as easily planted in pots. To plant parsley in pots choose a pot that has plenty of drainage holes and is at least 8 inches wide. Plant one seedling per pot so it has plenty of room to grow. Even though the seedling is potted, you can still add a mulch layer to help it retain moisture and keep the roots cool.
How to care for parsley seedlings:
You will find that parsley seedlings are easy to care for. You just want to be sure they stay in moist soil and aren't allowed to overheat. This is where the mulch becomes important. Mulch will help keep the roots cool and help the plant perform at its best.
Parsley makes a tasty treat for caterpillars as well as white flies, so it is important to keep your eyes out for them. Caterpillars can be picked off by hand, while a food safe insecticide is recommended for ridding the plant of flies. Rot can also set in if the plant is left too damp, so avoid over watering or allowing the soil to get soggy.
To enjoy a fuller plant, cut back the stems each spring. It will encourage bushy growth.
How to harvest parsley:
When you are ready to harvest the parsley (this will be just days after the plant is established) you can do so by cutting the stem of parsley near the base. Cutting it at this point will help it grow back hardier. Once harvested you can use it fresh in salads or as garnish, or freeze or dry for later use. Parsley can be used in everything from soups, salads, marinades, and even on meat and fish dishes.
If you are considering growing your own parsley, give these tips a try!