Parsley is a biennial aromatic plant, essential in the kitchen. Growing it in the garden or in a pot is therefore the best solution to always have it on hand because it is used in many culinary preparations. Its cultivation does not pose any particular difficulty. Let’s see how to sow parsley in the best conditions and take care of it to harvest this aromatic throughout the year.
This is in February that we can start to sow parsley in place in the most southern regions. In other geographical areas, it is better to wait until March is well advanced, knowing that parsley can be sown until mid-September. No precipitation therefore because certain severe frosts can sometimes make the gardens shiver until mid-May. In this case, the use of a tunnel or a frame can be very useful if you are in a hurry.
Parsley loves loose soilperfectly unpacked, rich in nutrients (fertile), deep et well drained. He appreciates the sunny situations in the morning and partial shade the afternoon. Leaving it in full sun in summer during the hottest hours risks burning its leaves.
We recommend soaking the seeds in a glass of slightly warm water for 12 to 24 hours to facilitate germination, then proceed as follows:
- Place potting soil in cells, small buckets or in a box,
- Sow about three seeds per bucket or by spacing them 2 cm apart in the box,
- Cover the seedlings with a thin layer of potting soil,
- Tamp lightly by hand,
- Water by spraying so as not to risk dislodging the seeds.
Place the seedlings in a bright and warm place but without direct sun and keep the soil always humid to allow the seedlings to emerge, which can take 15 to 20 days indoors and between 1 and 2 months in the garden.
Young plants from seedlings are to be transplanted as soon as they have formed 4 sheetseither in the ground, taking care to separate them by 25 cm in all directions, or in a pot.
Sow in the ground
It is quite possible to sow parsley directly in place. In this case, the method is as follows:
- dig a bridge with the lack of a rake for example, and if you want to cultivate on several furrows, you take care to space them from each other by 25 to 30 cm,
- Sow a seed every 6 cm,
- Cover the seedlings with a thickness of 1 cm of compost,
- Pack lightly with the back of the rake,
- Water in fine rain.
The soil must always be moist otherwise the seeds will not germinate. Finally, thethinning takes place when the seedlings have 4 leaves. To thin the rows of parsley, keep only the most vigorous plants, at the rate of one every 18 to 20 cm.
What about parsley bought in a jar?
Sowing parsley requires a bit of patience before you can harvest it. That’s why many people prefer to buy it in a jar. But it is essential not to wait to replant it in a slightly larger pot. If you have a garden, it can of course be replanted in the ground.
Parsley grown in pots indoors can be out on sunny days and enjoy the outdoors until the first autumn frosts, after which he must return to the house.
Caring for parsley
Parsley should produce in all seasons as long as it is well rooted. He has not no great demandsbut you must however take care to provide it with the following care.
The earth must always keep a sufficient humidity. In summer, parsley can suffer from drought but also from very hot weather. It is therefore essential to water regularly in order to avoid its yellowing or an early bolting.
You can save water by taking the precaution of laying a mulch at the foot of the parsley because this limits the evaporation process. It is also an excellent solution to retard the growth of weeds. This way, the gardener spends less time weeding.
To promote the development of the leaves, one can make, every 4 to 6 weeks, a contribution ofnitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer to be diluted in a watering can of water, respecting the dosage recommended by the manufacturer.
Pests and diseases
In the vast majority of cases, parsley is an aromatic plant that shows a nice resistance to pests and diseases. It is still necessary to be wary of snails and slugs which delight in very young plants in the germination phase because they are tender. The gastropods appear especially after a good rain. It is then enough to dislodge them manually.
As for the two diseases that can possibly be detected on parsley, they arepowdery mildew and some rust which respectively cause white or red spots on the foliage. It is absolutely essential to remove affected leaves at the first signs.
Protect your parsley in winter
In regions with harsh winters, it is preferable that parsley be grown in pots as this helps to protect him easily from the cold. For example, it can be placed under an awning or even better installed in the kitchen, near the window, provided that it is not exposed to direct sunlight. On parsley grown in the ground, we put a mulch if it is not already done, or even a veil of wintering but it is less practical to harvest it.
Some gardeners use a tight and others simply cover it with a cloche makeshift so that the icy wind and heavy frosts do not damage it. Regardless of the solution chosen, it will be necessary to water it from time to time during the off-season, but only when it is not freezing. If there is a lack of water, the parsley may not survive.
Harvest the parsley
We can start harvesting the parsley three months after sowing. Then, the harvest takes place throughout the year. The ideal is to pick it as needed in order to eat it fresh. As soon as it is dry, it has hardly any flavor left. It is not torn off with large handfuls so as not to damage the foot, but scissors are used in order to cut the stems cleanly, preferably choosing the oldest ones. If you want to keep parsley, it is better to chop it as soon as you harvest it and then freeze it in small ice cube trays so that you only take the amount you need when the time comes.
Finally, it should be noted that the life cycle parsley is two years. This biennial plant produces flowers in its second year and then seeds that can be collected for sowing, which will replace old plants.