An essential condiment herb in the kitchen, parsley delights our taste buds while providing our body with vitamin C and iron. Do not hesitate to cultivate it to always have it on hand. Whether at jardinon the balcony or the terracethere is always a small place where to sow parsley, whether in the ground or in a pot. But it still requires a little attention to thrive. Here are our tips.
Sowing parsley: growing conditions
If you want to have a homemade bouquet garni at all times, it is very useful to cultivate your own aromatic herbs. Parsley belonging to the large Umbelliferae family is of course one of them.
Parsley, whether flat or curlylikes the following growing conditions:
- A sunny exposure but not too much, which involves setting it up in a partially shaded spot since it likes light shade. In this way, it will not have to suffer the sun’s rays during the hottest hours of the day, at least in summer.
- A soil rich in humus and cool. Although parsley is happy with any type of soil, it prefers a light, highly fertile which may be calcareous. It can therefore be sown in a mixture composed of 75% potting soil and 25% loam.
- Of the abundant wateringespecially in times of drought, its substrate must always remain sufficiently humid without being soggy.
The advantage of growing it in a pot is that it can be moved if necessary, depending on the season.
Ideal time to sow parsley and then plant it
Depending on the region, it is from the month of February or March that you can sow parsley, that is, from the moment when the spring sun began to warm the earth. However, there is no rush since parsley can be sown until the end of July beginning of August and even during September.
Note that when each seedling reaches a height of between 8 and 10 cm, and that there are at least 4 perfectly developed leaves, the parsley is ready to be thinned. This consists of removing the weakest subjects in order to leave enough room for the most vigorous seedlings to develop even better.
Depending on the period chosen for sowing, parsley may be good for plant in the ground or in a pot between the end of May and the course of October. But it is imperative to keep the soil moist between sowing and planting.
Sowing flat or curly parsley: the method to follow
We start by digging the plot that we intend to grow parsley in order to loosen the soil, rid it of stones, plant debris, roots and weeds. Some gardeners use the space left free after harvesting radishes. Thus the ground once simply raked is ready. Then all that’s left to do is:
- Digging furrows 10 to 15 mm deep and spaced from each other by about twenty centimeters.
- Put the parsley seeds in soak for 24 hours in water to promote germination.
- Sow in the furrows, taking care to do not overtighten the seeds against each other. It is indeed highly preferable that they can be sparse.
- Cover immediately the parsley seeds with a centimeter of fine soil.
- Tamp down lightly the floor with delicate movements.
- Water copiously.
Experienced gardeners advise to grow several varieties of parsley to later enjoy aromatic herbs with different flavors, such as:
- Flat parsley or common parsley also called Italian giant parsley, with fusiform white root, very famous for its well-developed perfume. Its germination can take up to four weeks. It is the tallest variety of parsley of all, around 40 cm in height.
- The curly parsley with a maximum height of 20 to 25 cm, which brings a fragrant, subtle and decorative touch to culinary dishes.
By diversifying the varieties of parsley, cooking enthusiasts can thus have a wider choice of flavors, and use each of them according to the dish chosen. We can therefore also reserve a small place in the vegetable garden for the root parsley or large-rooted parsley, which is one of the forgotten vegetables and whose flavor is reminiscent of celery.
Parsley Growing Tips
In addition to the conditions to be observed in order to sow parsley and obtain good results, it is still necessary maintain it well afterwards so as not to see it wither away.
- To prevent it from going to seed, it is essential that its cultivation soil does not dry out. It is therefore necessary to ensure the keep moist which requires increased monitoring during the summer when the temperatures are scorching. It is best to water very early in the morning or very late in the evening.
- Stimulate growth parsley, cutting off the stems as you go, ready to be used in the kitchen. Don’t wait for them to get hard.
- Make a addition of mineral fertilizer during its growth period.
It is noted that nothing opposes the culture of parsley, because it does not pose any particular problem.
Growing parsley: beware of pests and diseases
It is essential to react quickly if the parsley falls victim to pests or disease. It is particularly sensitive to the following problems.
When it rages, the parsley leaves are marked with a white felting which looks mealy. It is a fungal disease that causes blistering or distortion of foliage. Powdery mildew doesn’t just attack parsley. It is therefore necessary to deal with a sulfur powder to be wetted by means of sprays. But to prevent powdery mildew, care should be taken to space the plants sufficiently apart and then never to wet the foliage when watering.
L’alternaria or alternaria blight
This is again a disease caused by a fungus, but this one attacks the seed coat of parsley. It is identified by the presence, on the edge of the leaves, of tasks lowercase of brown color and surrounded by a sort of yellow aura. In the absence of care, the foliage quickly necroses. It is necessary to destroy all the affected parts, and to treat with a decoction of garlic and/or horsetail. A natural antifungal such as Bordeaux mixture is also a good solution against Alternaria.
Parsley can be attacked in particular by carrot root aphid responsible for the fumagine, a cryptogamic disease that can be detected by the presence of black mold. Sooty mold develops from the honeydew secreted by aphids like, moreover, many other biting-sucking insects. The parasite is eliminated with a anti-aphid with Pyrethrumfrom nettle manureor we opt for the rotation des cultures. It is better to avoid sowing parsley near Poplars because their presence encourages the invasion of aphid colonies. Watering with black soap at the foot of the parsley is also possible.
The sign allowing its presence to be identified is the brownish rust tint what do the parsley roots in which galleries are dug by the larvae of this diptera insect which creates havoc in the vegetable garden. The parasite is kept away by installing friendly plants near the parsley, such as tansy, coriander, sage, lavender, fern, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop and/or rosemary.
Do not panic ! Not all gardeners spend their time processing the parsley they sow. Moreover, many of them have never been confronted with the problems we have just reviewed.