How to Grow Parsley – When you are cooking or preparing a Western dish, you may need a plant to garnish to be put on top of the dish. Parsley is one of the most common garnish to be put on top of dishes to make it more delicious as well as elevating the visual of the dish. Because of these reasons, for those who are often cooking Western recipes, it may be beneficial and efficient to plant your own parsley in your own garden or at home. In this guide, the step-by-step process of how to grow parsley will be explained easily for even beginner gardeners.
Parsley or Petroselinum crispum is a member of the Apiaceae family. This family of plants originated in the Mediterranean and now commonly used as herbs in Europe and most of the world. It is widely known to be a garnish in European food as well as Western Asia dishes.
Parsley contains a lot of iron and vitamins. There are two common types of parsley which are flat-leaf parsley, usually used as a garnish, and root parsley, a thicker kind usually processed as various dishes such as soups, salads, and vegetables.
Parsley is included in a biennial plant category. This means that two years is all it takes to complete the planting of parsley. In year one, parsley will grow triple leaves.
The length of the plant will be about 10 to 25 centimeters long and the width of leaves is about 1 to 3 centimeters. It will also grow taproots that can be stored over the cold season.
In year two or final year, the plant will grow stem with thin leaves and flowers. The thin leaves and flowers are usually used as a garnish on top of dishes.
The ideal time to plant seeds of parsley is at the beginning of springtime. However, parsley seeds are quite smalls and it has slow germination rate.
This means it will need about three or even more weeks for the seeds to be sprouted. It is recommended to allow six weeks before the first day of spring for the seeds to be sowed indoors.
Gardener shall sow the seeds on top of the soil and spray them with water regularly. Once it is sprouted, the seedlings can be transplanted into the herb garden to be grown into parsley.
Where to Plant Parsley
This guide on how to grow parsley will show where to plant parsley. Parsley can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
The initial seedlings process will require planting in a pot or in a container.
Parsley needs moist soils that are rich in organic matter. Gardener shall pick a garden area that is not occupied by weeds.
When growing parsley, it is important the soil area that is not too cold or warm as parsley prefer the shadier side of the garden.
The seedlings process can be started indoors about a month before the start of springtime. When indoors plant the parsley seeds on the soil inside a container.
Sow the seeds and keep it watered regularly under regular fluorescent lights. Parsley is tolerable to cold season however it cannot stand very hot weather.
The temperature of the soil should be about 21 C. Parsley will be grown well when it is planted next to other plants such as tomatoes and corn.
How to Plant Parsley
In the first process of how to grow parsley, the initial process is planting the seed. Parsley seed is quite small and it takes about three weeks for the seed to be sprouted.
Parsley can grow up to 12 to 20 inches tall if it is grown and taken care of well enough. For soil preparation, the gardener shall set up moist soil with a balanced pH, about 5 to 7.
Gardener shall add fertilizer in the soil to optimize the planting.
The planting of parsley starts indoors. Gardener shall sow the seed at the end of winter or at the very beginning of spring.
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the seed to be sprouted before transplanting them into the garden.
First, soak parsley seeds in warm water. It is best to leave them soaked 24 hours or overnight. Second, sow the seeds in single pots and keep it sprayed with little water as the seeds cannot be watered too much.
Seeds will be germinated in about 6 weeks then the plants will be able to be transplanted outside.
Once ready, the next step in how to grow parsley is to transplant them into the garden. Parsley should be ready to be moved outdoors during late spring or early summer.
The soil temperature should be not too hot or cold, in about 21 degrees Celsius. Sow the seeds about a quarter-inch deep and make sure to space it about 6 to 8 inches apart to allow them to grow.
After that, slightly cover the seeds with soil and water it well. Companion plants for parsley are asparagus, tomatoes, and corns.
How to Grow Parsley
The next step in how to grow parsley is to care for the plant during the growing season. Basic care for the parsley plant is to keep it fed and watered.
However, parsley does not require much water thus gardener shall be careful not to overwater the plant. Gardener shall only keep the plant moist by spraying water to plants and keep it under the sun.
Parsley requires quite a lot of feeding. Gardeners can feed the plant with seaweed extracts in liquid form a few times during the growing process. Adding compost is also necessary.
Parsley cannot be grown under too hot temperature.
Once the temperature of the soil gets too warm, the gardener shall prepare mulch and apply them around the plants so it keeps the roots cool enough.
Ensure to avoid the crown parts because when the crown gets covered it will cause rotting.
The gardener can take care of parsley during the growing season by cutting back the unnecessary stems and dead leaves.
Tidy up the plants to make it into a successful harvest.
There is more than one way of how to grow parsley successfully. The gardener can grow parsley during wintertime, in a pot, or in a container.
Parsley can grow as well in containers.
Gardener shall choose a decent pot or container which is at least 15 centimeters deep. Gardeners can also grow parsley indoors during the cold season and apply the same growing technique.
Sowing the seeds early in winter will allow gardeners to transplant them outside in early spring.
Growing Parsley from Cutting
For gardeners who are wondering whether or not it is possible to grow parsley from cutting aside from seed, the answer is it is.
Growing parsley from cuttings is slightly different than growing them from seeds. Below is a step by step guide on how to grow parsley from cuttings.
The first step is you need a parent plant which is a parsley plant that is already grown.
You want to take the stem from the parent plant and from these cuttings, you will grow a brand new individual plant.
Cut about 4 inches of stem and then directly passed them into a bowl with water. The water temperature of the water should be cool enough.
The next step is to prepare a pot filled with potting beds with different mixtures rich in organic contents. Put the cuttings about one inch deep into the pot and gently tidy up the soil by patting it.
Water your plant with enough but not too much water to keep it moist. Avoid soaking the pot and soil as it will prevent the plant to grow well.
Keep them in a pot, water it regularly, and place it away from direct sunlight. In about two weeks, check the roots on the plant.
If the roots are fully formed, the plant is ready to be transformed into the garden outdoors.
When the plant is ready to be transplanted, the gardener shall prepare the soil in the garden on which the plant will be transplanted.
Ensure the soil is well-drained to avoid overwatering the plants. Mix the soil well with compost and ensure that the soil will be exposed to direct sunlight for five to six hours a day.
Carefully move the plant to outside soils and plant the roots into the soil. Pat the soil around it and tidy it well.
Ensure to parsley are planted with enough spaces in between one another with approximately 10 inches space.
Keep the plants watered and cared for to ensure it grows well until the harvest season begins.
Watching Out Pests and Diseases
In this guide of how to grow parsley, gardeners should also take notes of how to watch out for pests and diseases that can disturb the growth of parsley.
The fungal disease usually came up during a wet period of the weather. Rotting in the crown and root can also happen if the gardener does not care for the plant correctly.
Other diseases such as leaf spot and gray mold could be the result of soaked soil that is in favor of bacterial and fungi to grow.
To minimize the damage, the gardener shall pick out the destroyed parts by hand and then trim them for easier access to air circulation.
Avoid overwatering so the damage will not be as severe. Switch to drip line in watering to refrain the bacteria spread further into other parts of the plant.
In order to avoid these pest problems, in the soil preparation process gardener should ensure the soil area has good drainage and avoid overwatering the plants.
How to Harvest Parsley
In the final step of how to grow parsley, the gardener is finally able to harvest the parsley plants that they have been sowing and growing.
If you are wondering how long does parsley take to grow, it is 90 days after sowing. As the parsley has matured it must be immediately be harvested before the flowers come out.
Once the flower grows the leaves will not taste as good and be slightly bitter in taste. The best time to harvest parsley is once the leaves become curly and in the morning day when the oil comes out.
One of the marks of parsley that are ready to be harvested is when the leaves have three parts. To begin harvesting, gardeners should always start from the outer leaves part.
The gardener should let the inner leaves part to grow and mature. If the gardener wants the plant to be regrown again, the gardener shall cut the whole plant off at once.
Harvesting parsley can be done all year as soon as the plant is ready as this plant can be planted and grown in wintertime.
When harvesting has been finished, the gardener who wants to plant parsley again next year can let the flowers grow to produce seeds for the upcoming season.
Those are step by step guides on how to grow parsley, starting from planning, soil preparation, planting indoors and transplanting, caring, and finally harvesting parsley plants.
Parsley plants are much better when it is consumed while still fresh from harvest. The aroma and oil will come out from early morning picking and bring a better taste for the dishes.
Parsley leaves can be added as a garnish to most of Mediterranean and Western Asia dishes.
Root parsley can also be used as an addition on many recipes, from traditional to modern recipes, as an addition to soups, casseroles, and other types of savory dishes.
After growing and harvesting so many parsley plants, gardeners should also restore them correctly so it stays in good condition all year long. Parsley can be frozen and dried.
Drying parsley leaves take place in the fridge and it takes about a week to dry completely.
However, drying parsley can lose its flavor so the better way is to freeze it to keep the flavor as tasty as when it was first harvested.