Main reason why people around the world grow Parsley is the flavor. Delicious herb is added to many dishes in order to make them taste better and it is also commonly seen on plates as a garnish. Aside from that, parsley is filled with nutrients. It actually has more vitamin C than an orange and it has ability to neutralize bad breath. You can chew parsley after your meal to freshen your breath. This plant is very easy to grow even from the seeds. You can plant it in the containers or out in the garden. Parsley comes in two general varieties. One of them is curly leaf and another one is called flat leaf which tends to have a little bit stronger flavor. Read on to learn more about how to grow this popular herb.
There is no strict growing conditions under which Parsley thrives. It grows well in garden or in a pot. The herb grown outdoors prefers full sun but will also grow in an area where it gets at least partial sunlight. If you choose to plant your parsley in a pot, it is best if you place it on a windowsill where it will get the morning sunlight.
2. Soil preparation
Parsley tolerates most soils, but it will thrive best in rich, moist and well-drained one with a pH around 6 and a half. Soil should also be relatively loose. If you choose pot it will grow better in a deep pot. Parsley can overwinter just make sure you put mulch around the plant during extremely cold weather.
3. Taking care for the plant
This easy-care herb requires very little maintenance. You can plant it even very late in the summer. Parsley seeds will germinate in approximately 25 days. For the best outcome you can fertilize the plant with a fertilizer once a month or you can just add compost to the soil.
Water the plant deeply on a regular schedule at least once a week. You should do it even more often in the beginning of parsley’s growth or during extremely hot and dry periods. On the other hand be sure not to over-water it. Soil should go dry between waterings.
It is advisable that you pull it out any weeds on a regular base. They will take up valuable nutrients intended for your parsley and they can also block out sunlight. It would be wise to put mulch around the plants. This can significantly decrease weed growth and help soil to retain the moisture.
When parsley seeds start to develop into plants, they should be thinned out. Make sure that the seedlings won’t be to close to each other. There should be only one plant around every 9 inches. You can go through with a scissors and snip out the ones that look smaller or less healthy.
When the parsley sprouts out with sets of three fully developed leaves or when the leaves start to curl it is ready to be picked. Pick the herb early in the day for optimal flavor. You can encourage growth by harvesting parsley slowly throughout the whole season. Cut the stalks just above ground level or leaves from the top of the plant.
You should use parsley while it is fresh, but it can also be dried or frozen until needed. It’s better though to freeze parsley because there is not much flavor in dried one. After cut it, it is best if you put the herb with its stems into refrigerator in a cup of water. When this minerals-rich herb is added to the compost, it will enrich future soil.
Parsley is almost trouble free. The herb is rarely affected by disease but there are some pests that can attack it. Whitefly, spider mites, and aphids can occasionally present a problem but on the other hand parsley attracts many beneficial insects.
10. Companion planting
Parsley is very popular as a companion plant. It is specially beneficial to corn, asparagus and tomatoes when planted nearby but never plant it near Alliums or lettuce. It attracts wasps, Swallowtail Butterflies and flies which is beneficial for many plants growing nearby.