Parsley is an excellent addition to most recipes, it is rich in vitamins and minerals (A, C, calcium, and iron), and it fights bad breath. This is a plant that we can grow all year round. There are two main varieties of parsley; the flat-leaf and the Chinese parsley. Learn all about how to grow parsley in this article.
The plant needs soil moist but well-nourished and having good drainage. It can be in full sun or partially shaded, preferring at least 6-8 hours of sun a day.
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How to Grow Parsley: Sowing
Seeds are small and slow to germinate, it can take 4 weeks or more. To sow we need a seedbed with a good soil mixture, with compost and that has good drainage. The depth to sow parsley is three times the size of its seed. After sowing, it is very important to water and always maintain moisture for good results.
Parsley requires good soil preparation, loosening it for good root development. This plant needs a good amount of nitrogen (N) to grow green and fast. Other nutrients it uses are phosphorus (nourishes the roots) and potassium (helps against disease, protein production, and photosynthesis). All of these nutrients are available in compost.
When the second true leaves begin to emerge from the parsley, it is time to transplant. Before starting the transplant, we must water our seedlings well. With a transplanting shovel, carefully remove the seedlings without damaging the roots. The separation between plants is approximately 8″ (20cm), depending on the variety. At the end of the transplant, water your seedlings without wetting the leaves.
Harvest and Storage Parsley
You can start cutting the parsley when the plant is already growing vigorously, approximately 70-90 days from planting. Harvest the outer stems of the plant so that the central shoots continue to grow, about 4″ – 6″ (10-15cm) long. By cutting the stems, we are stimulating the growth of the plant.
If the flowering stem of the parsley appears, you can cut the entire plant and plant new ones or let the plant produce seed to replenish our warehouse with new ones.
Some ways to store parsley are fresh, drying, or freezing it. To keep it fresh, place the stems in a glass of clean water or an airtight bag. If you decide to dry it, hang it in bunches in a shady, dry place until it is completely dehydrated, then shred it by hand and store it in an airtight container.
How to Grow Parsley: Tips
1- Weeds can affect the growth of our parsley if it competes with them, it slows its growth. Remove weeds by hand when they are small.
2- Parsley needs about 2″ (5cm) of water a week. We must be careful not to wet the leaves to reduce the possibility of plant diseases. Preferably water in the morning or when the sun goes down in the afternoon.
3- If your plants start to look light green, it indicates a nitrogen shortage. You can add compost, compost tea, or some fish fertilizer with water.