Basically there are two types of parsley; Italian flat-leaf type which resembles coriander, and the curly type.

The stronger tasting curled leaf parsley is the type most commonly used in garnishes.

Curled leaf parsley

Parsley is a biennial herb, that flowers and produce seeds in its second year of growth, meaning it should be replaced every two years.

It can be grown in borders or in containers to add contrast to bedding plants.

It grows up to 600mm (24") high, and can be harvested from June onwards, and with successional sowings can be harvested all the year round.

This herb is often added to savoury dishes,used in stuffing, and for garnishing salads.

It can be a difficult herb to dry, but it freezes quite well, try this by freezing some chopped leaves in ice cubes, this is also a convenient way to store it.

As an alternative it can also be made into parsley sauce to add to various dishes.


For best results plant out in full sun or partial shade, keep the area free from weeds and water regularly in dry periods.

Ensure that the soil does not waterlog, especially during winter.

It is a heavy feeder and will appreciate a monthly high potash liquid feed when grown in the border, and fortnightly if grown in pots.

Trim foliage as necessary throughout the season to keep plants in shape.

A late sowing can be made in pots and grown on in a cold frame or cool greenhouse for winter use.

Week 21:

Sow thinly in drills 250mm (10") apart in a previously prepared bed in a sunny or partially shaded position.

Germination should take around two weeks.

Circa Week 25-26:

Thin the seedlings first to 75mm (3") apart then to 250mm (10") apart.

Alternatively, an earlier sowing can be made (say Week 15) in cell trays containg multi purpose compost, and germinated at a temperature circa 15°C (60°F).

Thin out seedlings to one per cell when large enough to handle then gradually harden off in a cold frame.

Either plant direct into the garden 250mm (10") apart, or in containers, growbags, or if kept trimmed they can be grown in pots on the windowsill.

Week 37:

Make another sowing in a pot/s of multi purpose compost, by placing a few seeds in a 125mm (5") pot and placing it / them in a cold frame to germinate.

To give winter protection, grow on in the coldframe.


Cut the leaves when required with scissors, taking care not to remove all of the leaves.

Wash the leaves thoroughly before eating, especially curled parsley.

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