Parsley

There are two main types of parsley they are; the 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.

This annual herb is used in savoury dishes,stuffing,and for flavouring and garnishing salads.

It is a difficult herb to dry, but it freezes quite well.

Try freezing some chopped leaves in ice cubes as a convenient way of storing it.

It can also be made into parsley sauce to add to all sorts of dishes.

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

It does best in full sun or partial shade, and needs plenty of moisture.

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.

Keep the area free from weeds and water regularly in dry periods.

Ensure that soil does not waterlog, especially during winter.

It can be grown in borders or in containers to add contrast to bedding plants, then the leaves can be picked as required for the table.

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.

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.

Cultivation

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.

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

Alternatively, an earlier sowing can be made (say Week 16) in pots of multi purpose compost, and germinated at a temperature circa 15°C (60°F).

Thin out seedlings 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 pots of multi purpose compost, and place in a cold frame to germinate.

To give winter protection, grow on in the coldframe.

Harvesting:

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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