Used as a garnish or directly in dishes, parsley is a delicate herb with a strong peppery taste, making it a favorite for many chefs. As a biennial, edible white flowers emerge in an umbel during the plant’s second growing season. An attractor of butterflies and other beneficial insects, this herb will not only benefit your palate, it will also spruce up your garden. Seeds possess an extremely thick coat which can cause the germination process to take some time, so be patient!
As the name would suggest, Italian Dark Green Flat Parsley is known for its dark green flat leaves as well as its capability to grow quite quickly. Whether growing indoors or in your garden, this parsley is relatively easy to maintain, as it is more tolerant of temperature changes than its curlier cousin.
Seed: If starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots because parsley does not like to be transplanted.
Seed Depth: 1/4″
Space Between Plants: 8–12″
Space Between Rows: 12–16″
Germination Soil Temperature: Minimum 50°F, optimal 70–80°F.
Days for Germination: 14–28
Sow Indoors: 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost.
Sow Outdoors: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost or as soon as the soil can be worked.
Grows best in moderate climates. Prefers cooler weather to heat and will likely become stunted or die if exposed to temperatures over 80°F for prolonged periods of time.
Natural: Full sun. Provide light shade when growing in hot weather.
Artificial: A great candidate for indoor growing, parsley can be started under fluorescent lights or even on a sunny window sill.
Soil: Prefers a rich, loamy soil. A pH of 5.2 to 6.0 will keep plants healthy and nourished.
Soilless: A great candidate for indoor growing, parsley will grow well in most soilless mixes such as perlite, coco coir, rock wool, or vermiculite.
Hydroponics: Can be grown in a hydroponic system. Placing the seeds in warm water and changing it out often will help the seeds germinate more quickly. Use a medium such as rock wool to grow your seeds once they are ready.
Aeroponics: Will thrive in an aeroponic system.
Water: Requires low to moderate levels of water. Soil should be kept moist but not saturated except in the earliest growth stages when seeds are germinating.
Nutrients: A heavy feeder, parsley needs nutrient-rich soil, so fertilizer may be needed if your soil is not the best quality. A balanced nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium fertilizer will generally do the trick and should be applied prior to planting and after your first cutting if harvesting more than once in a season.
Pruning: Cut plant back with scissors or by hand throughout the growing season to encourage new shoots and broader leaves.
Mulching: Use mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
Rotation: A 2 to 3 year rotation away from all plants in the Apiaceae family is recommended.
Companions: Grows well with asparagus, carrots, chives, onions, tomatoes, and basil. Avoid mint.
Harvest: May be harvested at any point by either picking off outer sprigs or cutting the entire plant.
Storage: Place in a plastic bag with paper towel and keep in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks. Dried parsley will keep for up to a year, but will gradually lose flavor.
History: Parsley has an extensive history and is known to have been used by the ancient Egyptians. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans used parsley, but more for decoration than flavoring. In both cultures, parsley was used in garlands in all types of ceremonies ranging from weddings and funerals to athletic events.
Preserve: Freezing or drying are the most common ways to preserve this herb. To freeze, add the chopped herb to water or oil and freeze in cubes until needed. Drying can be done either in a dehydrator or simply by hanging upside down. Do note that when dried, parsley loses much of its flavor.
Prepare: Use as a garnish or for flavoring in any dish including pasta, stews, and soups. Parsley is a flavorful addition to any meal whether fresh or cooked.
Nutritional: Rich in vitamin(s) A, C, E, and K as well as minerals, especially iron. The herb is also known for its high content of antioxidants.
Medicinal: This plant has historically been used to treat all kinds of maladies but has more recently been credited with lowering blood sugar levels, acting as a diuretic to support kidney function, and as an antiseptic.
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