Growing parsley

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on February 11, 2011

Most people think of parsley as that green stuff on their plates in restaurants.  It is actually a very useful herb.  It is also very nutritious.  Parsley is easy to grow and can be grown in containers indoors during the winter for year round availability.

Parsley comes in curly and flat leaf.  They are both grown the same.  It is a cool weather crop so would be planted in early February in North East Texas.  It  can also be planted in the fall.  It doesn’t do well in the summer heat.

Parsley seed is very small.  It must be planted at 1/4 inch deep or less — just barely covered with soil, in other words.  It is important to use fresh seed each year as the germination rate decreases rapidly as the seed ages.  When the seeds sproout, you then the plants to one every 1-2 inches.  The rows need to be 6-12 inches apart.  The other option is to grow the parsley as a mat of plants with no space between them.

Parsley grows quickly but has shallow roots.  That means it needs regular water and fertilization because it can’t reach down very far in the soil.  Keep the soil moist but not squishy.

To harvest parsley, you snip off the leaves when they are big enough.  You then wash them and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  They will keep up to two weeks like that.  You can dry the leaves for later use, or freeze them.  If you want to freeze the leaves, put them on a cookie sheet and then put that in the freezer until the leaves are frozen.  Then remove them from the cookie sheet and stack them in a plastic bag.  Since the leaves are frozen separately, you will be able to get just what you need.

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