Growing Parsley in your Garden and Windowsill
When growing parsley, it is advisable to purchase a few seedlings in addition to growing your own parsley from seed. This should ensure that you have a longer supply of parsley.
Parsley is a biennial so you will have to replant after every couple of years. Ideally, when growing parsley you should sow seedlings or seeds every year as the best growth period is in the first year.
Growing Parsley from Seed
Growing parsley from seed should be done progressively during the warmer months when the soil is warm. Depending on where you live this could be early or late spring for the first crop.
To speed the germination of the parsley seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours and pour boiling water over the soil before planting.
Growing parsley from seed can take up to 8 weeks before the seedling is ready to be planted into the garden or container.
When several leaves have grown on the seedling, plant the parsley out at 25cm intervals. Keep them shaded for a few days.
Conditions for Growing Parsley
Parsley likes in a cool climate but does provide some shade if growing parsley in a tropical or very warm area.
Parsley growing in a well-drained but moist soil will do very well especially if the soil is enriched with fertilizer which is high in nitrogen.
Growing Parsley in the Garden
Growing parsley near tomatoes and roses will keep them free of diseases and insects.
Growing parsley as a border will make your garden look very attractive and growing parsley in the garden also attracts bees. You will find parsley growing in the garden naturally as the plant will self-set at the end of the second year if left to flower and seed.
Growing Parsley in the Kitchen or Greenhouse
Parsley can quite easily be grown inside as long as it has a light and sunny spot on the windowsill or shelf in the greenhouse.
If you are growing parsley in a pot, ensure that the depth is at least 20cm to give enough space for the roots to grow.
Parsley grows from the center outwards, so you should cut off the leaves from the outside. Do not take too many leaves from a plant in one go, rather takes from several plants.
The parsley will go to seed in the second year and to prevent this, continue removing the outer leaves. This will also promote growth.
Parsley Foliage and Varieties
Parsley can grow up to 30cm in height and when the plant comes into flower, the plant can reach up to 1m in height. The flowers are small and arranged in clusters at the end of the fine stalks. Parsley flowers are greenish yellow in color.
The other popular variety of parsley is the Italian or flat leaf parsley Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum. This variety has a slightly stronger flavor.
Growing this variety of parsley together with the normal ‘curly leaf’ parsley will give some interesting textures when used together in a salad.
Another type of parsley which is not so familiar is the Hamburg or turnip-rooted parsley Petroselinum crispum var tuberosum. If you are growing this variety of parsley in a pot, be sure to allow more than 20cm for depth as the taproot grows deeper into the soil.