How To: Grow Parsley At Home
Growing Parsley - Facts
Seven Steps to Growing Parsley
Growing parsley in pots, in the ground at home is easy, indoors and outdoors, just follow these steps.
Parsley is an excellent choice for a chef who wants to create exciting dishes with herbs from their garden, and its frilly leaves enhance any entrée. The unifying effect of parsley makes it useful whenever you want to blend the flavors in pasta or sauces, and a home-grown herb is fresh, flavorsome and free of pesticides, so you can enjoy toxin-free steaks and salads.
There are several things to keep in mind when you grow your own parsley, so we will discuss them in this article.
Parsley is picky about its soil requirements, and will thrive if it is planted in nutrient-rich types of soil. Prepare the soil with compost, made using vegetable scraps from your kitchen, or plant it in a rich potting soil.
The Best Soil pH for Parsley
Parsley prefers soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0, since this makes it easy for the roots to pull nutrients from your rich herb bed. Check the soil to ensure the pH is ideal by using a testing kit. These kits are available at most farm stores and help you to properly prepare the bed before planting.
Moisture Content is Important for Parsley
Parsley prefers soil that is not soggy, and you should allow a bed to dry out completely before working it with your tools. Check the soil temperature by using a garden thermometer, and wait until the soil is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit before you start to work it.
Parsley likes a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit so check the soil when you are planting it in a pot or directly in a bed.
Parsley seeding is best done when the temperatures are not freezing, and if you choose to sow seeds indoors, that should be done 6 weeks before spring. Transplanting the seedlings should be done in early spring, when the seedlings can enjoy the cool air.
Sprinkle the Seeds
The seeds are very tiny and do not have to be covered with dirt. Simply sprinkle them over the soil and mist them regularly.
Parsley will not germinate as quickly as some other plants, so you need a long lead time. Do not despair if nothing seems to be happening for the first 3 to 4weeks. Most seeds will germinate indoors after 6 weeks and you can thin the seedlings while transplanting them.
Parsley seedlings can be planted in partial shade and while they will grow in full sun, the intensity of the sunlight in some areas can burn the young plants. Ensure that they are protected from intense sunlight in the afternoons.
Prevent Unhealthy Competition
Parsley seedlings should always be planted with enough space for each one to thrive. Each plant should be at least 6 inches from its neighbour, and giving them a gap of 8 inches will result in even thicker plants.
Ensure that you remove any weeds that you may have initially missed, so the plants can get all the nutrients from the soil.
Companion Plants for Parsley
Parsley thrives when it is planted next to chives, roses and sweet peppers. You can even plant them near to carrots and enjoy healthy crop production. Never place the plants near lettuce or mint.
Parsley needs water so keep the soil moist by misting them, especially on very hot days. Be careful to water evenly without leaving the seedlings in soggy soil.
Sunlight for Parsley Seedlings
Parsley likes sunlight, but in some areas, it may be difficult to give them the right amount of sun at all times. If your seedlings need extra light, consider using a grow light. You may observe that some seedlings reach for the sun if they are in darker areas.
Fluorescent grow lights for parsley should be placed 2 inches above them to ensure that all the plants receive an equal amount of light. The plants do best when they receive at least 14 hours of light from this source. You can give them a maximum of 16 hours of light per day and allow them to rest for 8 hours.
There are several pests that are a danger to parsley plants, but with careful monitoring, these can be quickly removed. Black swallowtail larvae enjoy this plant and if you don’t regularly check for them on the leaves, they will quickly eat everything. Carrot fly larvae will also eat your plants, and you must be vigilant in watching for celery fly larvae.
Avoiding Fungal Diseases
Parsley is affected by a number of fungal diseases, including blight. Root rot will damage the plants from under the soil and is not as easy to detect as butterfly larvae. If fungal diseases have been. In your area before, it is important to rotate your crops to help prevent contamination.
Consult your local farm store about using a drip line to irrigate your parsley plants, so the soil does not become soggy and encourage harmful fungal growth.
Many home cooks are eager to harvest their parsley for use with steak or baked beans. Once the stems of your plants have three segments, you can begin harvesting. You will need a sharp pair of garden shears for this step.
Efficiently Reaping Parsley
While harvesting parsley, you want to prevent pathogens from being passed from one plant species to another, so carefully clean your shears before use. To harvest, firmly hold each plant and cut the outer leaves first. Allow the inner leaves to mature so you can cook with them at another time.
The method you use for storing parsley will vary according to how you like to cook with it. Some people enjoy using the leaves in a fresh, green state. To keep them that way, simply place the stalks in water and put them in your fridge.
When you want to give parsley from your garden to family and friends, or store them for an extended time, it often is better to dry them. Once dried, parsley leaves can be added to homemade seasoning blends. To dry them, cut each plant at its base and hang it in a dry, airy room.