Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Culinary Herb Garden – Growing Parsley

If you enjoy cooking then add parsley to your culinary herb garden.  Grow parsley indoors or outdoors in containers or in herb gardens.  Parsley deep green foliage looks great when grown in a garden next to chives, or other flowering herbs.  Curly parsley is perfect for American dishes.  Italian parsley has a more robust flavor that is well suited for Mediterranean recipes. No culinary herb garden is complete without parsley.  When the parsley is fully-grown it is a pretty plant and easy to care for.  Here are some tips on how to grow the culinary herb parsley.

Things you will need to plant parsley:
Parsley seeds or plants
Containers for indoor growing
Garden site for outdoor growing
Fertilizer formulated for herbs
Garden Gloves
Garden hose with mister nozzle
Grass Clippings for mulch
Pencil with eraser

Where to grow
If you reside in a region that has cooler, summers then grow parsley outside.  However if your area is known for extreme heat with a heat index of 95 degrees then parsley should be grown indoors.   Set your culinary herb garden next to a sunny kitchen window.
Select an outdoor parsley garden site that has abundant sun and rich, well-drained soil.  If your summers are extremely hot then a site with partial shade in the peak heat of the day is beneficial to your culinary herb garden.  
My herb garden: Italian and curly parsley, rosemary, lemon mint, basil, sage, dill, oregano, thyme, grown with Swiss chard

For outdoor parsley gardens, sow seeds outdoors several weeks before the last spring frost.  Or start your seeds indoors eight weeks before the last frost.  Parsley will germinate in about a month and is mature in approximately two months.  

Loosen the soil to ten inches mix in four inches of compost; work the compost into the soil.  Also, add a time released fertilizer formulated for herbs, into the soil and mix well. 
Plant parsley seeds in starter kit by digging a hole with a pencil. Use the eraser end to dig a hole that is one half inch deep.  Set the seed in the center of the hole and cover with soil.   Plant the seeds ten inches apart.  

Water your culinary parsley herb garden with a garden hose with nozzle set at mist.  Lightly cover the herb bed with grass clippings.  Water the herbs frequently and Keep the soil moist but not wet. 

When seedlings are six to eight inches tall, apply one inch of grass clipping mulch around them.  The grass clippings will nourish your parsley and will help to retain moisture.   
 Parsley Italian Flat Leaf Certified Organic Seeds

  1. Water your parsley daily with slow drip irrigation. 
  2. Harvest the parsley by cutting and not pulling or pinching off the stem
  3.  Store the parsley leaves in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  4. Fresh parsley leaves may be dried or frozen.
  5. Parsley is deer resistant however groundhogs will eat.  Protect parsley by fencing in the garden.  I used chicken wire attached to three foot posts and it stopped the groundhog from eating my Italian and curly parsley.

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