Parsley is a necessary within the herb backyard. Excessive in vitamin A and C, in addition to calcium and iron, it’s a biennial plant normally grown in Zones 5-9. Italian, or flat-leaf parsley, is used extra in cooking whereas curly leaf parsley is used extra as a garnish.
Many herb books embody an adage about parsley going to the satan and again seven occasions earlier than germinating. This clearly refers back to the lengthy germination time-often as much as 6 weeks-which parsley requires!
Seed must be sown indoors about 6 weeks earlier than the final frost date, or round mid-January in Central Texas. Utilizing seeding trays with “cells” in them, put together them with a lightweight seeding combination and moisten the soil earlier than planting.
As a result of the seeds want to beat a dormancy interval earlier than they’ll germinate, it helps to pour sizzling water over the seeds in a bowl and allow them to soak for 24-36 hours earlier than planting. Pour off the water and drain them on a paper towel to make them simpler to deal with.
Unfold 5-10 seeds on the floor of every cell and canopy with 1/8” -1/4” of soil. Water them in, then cowl the flat with a plastic bag open at one finish to maintain the soil moist. Verify it typically to keep up moist soil. Optimum soil temperature is 75° F., so use a warmth mat if beginning in a cooler surroundings. When you don’t have a warmth mat, place the flat on high of your refrigerator- however bear in mind to test it typically! When the primary set of “true” leaves seem, skinny the crops with snips, leaving the strongest plant to proceed to develop. Don’t “pull” the crops to skinny them as that damages the basis system of the remaining plant. At thinning time, you need to take away the plastic bag and place the seed tray beneath fluorescent lights or in a brilliant window to proceed to develop.
As a result of parsley doesn’t transplant simply, watch out to not disturb the delicate root system when planting the transplants into the backyard. Spacing must be about 12” aside, and parsley will respect afternoon shade in Central Texas.
Start harvesting parsley when the stems are rising vigorously, snipping the older leaves off first.
Biennial crops flower and produce seed their second yr of progress. Parsley has yellow flowers, much like Queen Anne’s lace. The flowers appeal to butterflies and useful backyard bugs corresponding to parasitoid wasps. After the plant has produced seed, you’ll be able to harvest it to plant once more subsequent yr.