Grow Your Own Parsley
The bestgrowth occurs in the first year, and although it is biennial it is commonly grown as an annual. The fresh taste is complementary to dishes of all types, as an ingredient or as garnish. It is not the easiest of herbs to grow and is extremely slow to germinate, but because it is so versatile it is worthwhile having the patience to master the art of cultivating parsley. The plants grow between 8in (20cm) and 12in (30cm) high and make an attractive display.
Sow in a rich, free-draining potting medium in pots or seed trays. Provide a warm and humid atmosphere and supply moisture to theduring the germination period, which can be as long as eight weeks. As the appear, move the container to full light and thin out the planting. Parsley plants can be potted on into individual containers – a 4in (10cm) pot is adequate – but must be treated carefully as root disturbance is resented. They look particularly pretty when grown together in a ceramic parsley pot. For a continuous supply, carry out succession sowings from early spring through summer.
Because of the slow germination period, containers of parsley seeds take up space unproductively for some time. If you prefer to take a short cut, buy pot-grown plants or obtain rooted stems from the vegetable market or from gardening friends. Plant them up in individual pots or well-spaced in a large container.
Parsley must be the universal herb, as an ingredient and a garnish. It is a valuable food rich in vitamins. The fresh taste is indescribable, but quite distinctive. Mix it into dishes based on rice, beans, pulses or mixed vegetables, add it to soups, stews or sauces, meats, poultry and fish dishes.