If starting indoors, sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep, in sterilized seed starting mix, in peat pots or plug trays. Like its cousins dill and cilantro, parsley develops a taproot that does better if left undisturbed. Sow outdoors in drills 3cm (1¼”) deep, spaced 8cm (3″) apart. Thin final plants to 15cm (6″) apart.
Grow parsley in a deeply dug bed. Add a generous amount of rotted manure or finished compost to the bed several weeks in advance, or the previous fall. For summer crops, aim to grow plants in a place where they will receive some shade during the day – either on the east or west side of a structure or fence works well. For winter crops, start new seeds in late summer and transplant out to a warm, sunny location by September. Parsley will grow all winter (in mild areas) if cloche protection is provided.
Cut individual sprigs from the outside of the plant or the whole plant as needed. Sprigs can be dried in the food dehydrator. Chop sprigs into the portions that your favourite recipes call for, place into an ice cube tray and add water to cover. When frozen, bag and store until needed. This keeps the parsley fresh for months.
Usual seed life: 3 years.
Parsley likes asparagus, carrots, chives, corn, onions, and tomatoes. The leaves can be sprinkled on asparagus to repel asparagus beetles, and around roses, to improve their scent. Parsley allowed to bloom will attract hoverflies and predatory wasps. Avoid planting it near mint.
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