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Parsley is a member of the carrot family and is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. This fabulous herb is grown as an annual and depending on your taste you can grow flat leaf varieties or curled leaf varieties. Flat leaf varieties are excellent for stews and soups where curled leaf varieties are best for garnishing dishes or salads.

The Right Environment for Growing Parsley:

Parsley needs a well draining soil and plenty of water. This herb also requires afternoon shade especially if you reside in a hot climate. The beds should consist of compost and manure, mulched into a depth of approximately six inches.

Planting Parsley:

The best options for growing parsley are a nursery stock or seeds at the beginning of the growing season. When there is still a slight chance for light frost, sow the seeds outdoors approximately 1/4 inch deep. The seeds will germinate within 14 to 21 days, then soak in warm water for 24 hours before actually planting.

Parsley demands a good fertilizer with one application of slow releasing organic fertilizer in the spring and then monthly to ensure a healthy growth.

Is Parsley Prone to Insects and Diseases?

You can cut down on the chance of diseases by making sure your plants have good air circulation. Apply a good organic fungicide early if you see signs of disease. As a general rule, parsley is rarely pestered by pests! An occasional butterfly leaving larvae might occur as they love parsley. As butterflies start off as caterpillars, you will find one or two from time to time, just pick them off. All in all, parsley is a robust, healthy plant and you shouldn't run into many of the problems other plants are haunted by.

Harvest Time:

Once your plants have produced leaves with three branches you should start harvesting. You will want to cut and collect the plants during the summer when they are plentiful. You can bag them and dry them for the winter months. To dry parsley simply tie the cuttings in small batches and hang them upside down in a dark, well ventilated area or room. Once they are dry, remove the leaves and stems and place the rest in storage. Crush only small amounts that you are going to use immediately.

About Seeds:

Parsley loves to cross pollinate so you might want to isolate large areas by the second year. Dig up the roots in the fall season before the danger of a hard frost. You should trim the tops of the plants approximately by 2 inches. Take the plants and store them in leaves, sawdust or sand. Their roots will store well for approximately 3 to 4 months in an atmosphere of 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the plants are dry, harvest the seed heads and separate them by hand.

Along with butterflies, this wonderful herb also attracts "beneficial" insects such as ladybugs! You might want to read up on beneficial insects so you aren't destroying them.

Growing Parsley Hydroponically:

  1. Parsley grows very nicely hydroponically! In order to go this route, you need to know how to hydroponically grow! Hydroponic gardens do not consist of soil, the only medium is a nutritional solution that gives plants oxygen, excellent nutrients and water!
  2. The nutritional solution drips into the plants and drains regularly, allowing your plants to receive the proper nutrients they require.
  3. So if you are interested in hydroponically growing plants, you'll need to learn how to go about it.
  4. The first step will be to plant the seeds and steps that need to be followed for absolute success!
  5. Parsley is opposed to germination unless they are exposed to moisture within a 12 hour period. Keeping the seeds in warm water, will discourage any opposition and not harm the parsley seeds.
  6. Soak rock wood cubes overnight then plant the seeds within the cubes, this will help germination.
  7. Place the rock wool cubes mix in a flat low box and then plant the seeds in the box approximately an inch apart, assuring there are two or three plants in each rock wool cube.
  8. You should sprinkle a fine thin layer of moist soil over everything about one-fourth inch high. Keep the soil temperature around 70 degrees and water regularly. Sprouts should start appearing after 2 weeks of planting.
  9. Once there is an appearance of leaves you need to place a florescent light approximately 2 inches above the plants and provide them with nutrients.

How To Transplant Your Parsley:

Start by setting up your hydroponics container and filling it with hydroponic fluids. You must prepare your hydroponics garden before you start your transplant process. Depending on the hydroponics system and planter you choose there are various steps you must take to prepare before transplanting your plants. Always follow the instructions in your manual and then test it.

Clean Your Plants Before Transplanting:

Hydroponics planters require the removal of soil from the plants. Carefully remove your plants from the rock wool cubes and then gently clean the roots with water. Each plant must be carefully placed allowing enough space for the sprouts to grow. There should be at least 2 to 3 inches between each plant.

Maintenance:

Good drainage and proper refilling of fluid is extremely important. Maintaining constant care will allow your plants better, faster growth and stronger plants. You must pick off leaves once the parsley reaches 2 to 3 inches in growth from the stem. Done properly new leaves should replace the old ones.

Summary:

Parsley is a popular and wonderful herb. Taking a little time to grow fresh parsley, you will experience the very best flavor and aroma.

Follow instructions, whether you are growing your parsley in your backyard or hydroponically. You will have a treasure trove of one exceptionally amazing herb for all your culinary needs.

Bon Appetit!