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Parsley

parsley2Parsley is one of the easiest and tastiest herbs you can grow in your garden. It is very easy to grow and is biennial so it will last at least a year to a year and a half before going to seed. Parsley thrives in plain soil with good drainage and a moderate amount of sun making it a good candidate for the partly shady areas in your garden. Like most herbs, Parsley also grows well in containers and is very ornamental making it a good choice for container arrangements. I have used Curly Parsley as a border in my flower beds with good success. It is bright green and will last through all of our seasons. Of course parsley is also used in cooking for anything from fish to pasta sauce.

Parsley is notoriously hard to grow from seed and takes quite a while to germinate. Buying Parsley plants is the best way to go for most gardeners. I grow Parsley from seed only when I can’t find the kind of plant I want. Nothing beats seed for a large variety of choices. As mentioned before, plant parsley in a well drained garden bed or container in part sun. Give it plenty of water when first planted and a good organic fertilizer for green leaves. When deciding which type of parsley to grow consider how you will use it . Curly parsley makes a beautiful garnish and has a lighter taste than flat leafed parsley. Flat leafed parsley does better when cooked and has a stronger parsley taste. Flat leafed parsley also stands up better in our summer heat if you do not have any shade in your garden. Watch your Parsley for white flies, one of the only pests that parsley has. Spraying with an organic insecticidal soap will quickly get rid of white flies. When buying parsley plants buy plenty to share with the black swallowtail caterpillar. The beautiful black and yellow striped caterpillars will eat part of your parsley but will not destroy your plant. It is great fun to watch them eat and grow and as an added bonus you will get a black swallowtail to help pollinate your garden.
 
herb
To harvest parsley, cut the outer older leaves and leave the younger leaves to develop. This will insure you always have a fresh batch of parsley on the way. Some people divide their plants in threes harvesting from only a third of the plant at a time. This also helps provide a continual parsley harvest. To preserve your parsley, it is better to freeze it than dry it. Frozen parsley keeps its flavor better than dried. If you plant new plants every year you will always have fresh parsley. Parsley is a great herb to grow and has many, many uses. Plant it in your garden for both decoration and cooking and you will have a beautiful yard and great tasting food.
 
Plant Profile:
 
Biennial
Plant in full sun to part shade.
Drought tolerant once established
Small white flower umbels the 2nd year
Bright green leaves   
Frost tolerant 

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