Welcome to my website. Its about growing fresh herbs amongst my vegetables and fruit trees and their use in the kitchen. The presence of these herbs benefits the other edible plants by attracting pollinators and helping to repel pests. They add beauty and pleasant aromas to my garden with their attractive foliage and flowers...............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Growing Italian Parsley
Latest Update 28th July 2016.
I grow parsley as a culinary herb.
is a perennial plant, grown as an annual.
It normally flowers in year 2, so always leave one plant to grow into a second year if you want to save some seeds.
Parsley leaves should be harvested before it flowers, as they lose their flavour when the plant diverts its energy to flower and seed production.
parsley has a stronger, sweeter flavour than the popular curly leaf
parsley and it is more suited to cooking rather than as a garnish. It can be used freshly chopped straight off the plant, or dried and stored as a coarsely chopped flake in glass jars.
I find Italian parsley is usually pest free in my garden.
Variety: Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
Family: Apiaceae. (Carrot).
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated organic bed.
Recommended soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0.
Minimum sun per day: 6 hours.
Week to harvest: 10-13 weeks.
Plant spacings (centres): 450mm.
Good companions: Tomatoes, carrot, chive, peppermint and rose.
Climate: Warm temperate.
Geography: Southern hemisphere.
This food is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol.
also a good source of protein, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, phosphorus and zinc,
and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin
K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.
It is a light feeder but benefits from a generous application of home made compost worked into the soil before planting.
It is frost tender, but even in warm temperate climates, it is usually treated as an annual.
It prefers well-drained soil, but don't let it dry out completely.
In September, clear a space for parsley in a drip line bed, add a 60mm layer of homemade compost and cover with 50mm of straw mulch.
Leave the bed for 4
weeks to build up worm and microbial activity. Move the mulch to one side before planting.
Although parsley is a perennial plant it is usually propagated from seed in spring.
Sow parsley seeds in August on the surface of an organic seed growing mix in a mini pot, and cover lightly with sieved seed growing mix.
the mini pot for an hour in a tray containing 10mm of water (preferably
rainwater). The water will wick up into the soil without flooding it.
Sink the mini pot up to its rim in a propagator's wicking media. This will
keep the soil moist until the seedlings are ready to
transplant. Protect the seedlings against frost.
4 weeks the seeds are transplanted individually into organic potting mix in jiffy pots and returned to the propagator.
further 4 weeks (or when big enough) plant the seedlings in the prepared bed.
Return the mulch as soon as the parsley is established.
Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks when the other edible plants are sprayed.
Harvesting and Storage.
be harvested from December till May.
Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare
some.Don't take too many leaves at once or you will have to wait some time for the plant to recover.
If you are a heavy user of parsley, grow more plants and harvest a few leaves at a time from each of them.
You can air-dry parsley in small, loose bunches. Once the leaves are dry, crush them and store them in an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can freeze parsley. Simply chop the leaves in a food processor, blend with a small amount of water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays. When frozen, knock them out into freezer bags and store in the freezer.
I grow my herbs in a drip irrigated raised bed, and run copper tape around it 100mm off the ground.
Copper tape is a
very effective barrier as the slugs and snails get a small electric
shock when they come into contact with it, and they retreat to
less hostile surroundings.
I get one or two juvenile snails in my raised beds. I believe they get
into the bed as eggs though the compost heap. When this happens, I use
a few iron chelate snail baits to round them up. These bates are
approved for use in organic gardens, but I only use the bare minimum to
do the job.