Parsley Herb: Add Color and Flavor

Parsley is an easy-to-grow biennial herb that can be grown year around. It comes in curly-leaf and flat-leaf varieties.

It makes an attractive pot plant for the indoor herb garden that can be used to garnish and add color to food. You may add the freshly chopped leaves to stews, soups, sauces, vegetable dishes, stuffing, butter, sauces, salads, and shellfish.

You can add this plant to your indoor herb garden collection by starting from seeds or by using transplants from the garden center.

The seeds should germinate in 20-30 days and mature in 70-90 days. The quickest way to get started is to use transplants from the garden center

How to Grow Parsley Indoors

Starting by seeds: The germination process of the herb seeds is extremely slow; therefore, you must soak seeds in tepid water for 24 hours in order to speed up the germination process.

Then sow seeds shallowly (1/4" deep) in light soil that is rich in organic matter in small pots or starter trays. Keep plants in moist clean soil and place in a warm, well-lit area of the kitchen. You can buy prepackaged herb kits with everything you need to start by seed.

Starting by transplants: You can purchase young potted plants at the garden center or you can buy them through a catalog. Then repot your plants into a larger pot that is at least 6" - preferably terracotta/clay. You must repot them within a week to prevent plants from becoming root-bound, resulting stunted growth.

Soil: You must use a well-drained soil mixture that contains equal parts soil, sand, and peat moss. Always use a commercial potting mix that is sterilized and not yard dirt.

Watering: Water by thoroughly drenching plants, let water drain out and empty. Do not leave plants standing in water because this will cause the roots to rot. Keep soil moist.

Lighting: Give the plant good light, a sunny south or west-facing window that gets a minimum of six hours of sun a day, or supplement with 12 hours of artificial light.

Fertilizer: Apply monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. keep at a temperature around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night.

Containers: Terra-cotta pots are ideal for this annual herb, but you can use any kind of container you like. Containers should be 8 to 10 inches deep and have several holes in the bottom for drainage.

Curly Leaf Parsley

Harvesting: For best flavor, pick young leaves and snip regularly to avoid yellowing. Leaves can be dried and sealed in a container for later use. You can freeze these herbs by mixing clean chopped leaves with light vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil and fill ice cube trays two-thirds full with mixture and freeze.

Store frozen cubes in freezer-safe bags. Frozen herbs will retain flavor and color up to one year and you will have fresh tasting parsley when needed.

Click on this link to find books with detailed information on herbs concerning the origin, care, use, and storage. Plus mouth-watering recipes that bring the herbs from the garden to the table.