No organic kitchen garden is complete without parsley. Both curly and flat-leaf parsley are loaded with flavour and productive over a long period in your organic herb garden. Parsley is cold hardy and can even be harvested for much of the winter. 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.  Follow along with this handy How to Grow Parsley Guide and grow kitchen flavour.

Latin
Petroselinum crispum
Family: Apiaceae

Difficulty
Easy

Season & Zone
Season: Cool season
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5

Starting
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. You can sow outdoors in drills 3cm (1¼”) deep, spaced 8cm (3″) apart. Thin final plants to 15cm (6″) apart.

Growing
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 if cloche protection is provided.

Harvest
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.

Seed Info
Usual seed life: 3 years.

Companion Planting
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. Don’t plant it near mint.

More on Companion Planting.

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