Parsley

You don’t want to limit this herb to just garnishes, it is so versatile that you can add it to almost any dish. Did you know that chewing a sprig after you eat, freshens your breathe?

* Parsley is considered a biennial in growth but is usually grown as an annual. It reaches 8 to 12 inches tall.

* There is a flat leaf and a curly leaf parsley and both can be used in culinary dishes. Curly parsley has fine, curled and ruffled, deep green leaves that are held on long stems from the crown of the plant. The foliage of flat-leaved types resembles that of celery.

* Parsley has a fresh & tangy flavor with an undertone of sweetness. It’s aroma is similar.

* Parsley seed is notorious for germinating slowly. I have had some types take up to 30 days to germinate. So if you do not have the patience, I strongly suggest purchasing the plants. If you decide to grow parsley from seed, sow the seeds in peat pots 8 to 10 weeks before your last frost. The seedlings can then be transplanted to the garden one week before that date. Be very careful transplanting parsley! Injury to the taproot can cause plants to flower and set seed prematurely.

* This herb prefers full sun however will produce in partial shade, in well-drained soil.

* Space your plants 10 -12 inches apart.

* Pests that bother parsley are, aphids, carrot weevils and parsley worms (otherwise known as swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. ** More on them in a future article!)

* Parsley is prone to crown rot if kept too wet.

* Harvest parsley anytime after plant has grown at least 8 leaves. Cut the stems and leaves to one inch above the crown of the plant.

* You can also freeze leaves on a baking sheet, then store them in freezer containers afterwards.

* Dry parsley in a dehydrator for the best retention of color and flavor. This is one herb that does not preserve well by using the hanging upside down method.

* Parsley can be used fresh, frozen, or dried in soups, stews, casseroles, veggie dishes, fish and poultry. Of course don’t forget to use the leaves in salads and or as a garnish!


Tips

Parsley has cosmetic uses too! When made into an infusions, it can help to prevent dandruff and conditions dry hair according to some sources.

THINK HERBS!