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Parsley (Carum Petroselinum) will teach those who have eyes exactly how it should be grown. There will appear here and there in a garden stray or rogue Parsley plants. No matter how regularly the hoeing and weeding may be done, a stray Parsley plant will occasionally appear alone, perhaps in the midst of Lettuces, or Cauliflowers, or Onions. When these rogues escape destruction they become superb plants, and the gardener sometimes leaves them to enjoy the conditions they have selected, and in which they evidently prosper. The lesson for the cultivator is, that Parsley should have plenty of room from the very first; and this lesson, we feel bound to say, cannot be too often enforced upon young gardeners, for they are apt to sow Parsley far more thickly than is wise, and to be injuriously slow and timid in thinning the crop when the plants are crowding one another. Read more...
Parsley is a hardy biennial that is usually treated as an annual. It is popular because of its much-divided, sometimes curly leaves which have a characteristic flavor and smell.

Cut parsley when the leaves are of suitable size. Leaves can be used fresh or dried.

Parsley requires an ordinary, good well-worked soil, but a moist one and a partially-shaded position is best. A little soot may be added to the soil.

The seed may be sown in drills, or broadcast, or, if only to be used for culinary purposes, as edging, or between dwarf or short lived crops.

For a continuous supply, three sowings should be made: as early in February as the weather permits, in April or early in May, and in July and early August - the last being for the winter supply, in a sheltered position, with a southern exposure. Sow in February for the summer crop and for drying purposes. Seed sown then, however, takes several weeks to germinate, often as much as a full month. The principal sowing is generally done in April; it then germinates more quickly and provides useful material for cutting throughout the summer. A mid-August sowing will furnish good plants for placing in the cold frames for winter use. 

Parsley is one of the most familiar of all herbs and is used for both garnishing and flavoring. It is relatively high in vitamins A and C and iron.

Parsley leaves can be harvested as soon as the plant is 6 inches tall. Leaves can be refrigerated for use fresh, or they can be frozen. Both varieties of parsley can be grown indoors as pot plants on a sunny windowsill. The dark green foliage also looks nice planted among flowers. Outdoor plants can be potted in late summer and brought indoors to grow on a cool, sunny window sill, where they will produce fresh leaves for harvesting all winter. Dig deeply when potting your plants to get as much of the long taproot as possible.

"Adapted from publication NE-208, produced by the Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeast States."

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