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Parsley Uses

Parsley, like many other good things, will grow almost anywhere and anyhow, but to make a handsome crop a deep, rich, moist soil is required. It attains to fine quality on a well-tilled clay, but the kindly loam that suits almost every vegetable is adapted to produce perfect Parsley, and every good garden should show a handsome sample, for beauty is the first required qualification. To keep the house fairly well supplied sowings should be made in February, May, and July. The first of these will be in gentle heat. When large enough prick out the plants into boxes, or on to a mild hot-bed, and transfer to the open ground at the end of April, allowing each plant a space of one foot each way. In the open, it is best to sow in lines one foot apart, and thin out first to three inches, and finally to six inches, the strongest of the seedlings being put out one foot apart. By following this plan sufficient supplies for a small household may be obtained from one annual sowing made in April. It should not be overlooked that Parsley is indispensable to exhibitors of vegetables, especially as a groundwork for collections, and due allowance for such calls must be made in fixing the number and extent of the sowings. When the plant pushes for seed it becomes useless, and had best be got rid of; but by planting at various times in different places a sufficiency may be expected to go through a second season without bolting, after which it will be necessary to root them out and consign them to the rubbish-heap. Parsley is often grown as an edging, but it is only in large gardens that this can be done advantageously, and then a very handsome edging is secured. In small gardens it is best to sow on a bed in lines one foot apart, and thin out first to three inches, and finally to six inches, the strongest of the thinnings being planted a foot apart, to last over as proposed above. When Parsley has stood some time it becomes coarse, but the young growth may be renewed by cutting over; this operation being also useful to defer the flowering, which is surely hastened by leaving the plants alone. For the winter supply a late plantation made in a sheltered spot will usually suffice, for the plant is very hardy; but it may be expedient sometimes to put old frames over a piece worth keeping, or to protect during hard weather with dry litter. A few plants lifted into five-inch pots and placed in a cool house will often tide over a difficult period. In gathering, care should be taken to pick separately the young leaves that are nearly full grown, and to take only one or two from each plant. It costs no more time to fill a basket by taking a leaf or two here and there from a whole row than to strip two or three plants, and the difference in the end will be considerable as regards the total produce and quality of the crop.

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