Parsley Plain Leaf Herb is also known as French Parsley and has serrated fine leaves that are generally regarded to have a slightly better flavour and texture than curly parsley. It is the one that the continentals grow and use and is the 'true Parsley variety'.
Parsley is one of the most popular and versatile herbs - it tastes great in parsley sauce with gammon or fish and can be used in stews or as a decorative garnish on the side of plates or in soups. And is surprisingly rich in vitamin C, especially when eaten raw, think of it less as a garnish but more as a salad leaf in its own right. Also rich in folic acid, which is good for your heart.
Parsley is one of the key ingredients for 'Bouquet Garni' which is used traditionally for flavouring soups/stews & stock. (Ingredients are a bay leaf, a few sprigs of parsley & thyme wrapped in a leek leaf or sometimes bunched with celery and tied with string - put in for cooking but removed before serving).
Also great dried. It is actually a biennial herb that flowers in its 2nd year but it is usually treated as an annual because that is when its flavour is best. Parsley will require regular picking to ensure the leaves are young & fresh and continue to grow.
It will require protection through winter (especially in the north) but it is generally quite hardy. Takes time & patience to get parsley to germinate but it is a productive little herb so worth it.
Parsley Plain (French) Leaf Herb Seed Information
|Seed Quantity:||Approx 1,000 seeds per pack.|
Prefers sunny site or can cope with partial shade, moist fertile soil. Excellent in a container for windowsill or outside.
|When to Sow|
Indoor sowing can be started from January onwards, but early sowings will benefit from the help of a grow-light.
Outdoors from February to June or late August/September for overwintering.
|How to Sow:||Soak seed for 30min in warm water to help break down the seed natural germination inhibitors. Multi-sow the seeds in a plug tray, lightly cover with 1cm of fine compost and gently water. (A plug tray eliminates the need for 'pricking out' as parsley doesn't transplant well). Keep at a consistent temperature of 15-18C, keep moist and germination should take place within 2-4 weeks. Transplant outside after a few days of 'hardening off' when large enough. Space plugs every 30cm apart in rows 30cm apart. September sowings can be planted out in March but watch out for frosts. Alternatively sow seed direct thinly, 1cm deep in rows 30cm apart in April/May, pre-water the drill. (Pre-soak seed as before).|
Keep moist at all times. September sowings need winter protection so best sown inside and transplanted out in March. Keep picking to ensure fresh new leaves continue to grow. Parsley runs out of steam after 6 months so do 3 sowings a year to provide all year round crop (around Feb/May/Sept).
|Harvest:||10-12 weeks from sowing - May onwards. September sowings will be April but they will be past it by June, but the spring sowings will then be productive.|