Parsley is probably the world’s favorite herb. Easy to grow and yummy on everything. Besides enhancing the taste of foods, parsley is also full of nutrients, especially vitamins A, C and iron.
The two most common varieties are Italian Flat Leaf and Curly Parsley. It seems that the curly variety is used for show – as a garnish on plates at fancy restaurants. And the flat kind is used for flavor by the cooks that “know”. Though both are similar in taste.
If growing from seed, soak them overnight before planting about 6 inches apart. Keep seeds moist, but not soggy. Or purchase seedlings from your local nursery if you can’t wait (it will take almost a month to germinate seeds). It also grows well in pots, but wherever you plant, make sure it has sun at least part of the time. Parsley likes rich soil, so add compost and it’ll be happy.
When it grows enough to look like parsley, snip the tips to use in the kitchen. If you see a leafless stalk growing from the center of the plant, snip it – that’s a future flower. Once parsley makes a flower (called “bolting” or “going to seed”) it gets bitter, tough & leggy, so it’s no longer good to eat and it doesn’t look pretty in the garden anymore. You can delay bolting by cutting the flower stalk as low as possible.
Keep a pot of parsley in a sunny kitchen window, it’s very adaptable and grows almost anywhere. Use in soups, stews, every tomato dish, and almost any savory dish.
To attract butterflies, let some parsley plants flower.