An essential condiment herb in cooking, parsley enchants our taste buds while providing our body with vitamin C and iron. So do not hesitate to cultivate it to always have it on hand. Whether at garden, on the balcony or the terrace, there is always a small place to sow parsley, whether in the ground or in pots. But it still requires a bit of attention to thrive. Here are our tips.
Sowing parsley: growing conditions
If you want to have a homemade bouquet garni at all times, it is very useful to grow your own aromatic herbs. Parsley belonging to the great family of Umbellifera is of course part of it.
Parsley, be it flat or curly, likes the following growing conditions:
- A sunny exposure but not too much, which involves setting it up in a partially shaded location since it likes light shade. This way, he won’t have to endure the sun’s rays during the hottest hours of the day, at least in summer.
- A soil rich in humus and fresh. Although parsley is satisfied with any type of soil, it prefers a light, highly fertile which can be limestone. It can therefore be sown in a mixture composed of 75% potting soil and 25% loam.
- Of abundant watering, especially in times of drought, its substrate must always remain sufficiently humid without being soggy.
The advantage of growing it in a pot is that it can be moved around if necessary, depending on the season.
Ideal time to sow parsley and then plant it
Depending on the region, it is from the month of february or march that we can sow parsley, that is, from the moment when the spring sun has started to warm the earth. However, there is no rush since parsley can be sown until end of July beginning of August and even during September.
Note that when each seedling reaches a height of between 8 and 10 cm, and that there are at least 4 perfectly developed leaves, the parsley is good to be thinned. This consists of removing the weaker plants in order to leave enough room for the more vigorous seedlings to develop even better.
Depending on the period chosen for sowing, parsley can be good to plant in the ground or in a pot between the end of May and during the month of October. But it is imperative to keep the soil moist between sowing and planting.
Sowing flat or curly parsley: the method to follow
We start by digging the plot that we intend to cultivate parsley in order to loosen the earth, to rid it of stones, plant debris, roots and weeds. Some gardeners use the space left free after harvesting radishes. So the ground, once simply raked, is ready. Then all you have to do is:
- Dig furrows 10 to 15 cm deep and spaced from each other about twenty centimeters.
- Put the parsley seeds in soak for 24 hours in water to promote germination.
- Sow in the furrows, taking care to do not over tighten the seeds against each other. It is in fact highly preferable that they can be sparse.
- Cover immediately the parsley seeds of a centimeter of fine earth.
- Tamp lightly the ground with delicate movements.
- Water copiously.
Experienced gardeners advise to grow several varieties of parsley to later enjoy aromatic herbs with different flavors, such as:
- Flat-leaf parsley or common parsley also called giant parsley from Italy, with a fusiform white root, very famous for its well-developed fragrance. It can take up to four weeks to germinate. It is the largest variety of parsley of all, around 40 cm in height.
- The curly parsley with a maximum height of 20 to 25 cm, which brings a fragrant, subtle and decorative touch to culinary dishes.
By diversifying the varieties of parsley, cooking enthusiasts can thus have a wider choice of flavors, and use each of them according to the chosen dish. We can therefore also reserve a small place in the vegetable garden for the tuberous parsley or parsley with large root which is one of the forgotten vegetables and whose flavor is reminiscent of celery.
Tips for growing parsley
In addition to the conditions to be respected to sow parsley and obtain good results, it is necessary all the same maintain it well subsequently so as not to see it wither away.
- To prevent it from going to seed, it is essential that its cultivated soil does not dry out. We must therefore ensure the keep moist which requires increased surveillance during the summer when temperatures are scorching. Water is preferably watered very early in the morning or very late in the evening.
- Stimulate growth parsley, cutting the stems as they are ready to be used in cooking. We must not wait for them to become hard.
- Make a mineral fertilizer application during its growth period.
We can see that nothing is against the cultivation of parsley, because it does not pose any particular problem.
Growing your parsley: beware of pests and diseases
It is essential to react quickly if the parsley suffers from parasites or disease. It is more particularly sensitive to the following problems.
When it rages, the parsley leaves are marked with a white felt with a floury appearance. It is a fungal disease that causes the bloating or deformation of the foliage. Powdery mildew doesn’t just attack parsley. We must therefore deal with a sulfur powder to wet through sprays. But to prevent powdery mildew, care should be taken to keep the plants sufficiently wide and then never to wet the foliage during watering.
Thealternaria blight or alternaria blight
It is still a disease caused by a fungus, but it attacks the seed coat of parsley seeds. It can be seen by the presence, on the edge of the leaves, of stains lowercase of brown color and surrounded by a kind of yellow aura. If left unattended, the foliage quickly necroses. It is necessary to destroy all the affected parts, and to treat with a decoction of garlic and / or horsetail. A natural antifungal like Bordeaux mixture is also a good solution against early blight.
Parsley can be attacked in particular by the carrot root aphid responsible for sooty mold, a fungal disease detectable by the presence of black molds. The sooty mold develops from the honeydew secreted by aphids like, moreover, many other biting and sucking insects. The parasite is eliminated with a Pyrethrum antiphid, of nettle manure, or we opt for crop rotation. It is better to avoid sowing parsley near Poplars because their presence favors the invasion of aphid colonies. Watering with black soap at the foot of the parsley is also possible.
The sign to identify its presence is the brownish rust tint what are the parsley roots in which galleries are dug by the larvae of this dipterous insect which wreaks havoc in the vegetable garden. The parasite is repelled by installing friendly plants near the parsley, such as tansy, cilantro, sage, lavender, fern, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop and / or rosemary.
Do not panic ! Not all gardeners spend their time processing the parsley they have sown. In fact, many of them have never been confronted with the problems we have just reviewed.