Parsley is very Nutritious and Simple to Grow – Everything You Need To Know About How to Grow Parsley
Parsley is by far one of the world’s most underutilized herbs and is usually seen as being purely decorative for garnishing meat and fish. Chances are it is pushed aside and forgotten about on the side of your dinner plate. But wait – there’s actually a whole lot more to parsley than meets the eye!
When you look past its fancy leaves and vibrant green color, you get to discover the subtle yet fresh flavor palette it offers up, not forgetting to mention some of its little-known health benefits.
Parsley is an easy-to-grow herb that is at its best when freshly picked. Store bought parsley lacks flavor and nutrition due to the fact that the longer it has been picked and stored, the fewer vitamins, minerals, and flavor cells survive.
2 Varieties of Parsley – Curly Leaf and Flat Leaf
There are 2 varieties of parsley that you can grow – curly and flat leaf.
- Curly parsley is favored for its decorative uses as its thick and tightly curled leaves do not wilt, even when placed on top of the hottest of dishes.
- Flat leaf parsley is slightly more flavorsome and it is often used for adding to sauces and gravies to add color and a delicate flavor.
Not many people realize that parsley is a relative of celery, and in Greek, the name means rock celery which also gives us clues to it flavor.
So How Can I Grow Parsley? What Are The Steps?
Growing parsley is as simple as growing any other herbs. You will need a few things to get it up and running, and once the true leaves are exposed there will be little you can do to cause it harm.
- Parsley needs the soil temperature to drop reasonably low for the seeds to germinate (around 40°F / 5°C) although the ideal temperature is at (70°F / 21°C to 80°F / 27°C) anything above or below these temperatures will result in the seeds not being able to germinate.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of seed on top of a container filled with general potting mix. Lightly cover the seeds with a fine layer of potting mix and water gently so as not to disturb them.
- Place the containers in a light and airy location out of direct sunlight. A windowsill, greenhouse or glass room provides maximum light and the ability to control the temperature. Ensure your water lightly every day so that the soil is damp but not wet.
- After a few weeks, the seedlings should start to emerge. Once more than 50% have emerged, take a pair of scissors and gently cut away all but the 10 -15 strongest seedlings. (scissors prevent the delicate roots from being disturbed)
- When the remaining seedlings reach around 3-4 cms, transplant them to individual pots, water generously and leave to mature. At around 10 weeks you should have plants that can easily be identified as parsley.
- Gently harden off your plants by placing them outdoors during the day and taking them in, during the evening. Do this for seven days before leaving them outdoors. Water every few days and use a general tomato feed once every 6 weeks for maximum growth and flavor.
- Cut leaves as and when you need them. Don’t worry, the plant will re-grow plenty of new leaves with each trim it gets.
So What Are The Health Benefits Of Parsley?
Parsley is an incredibly rich source of many vitamins and nutrients. Just a half cup of Parsley contains as much as 554% of the DRI of Vitamin K, 54% of Vitamin C, and 14% of vitamin A. It is also loaded up with folate, iron, copper, magnesium, fiber, calcium and vitamins B3 and B1.
The flavonoids contained in parsley also provide an effect similar to that of Antioxidants. The oils contained throughout the plant help prevent oxidative damage to the body and can help prevent heart disease, add protection from rheumatoid arthritis and optimal overall health. In fact, Parsley falls into the category of being one of the most nutritionally dense organic food sources available.
For these reasons alone, it makes you wonder why parsley is not used more in cooking and only seen as a garnish. Fortunately, parsley is now becoming better known for its ability to offer flavor and nutrients and can be found included within food rather than just on top of it.
So Why Should I Grow My Own Parsley?
Growing your own parsley will allow you to have an unlimited and fresh supply of organically grown leaves that you can use in your daily cooking. This also allows you to take advantage of the fantastic nutrition it offers while knowing that what you are eating was grown by you from a seed.
Parsley is so much more than just a garnish, it is a delicately flavored, vibrant herb that deserves more than just being a topping to a piece of fish.SHARE THIS STUFF!