Chervil – Massa
Chervil – Massa is one of the most under-rated and neglected herbs. It makes an absolutely fantastic and refreshing addition to any salad. This variety Chervil – Massa produces dark green and smooth leaves.
For continuity you can sow every three weeks from mid February until early September. The early sowings (February to late April) and late sowings (August to September) should be planted in a tunnel or greenhouse whereas the other sowings can be planted outdoors.
The early sowings require some additional heat ideally from a heating bench. I generally sow chervil in modular trays (5-7 seeds per cell) and they are ready for planting about 4 weeks later.
Approx. seed count: 250
Between rows: 25cm
Between plants: 15cm (groups of 5-7 plants)
Umbelliferae (also known as Apiaceae)
Chervil is not yet a popular herb, but I include it in this book because I think it’s one of the most underrated cut herbs. With its refreshing flavour it is an ideal ingredient for any salad. Chervil has never been developed by plant breeders so there are very few named varieties available. Like dill and coriander it is a very short lived annual and thus needs to be sown at regular intervals.
Soil and site
Chervil will grow on any reasonably fertile soil. A small compost application prior to planting is sufficient. During the summer months it can be grown in part shade.
Apart from regular weeding and watering there is little else to do. Good tunnel or greenhouse ventilation is essential.
With successional sowings you can expect to harvest chervil nearly all year round.
You can either pick individual leaves if only small quantities are required or use the cut-and-come-again technique. Cut when the plants are about 15cm tall.
You can expect to get two to three cuts per plant. As soon as the new batch is producing well it is best to discard the older ones.
I have never encountered any problems with chervil.
How much to grow?
Two to three multi-seeded plants sown every three weeks will be adequate.
Massa (an excellent new variety with dark green, smooth leaves)
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