Parsley, Flat Leaf – Italian Giant
A vigorous, flat leaved parsley with brilliant green leaves and serrated edges. Excellent for cooking.
March to June
Sow 4 seeds per cell in modular trays and plant out 6-7 weeks after sowing. Keep the tray in a warm place.
Between rows: 25cm
Between plants in the row: 25cm
Approx. seed count: 200
Family: Umbelliferae (also known as Apiaceae)
The season for parsley can be extended by at least three months if grown under protection. In mild winters you could even harvest parsley right through the winter.
There are two types of parsley – flat leafed and curly parsley. Both types are very popular herbs.
Soil and site
Parsley prefers a rich, loamy soil with plenty of well-rotted compost added to it. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0.
I usually start sowing parsley in early February. I sow three to four seeds into each module and place the tray on a heating bench (20ºC) or alternatively in a warm sunny room in the house. The second sowing in April or May can be planted outdoors and the third sowing is usually done in July. The last sowing will over-winter in the greenhouse or polytunnel.
Between plants: 20cm
Between rows: 25cm
Note: Do not split up the modules. Plant the three or four seedlings together.
Keep the plants moist at all times as infrequent watering may cause the plants to bolt prematurely. Control weeds regularly as this will facilitate regular harvesting.
There are two ways of harvesting parsley. You can either pick individual leaves from the outside of the plants and you can do this best by twisting the stems with a downward/side pull off the plants. It is important not to leave long pieces of stem attached to the plants as they make further harvests increasingly difficult.
The second way is the cut-and-come-again method. You simply cut the whole plant about 5cm above ground. This is a very quick method but the yield will be reduced as you inevitably harvest many small leaves from the centre. After cutting it will take about three weeks before you can harvest again.
Parsley is a relatively easy plant to grow. In some years the carrot root fly may cause some damage.
How much to grow?
You will get 20 plants per square metre. Around 6 plants for each of the three sowings will be more than adequate even for keen parsley lovers.
Italian Giant (a vigorous flat leaved variety with brilliant green leaves and serrated edges)
Moss Curled (An excellent and reliable variety with very curly leaves)