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How To Grow Parsley

Plant: Biennial

Height: 15-30cm
Soil: Moist, Moderately Rich
Exposure: Shade, Partial Sun
Propagation: Seeds
Uses: Culinary
Growing: Grow parsley in sun-filtered shade or morning sun and afternoon shade, and in partially moist soil that is moderately rich. Buy small plants of parsley from the nursery, or sow seeds where they are to grow in April if you live in a cold winter climate and in December through May if your winters are mild. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting as they usually take several weeks to sprout. Thin seedlings 6-8 inches apart. This herb is a favourite so you will probably want a quantity of plants. 
There are several species of parsley, but the curly French parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is the most popular in the garden because of its decorative foliage. The leaves are tufted and finely cut with serrated or toothed edges and wrinkled surfaces. Italian, or plain-leafed, parsley (P. c. var. filicinurn) is more favoured by many cooks because it has more flavour than French parsley, but the latter reigns supreme as a garnish for many different foods. The 15-30cm plants are biennial flowering in their second year but most gardeners treat them as annuals, starting anew from seeds each year.
There are several folk legends about parsley. One says that it is unlucky to transplant parsley from an old garden into a new one. Another tells that the seeds must go to the devil and back again 9 times before they sprout an attempt to explain the slowness with which the seeds germinate. Some gardeners believed that someone in a house that parsley was planted near would die shortly afterwards. Parsley was used quite frequently by the ancient Greeks. Garlands or bouquets of the leaves were hung about the neck or worn as a crown at banquets to absorb the fumes of wine and prevent drunkenness. After eating, parsley was chewed to clean the mouth and sweeten one´s breath. Parsley was also made into wreaths that crowned the winners at Nemean Games. Occasion, ally, it was used as a strewing herb.
Parsley is used fresh as a garnish, and fresh or dried in many different foods such as vegetables, meats, stews, casseroles, salads, soups, and eggs. Harvest the leaves before plants flower: Once the flower spikes form, the leaves become bitter tasting.