Parsley is a versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes, and it has numerous health benefits. Growing parsley at home is easy, and this guide will show you everything you need to know to get started.
The many benefits of parsley.
Parsley is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron. One tablespoon of chopped parsley provides 3% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, which is important for vision and immune function, 14% of vitamin C, which is essential for wound healing and immune function, and 10% of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting. Folate is important for pregnant women to prevent birth defects, and iron is important for everyone because it helps carry oxygen in the blood.
Parsley is also a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Antioxidants help protect the body against damage from free radicals, which are linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that have health-promoting properties. Parsley contains several different types of phytochemicals, including apigenin, luteolin, eugenol, and limonene. These chemicals have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activity in laboratory studies.
Parsley as a medicinal herb.
Parsley has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. It was traditionally used as an herbal diuretic to increase urine output and reduce bloating. Parsley tea was also used to treat digestive problems such as indigestion, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and appetite loss. In addition to its digestive benefits, parsley tea was also thought to purify the blood and improve kidney function.
Parsley is still used medicinally today. You can make a tea or tincture from the leaves, or you can take dried herb capsules. In some cases, parsley tea can help treat indigestion or gas.
How to grow parsley at home.
There are two types of parsley, curly leaf and flat leaf. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish, while flat leaf parsley has a more robust flavor and is used more in cooking. Either type of parsley can be grown at home with success
.Prepare the planting area.
Parsley prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter. To prepare the planting area, dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the plant. Mix in some compost or other organic matter to the backfill soil before replanting
.Planting and care instructions.
Parsley can be planted from seed or started from transplants. If you are starting from seed, sow the seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. Sow the seeds thinly on the surface of moistened potting mix and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite or sand. Keep the soil moist but not wet and provide bottom heat if possible (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit). When the seedlings are 4-6 inches tall, thin them so they are spaced 10-12 inches apart. If you are transplanting, wait to transplant until after your last frost date when temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Space the plants 10-12 inches apart.
Parsley is a relatively low maintenance plant and does not require a lot of fertilizer. However, it will benefit from an occasional feeding of compost or other organic matter. Water parsley regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. Mulching around the plants will help to retain moisture and keep the roots cool.
Parsley is susceptible to root rot, so be sure not to over water. If you see the leaves wilting, check the soil before watering again as this may be a sign that the plant is getting too much water.
Parsley can be harvested beginning about 60 days after planting. To harvest, cut off the outermost stems about 2 inches above ground level. This will encourage new growth from the center of the plant. Parsley can be cut several times during the growing season.
Harvesting and storing parsley.
Parsley is typically ready to harvest about 40 days after planting. To check if your parsley is ready, simply pull on a leaf near the base of the plant. If the leaf comes off easily, then your parsley is ready to harvest
.How to store parsley.
Once harvested, you can store parsley in a number of ways. For short-term storage, simply place parsley in a glass of water and cover it with a plastic bag. This will keep the parsley fresh for up to a week. For long-term storage, you can freeze or dry your parsley. To freeze, simply chop the parsley and place it in a freezer-safe container. Parsley will stay fresh for up to six months when frozen. To dry, tie the parsley together in bunches and hang it upside down in a cool, dark place until completely dry (this could take up to two weeks). Once dry, crumble the leaves and store them in an airtight container. Dried parsley will stay fresh for up to a year.
Parsley is a versatile and nutritious herb that can be easily grown at home with just a little bit of care. By following the tips in this guide, you can enjoy fresh parsley all year round. So what are you waiting for? Get growing!