How To Harvest Parsley

No matter the time of year or what you’re cooking, there are times when you’ll need some fresh herbs from the garden to cook with. Parsley is one of those herbs that seems to be in season all the time (or at least it should be). And besides being delicious, parsley is also rather easy to find and harvest for yourself. Here’s how to do it.

Every part of the herb garden can be used in your cooking recipes, but you need to be careful that you are using the right part of the right herb for the right application in your recipe. In other words, don’t try to use fresh oregano leaves in place of parsley when garnishing a dish. It won’t work – at least not as well as if you had used parsley.

How to Harvest Parsley (Without Killing The Plant) - Geeky Greenhouse

What is Parsley

Parsley is a member of the mint family, and while it is culinary herb in most cultures, its medicinal uses are still being researched. There are over 300 species of parsley which can be found throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. The plant grows well in sunny locations, but will also do well in shaded areas of the garden.

The leaves and root are used as a culinary herb, medicinal herb and dye plant.

How To Harvest & Store Parsley

You can harvest parsley at any time during its growing season, but it’s best to cut it just before using. Wait to harvest the leaves until they’re large enough for what you need.

Parsley is a biennial plant which means that it will produce leaves the first year, then bloom and go to seed during its second year in the garden. If you’re growing it as a biennial, harvest the leaves in early spring before the plant begins to bloom. The second year you’ll be able to harvest more leaves.

If you like fresh parsley to use in your cooking and don’t need it for propagation purposes, then harvest it all at once. Pick the greenest leaves and cut them from the stems; removing any that look unhealthy or that are withered. Wash them thoroughly, and pat them dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen cloth.

Growing parsley: from sowing to harvesting - Plantura

Here are some tips on how to go about harvesting parsley from your own garden:

-Look for curly or flat leaves on long stems that run along the ground. They are called ‘fresh’ or ‘raw’ parsley. These have not been cooked in any way and have the best taste.

-Plant it in a container or in rows, leaving 2 to 3 inches between plants. Or plant directly into the soil for your harvest.

-Harvest a few leaves at one time and hang them up to dry on cloth hangers stretched over the top of an indoor drying rack. They will take anywhere from 3 to 8 days depending on your preferred degree of leaf crispness. 2 to 3 days will give you a very soft leaf, while 8 to 9 days will leave you with a leaf that is very crisp. You can also hang the leaves in your kitchen to dry them or lay them on top of your refrigerator or some other dry surface.

-Dried parsley is known as ‘sweet’ or ‘Italian’ parsley.

-You can also grow curly, flat or ruffled varieties of parsley. They are just as delicious and easy to grow, but the leaves will be more delicate than the more common curly type.

-Some varieties of it can be grown in hanging baskets. Gather them in early spring and let them dry up until they are done and ready to harvest from the basket.

-The woody parsley stems can either be left on the plant or removed before cooking. Dried stems can be re-used in recipes or added to your compost pile.

-Parsley is a very versatile herb when grown in your garden. It can be chopped, frozen, steeped or added to soups and stews. There are so many ways to cook with this herb and you can use it as a substitute for cilantro – also known as coriander leaves (cilantro).

-Be sure to dry your well before storing it to prevent mold and mildew. Store in an airtight container or zip close bag in a cool, dark area.

-Add fresh herbs to salads, soups, stews, omelets and pastas for added flavor. You can even use them as garnishes on your favorite dishes.

-To refresh dried parsley, put the leaves in a dish of water. Place the dish in a sunny window and keep the water fresh until it is bright green again.

How to Cut Parsley From a Plant : The Chef's Garden - YouTube

-It can also be frozen; making it easy to add fresh, flavorful parsley to your favorite recipes any time during the year. Pick the leaves before they bloom and give them a good wash, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove any stems and store the leaves in an airtight container or zip close freezer bag. Use within 3 months of freezing for best flavor.


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