Fruit and Vegetables

Parsley - Petroselinum hortense


Parsley


The Petroselinum hortense is a biennial plant, native to the Mediterranean areas, where it grows spontaneously.
The leaves and stems of the Petroselinum hortense are the parts used, both for fresh consumption and for the preparation of sauces.
The plant grows well in temperate climates, it does not tolerate intense cold and for this reason it is not recommended to carry out sowing before the months of March in the north and February in the south.
This plant prefers soils rich in organic matter; to supply the right amount it is useful to use mature manure at a rate of 3-4 kg per square meter, which must be buried at a depth ranging from 20 to 30 cm. This will help the Petroselinum hortense throughout the vegetative cycle. If the plant shows yellowing, it may be necessary to add iron-based products. It will be important to keep the soil clean from weeds and to hoe to favor both the irrigation and the ventilation of the plant.
Parsley is characterized by deep taprooting roots and an erect and rather resistant stem that branches out at the top. The finely engraved leaves can have different appearance depending on the variety. In the species they are flat. Towards July, the production of flower stems begins, ending with umbels composed of single greenish-white corollas. If they are not removed they evolve into beige oval fruits.
Parsley is an essential aromatic plant in every kitchen. It goes very well with fish and meat dishes, adding perfume and an unmistakable note of freshness. It is also very easy to grow, whether we start from seed, or whether we decide to buy already grown seedlings. It can easily be grown in a container, on the balcony or even on the windowsill. If we have a garden or a vegetable garden, we can also create an aromatic corner in which all the so-called "fine herbs" (including parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil) are included. However, remember that they have in common the need to always be used at the end of cooking, avoiding the direct heat that would weaken or irreparably ruin their organoleptic characteristics (parsley, in particular, if heated, becomes very bitter).

Sowing


It should be made in a thin layer, in the ratio of 2-3 g of seed per square meter After sowing, the soil will move slightly with the help of a rake to lightly plant the seeds. The varieties that are most used in Italy are the common parsley 1 and 2. They are varieties with a contained height but very tasty leaves. The Gigante d'Italia and Chioggia are more productive but less tasty varieties. Finally we have the curly parsley, much used to garnish the dishes.
Parsley is usually collected in a scaled manner after 70 days, cutting a few centimeters from the ground. This plant grows very fast and for this reason more cuts can be made during the year.

















The parsley calendar
Sowing and planting From March to August
Flowering From June to August
collection All year round (indoors or in the greenhouse), from March to October (outdoors)

Avversitа



Parsley can be attacked by various insects, among which we can mention the most harmful: the beetle larvae and the oziorrinco, which eat the roots up to the collar. To eliminate these larvae, it is advisable to disinfect the soil before transplanting or to treat with headache-based products. Fears for parsley are also aphids, which manifest as the plant is already adult, making the leaves curl with their bites. To eliminate aphids we recommend the use of pyrethrum-based products. Among the cryptogamic diseases the most frequent is the cercospora which manifests itself with amber colored tips. Against these mycelia it is advisable to use products based on copper and sulfur.

History and properties of parsley


It is an essential aromatic plant in every kitchen. It goes very well with fish and meat dishes, adding perfume and an unmistakable note of freshness. It is also very easy to grow, whether we start from seed, or whether we decide to buy already grown seedlings. It can easily be grown in a container, on the balcony or even on the windowsill. If we have a garden or a vegetable garden, we can also create an aromatic corner in which all the so-called "fine herbs" (including parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil) are included. However, remember that they have in common the need to always be used at the end of cooking, avoiding the direct heat that would weaken or irreparably ruin their organoleptic characteristics (parsley, in particular, if heated, becomes very bitter).










































Land and exposure



This plant particularly appreciates the fertile, slightly calcareous and rich in organic matter soils. The drainage must always be treated in a particular way, to avoid the onset of rot at the collar.
It grows well both in a sunny position and with a slight shade. If we live in the Center-South it is however advisable to prefer a location a little more sheltered from light and heat to prevent the leaves from burning or the plant from drying out.

Where to grow parsley?


It is a very adaptable plant and all in all contained dimensions. We can therefore freely choose to cultivate it in the open ground (therefore in a vegetable garden or in a corner dedicated solely to aromatic herbs) or grow it in a container, on the balcony, on a windowsill or in any case near our kitchen.
Let us always remember that in the open ground we particularly appreciate the proximity of aubergines, radishes, tomatoes and asparagus. Instead we must avoid approaching it with carrots, dill, celery and beans. Even the salads, the leek, the artichoke and the peas seem not to like too much its proximity.

How to get the plants?



We can freely choose whether to buy jars or seedlings at a nursery or to proceed ourselves with sowing, which is still quite simple, even if the times are quite long.

How to sow it?


To get a higher percentage of germination (and also speed it up) it is good to leave the seeds in warm water for one night. In this way the external integument will become softer and the first radicle will make it less difficult to exit.
We sow in jars or in special alveolar trays. Fill them with rich but draining soil (the ideal is to mix universal soil with a little fine sand). We deposit the seeds trying to distance them and cover them with a light layer of earth (or, better still, agricultural vermiculite). We vaporize the surface. To keep humidity high, it can be useful to irrigate by immersion. We cover the jars with transparent plastic and place them in a bright area, but not with direct sunlight (average temperatures must be at least 16 ° C). We ventilate widely at least once a day to avoid the onset of mold.
Once the germination has taken place (rather slow, it takes about twenty days) we gradually expose the seedlings to light and we practice different toppings with the aim of obtaining a good planting.

When to sow parsley?


If we sow in the open or possibly directly in the house we can start already in March (especially in the southern regions). If we want to always have very rich plants in leaves it is good to proceed with scalar sowing, which can be carried out until August.
At home or if we have a greenhouse the sowing period can be extended further: we can start in February and end in mid-September.

Care and maintenance of parsley



- To stimulate growth it is good to give a balanced fertilizer, starting one month after germination. It can be either liquid or in granules, following the manufacturer's instructions.
- We always keep the pots and the vegetable garden free of weeds, through frequent weeding. In this way we will avoid that they suffocate the parsley or steal its nourishment.
- We work with a certain frequency, making sure that the soil is always slightly wet.

Parsley collection and storage


Parsley can be harvested when the leaves are well developed. To get the maximum aroma it is good to take it a few minutes before use.
It is generally done by removing the taller leaves or the entire plant about 1-2 cm from the ground. In a year it is generally possible to collect up to 10 times from the same head as it vigorously repels. Because the specimens remain vital for a long time it is good to intervene often eliminating the jets that bear the flowers on top.
On average, every 10 square meters of crop can be harvested up to 30 kg.
To get the most out of this aromatic product, as we have said, it is good to eat it as soon as it is picked (or at the most by keeping bunches in water for a few days).
If we want we can also proceed by drying the leaves in the shade, but they lose a good part of their aroma and taste.
An excellent method to use them even in the winter months is freezing.

Pests and diseases



It is generally a rather healthy plant, although it can be attacked by phytophagous plants (for example psilla, aphids and beetle larvae). In the most serious cases we can intervene with products based on natural pyrethrins or at most pyrethroids, following scrupulously at times of deficiency before returning to use it on our plates.
Among the harmful cryptogams we report downy mildew, alternariosis, rust, powdery mildew, scab, septoria and spore. If the plant is carefully cultivated they are rather rare. We only try to carefully adjust the irrigations, avoiding above all to wet the leaves.

Parsley - Petroselinum hortense: Variety



Prezzzemolo in brief

type of plant

Biennale
height Up to 30 cm
width Up to 20 cm
culture easyneed water averagegrowth Quick enoughpropagation sowingdays for germination About 20rusticitа Quite rusticexposure Sun-shadeplace of cultivation In full earth or in pots; vegetable garden, aromatic corner, balcony or windowsillground Slightly calcareous, but well drained, neutral, rich in organic matter




































VARIETБ

AROMA

HEIGHT

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

Common parsley (Petroselinum sativum)

Very fragrant

20-30 cm

It is the most widespread variety.
Flat and large leaf

Curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Very tasty and fragrant.

20-30 cm


Very productive and resistant to cold.
Produces until October
Also used because it is very decorative

Tuberous parsley (Petroselinum crispum tuberosum)
Hazelnut taste
20-30 cm

Annual. The root is consumed

Neapolitan parsley (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum)

Delicate aroma

20-30 cm

Single and flat leaf

Giant Parsley of Italy

Intense aroma

20-30 cm

Very abundant yield

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