Sunday, May 24, 2009

Parsley-More Than A Garnish~

Parsley is a much neglected herb in the kitchen.

Being used for the most part as a garnish and tossed in the trash or at best back into the compost.

There are two varieties of parsley...flay leaf, also called Italian parsley and curly leaf which has a much milder taste than the Italian.

I love blending the two and balancing out the flavor a bit I find the Italian a bit heady for some recipes.

Do you know that Parsley is high in Vitamin C.

Parsley is excellent dried although the word on the street says not...

Dark Green Italian Plain is excellent for drying. Blended with Darki curly leaf produces a sweet-pungent taste that holds it flavor in cooking.

The Green-and-Black striped caterpillars will chew your parsley leaves.

I suggest protecting your main crop with floating row covers and planting an extra clump somewhere in the sun just for the caterpillars since they are the larvae for the beautiful black swallowtail butterfly.

I often just pick them off and relocate them to the carrot patch, they love those leaves too and will mature before they eat them all.

Another good to know about parsley...plant some in your rose garden and it will help to improve the health of the bushes and intensify the scent of the rose bloom.

Keep your parsley cut back or it will go to seed in the second year of growth.
Once it seeds it will begin to die back and cease to grow.

Parsley is considered a biennial, which means it will not reseed the second year.

I add a few new plants each year and that assures me I will always have a good crop.

Parsley loves to be composted, it will thrive and require no other nutrients for a good growth.

Always keep the compost or mulch at least 2 to 3 inches away from the base of the plant.

Happy Gardening~

Bea Kunz

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