Saturday 25 October 2014


Regular readers will know that I always struggle to grow enough Parsley for our culinary needs. It doesn't do very well in my garden, often suffering from the depredations of ants and the Carrot Root Fly. Anyway, this Winter I am going to attempt to reproduce a success I had last year: I grew some Autumn-sown Parsley under cloches, where it survived the Winter and went on to produce a good crop of lovely fresh leaves in the Spring.

Most of the plants I am using came from this pot:

There were probably about 25 or 30 plants in that pot, so what I did was transplant them in little clumps of about 5 or so, in two parallel rows, aiming to keep their roots as undisturbed as possible (which is far from easy, I must add).

After watering them in very well I covered them with a couple of my long cloches.

Later on I may decide to cover each clump with its own bell-cloche, but at present the long cloches are best, because I can lift them off quickly and easily if I need to water the plants. When Winter really sets in they will probably not require any further watering.

Obviously, these seedlings are currently far too small to be worth cutting, and they will probably grow very slowly, but if the plan pays off they will be at their best in about March next year.

For the time being, our supply of fresh Parsley comes from a batch of bigger plants still residing in pots:

Just for the record, I also want to show you today my little patch of Flat-leaf Parsley plants, grown from the Rocket Gardens prize that Jane won for me. I didn't think they would survive, because they were incredibly densely sown and were very thin and straggly when I got them. however, they did eventually establish themselves, and are now at a useable size.

I expect lots of you are thinking "What's all the fuss about? Parsley is easy to grow", so if you are of that opinion, please tell me what you think is the secret of success.


  1. I remember how well this method worked for you last year so I hope it goes on to perform well for you again.

  2. Well, the parsley I have grown does not seem to be bothered by any insects at all here but I have noticed that when I direct sow parsley it does better than when I transplant some from pots but that could be because of a lot of different factors with the pot grown parsley.

    1. Yes, I think you may be right. Direct sowing is probably best - though I usually sow Parsley in pots mainly because of space limitations.

  3. I don't any herbs are easy to grow outside because they seem to bulk up so slowly. The best parsley my veg patch has ever seen was the result of an 8 year old chucking an entire packet of seed into 6 square foot patches in early August. Overcrowded and left to fend for itself over winter, it was the lushest patch ever! We had two years good pickings from that patch until I had to pull out the oldest plants - and that was tough, the roots were really well established! Good soil and moisture is the way to go.

  4. An aunt of mine used to have a "perennial" patch of Parsley. It self-seeded and kept itself going year after year. I suppose this natural way would be the best if I could afford the space for it.

  5. I somehow ended up with parsley in my greenhouse this year. It was huge- knee high. I hate parsley, so maybe total neglect in a greenhouse is the key. This approach also worked for cucamelons, which were prolific but unpalatable.

  6. Knee-high Parsley sounds good to me! Unfortunately I don't have a greenhouse though.

  7. Good luck on growing parsley Mark. I also grow parsley but not in a large amount. :)

  8. Fresh parsley is the best. I have one recipe that my husband just loves and I swear it is the fresh parsley that really makes it. I only need a few plants each year though. I only grow the flat leaf type and it seems to grow better here. The carrot fly seems to take down the curly ones more. Or it might just be the varieties that I was growing.

  9. I sow parsley in the spring but don't harvest much throughout the year. It always looks dreadful by the end of winter but in spring it bursts into life with lots of new leaf growth before flowering. That is when I harvest it. It does mean though I don't have much through the other months. I think the answer would be to grow some to use through the summer/autumn and some to leave to overwinter.


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