Parsley is our favourite garnishing herb and goes well with all veggies. And just topping Curly Parsley gives our food an edge. But ever wondered how to harvest Parsley? Growing them in your gardens suits well for a year-round supply of Parsley. Therefore the right time and how to harvest parsley is important for a beautiful garden.
1. Understanding Parsley
Parsley is a biennial herb. And belongs to the same family as Apiqcecae. With vibrant green colour, it gives a rich flavour Historically it’s a native herb to the Mediterranean Region. Also used in Greek Cuisine and Middle Eastern countries.
And just like most herbs, these green dark green leaves require bountiful sunlight for their growth. That gives a slightly bitter taste. So keeping it as a potted plant along a sunny window is a good idea with around six to eight hours of sunlight. Interesting to know these herbs are packed with vitamins C and A, plus iron. Its refreshing earthly taste and scent are mesmerizing.
2. Kinds of Parsley
There are primarily two types of parsley. Namely known as the flat-leaf parsley and the curly-leaf parsley. Both Curly leaf Parsley and flat-leaf are popularly used in different cuisines. And most people love them for their crunchy texture. However, both varieties are used for cooking. As the curly Parsley one is mostly used for garnishing. And Flat-leaf Parsley, also called Italian parsley, is mostly for cooking purposes, which is strong and enhances flavours
Curly leaf or flat leaf Parsley can be harvested in different ways. And you get a season-long supply of herbs for your kitchen.
3. The Right Time to Harvest Parsley
Knowing the right to Harvest Parsley is necessary for gardening herbs. Curly or Italian Parsley plant is a biennial plant and grows back when you cut it. And harvesting Parsley plants is much similar to Harvesting lettuce. But it often grows as an annual plant. And takes around 70-90 days before a single parsley plant is ready to be harvested in your gardens. So it is advised to let the foliage grow in Parsley plants before you are harvesting Parsley.
The ideal growing season to harvest parsley starts in the spring and lasts till fall. And picking Parsley during the day is the best time to Harvest. Then Harvest the parsley during day time before it gets too sunny. As the Parsley leaves have the most amazing flavours during the day And you might not want to miss the presence of essential oils. That Gives a rich aroma and flavour to your foods.
4. Some of the Harvesting Methods
4.1 Individual Leaf Harvesting
This method to cut parsley deals with blocking individual leaves from the exterior parts of the whole plant. We need to carefully grasp the stem of the Parsley. And with the help of pruning shears and scissors. Snip the leaf from its base.
4.2 Cut and Come Again Harvesting
This one is a more sustainable method of plucking the Parsley leaves. As it produces new growth of leaves. In this try to cut the outer leaves. Around 1 to 2 inches would suffice, and cut above the soil level. This will stimulate the growth of new leaves from the ccentrepart of the plants. And you can Harvest multiple times in your herb garden. So instead of harvesting Parsley from whole plants, you can harvest parsley in small amounts. Imagine how eco-friendly this method is!
5. How to Harvest Parsley Plant
5.1 Study the Plant
Always carefully examine the type of parsley before you harvest Parsley. And then slowly identify the mature leaves which should be easily visible. They are vibrant green in ccolourand will appear more developed. For Harvesting leaves, you must go for younger Parsley stems. As they have fresh and stronger scents.
Check for three or more segments of stems to harvest. If you find more than three clusters of the stem. You can start with the harvesting process. Otherwise, you can also let it grow some more with a few leaves for more days.
5.2 Choose a Harvesting Method
Now choosing the kind of harvesting method is very important. And can apply to any curly leaf parsley or Italian Parsley.
5.3 Applying the Proper Technique
In Leaf Harvesting Method, you can simply pinch or snip off the leaves from their bases. This method usually involves the one-time use of a parsley plant. As it does not encourage further growth. It is always advised to cut stems from the outer portions for healthy growing plants.
However, cut and Come Again Method is more beneficial. Cutting parsley from the base encourages more growth. And ensures more delicious flavours in your kitchen as well. And makes the growth of fresh parsley plants more bushier. However, Ensure that you’re using a sharp pair of garden shears or sterilized scissors for this process. And Harvest the old growth first. So you always get a fresh basket of leaves.
This helps focus the plants on new ample foliage. And with sweet time, you’ll see your parsley herbs thriving and growing healthier than ever. So continue harvesting them throughout the parsley growing season. Just take the outer stems above the soil. Until you can notice the bright green colours start fading. As the rich fflavoursstart to decline, so Harvest them timely. And keep growing parsley without any issues.
Also if you’re planning to put your Parsley fresh herb outside. Then it’s best to harvest parsley herbs completely at the end of the season. And if growing them inside the house in warm favourable conditions. Then they can continue to grow in winter as well. Depending upon the amount of sunlight they receive.
6. Harvesting Tips to Keep in Mind
While cooking in the kitchen you might get tempted to just pick some fresh parsley herbs. However, this practice is not healthy for your own Parsley. So follow some harvesting tips.
6.1 Cut Stems
First of all, you are not encouraging more Growth by just plucking the leaves. A good way is to snip it off from the base of the soil, which means following the cut-and-come-again method.
6.2 Avoid Pinching
Another problem with pinching is that it becomes the potential site for diseases to enter. Using dirty hands and nails to new hand pruned Parsley is likely to introduce pathogens in the entire plant. So always use clean pruning tools and scissors. And you’re plants will stay healthy and alive for a long time. So to pick parsley keep these things in mind.
7. Harvesting Parsley Plant Seeds
Now that you’re ready with harvesting leaves. Let’s share how to harvest a seedling as well. As some new gardeners would love to know.
7.1 Wait for Mature Parsley Plants
For Harvesting seeds, a little patience is needed. And don’t produce seeds during the first year of their growth. Monitor the mature plants when they enter the second year of growth. As parsley grows into flowers and then produces seeds at the end of the cycle. The Parsley flowers will also attract some beneficial insects that control pest populations on other plants as well. So you don’t remove some insects.
7.2 Remove Weak Plants
For a bountiful harvest of seeds. Consider removing the imperfect or weak Parsley tender stems and flower leaves. These stems usually come when the first season is ending. Then the second-year growth will be much stronger. Providing you with those high-quality seeds just for your garden
7.3 Notice the Color of the Seeds
Observe the dark colour of the seeds. As they are ready to harvest once it darkens. You can carefully remove it by cutting the stem below the seed head.
7.4 Move Carefully
Parsley seeds are minuscule. And likely to get lost in the process of excessive shaking. And leading them to scatter. The correct way is to carefully put them in a paper bag. And let them dry completely. So Once dried, shake them. Separating it from its seed head in the process. Some seeds are stuck in seed heads. So you can place them under the sun to dry till they get mature. It’ll generally take around two to three days to ripen under direct sunlight. Remember to protect young seedlings from birds and small animals too.
So now you’re ready to grow Parsley seeds on your own!
8. Tips for Storing Parsley
Now you’ve harvested plenty of leaves. But don’t know how to store these fresh herbs properly. Don’t worry, we’ll share some tips on how you can efficiently use store Parsley leaves for weeks.
8.1 Parsley Paste
For long-term storage, you can make a delicious Parsley paste. The herb paste is the best method of preserving, as they keep the taste of flavours intact. So you just need to combine the Parsley with a little olive oil. And easily blend in the mixer. Until it has a smooth consistency.
Then you store it in the freezer with an ice cube tray. And can also be put in a sealed plastic bag or air-tight container for months. It’s a perfect paste for marinas and dressing. This leaves the fresh parsley with a much milder taste.
8.2 Dehydrating the Leaves
Also, another method to store parsley is to dry it completely. And making dry Parsley herbs. After drying use a spice grinder, to grind the leaves for your desired texture. And you can store your dried parsley in a spice jar for future flavouring! However, make sure to use both dried and frozen Parsley plants within the same year.
8.3 Storing at the Room Temperature
For short-term storage, you can keep the freshly pruned leaves at room temperature in water. Snip off the ends and bundle the leaves. And carefully place them in a vase filled with water up to 1 to 2 inches. And cover them with plastic bags. In this, herbs remain fresh for 2-4 days without wilting. And again you can continue storing parsley.
Also, Check Out: How To Keep Cilantro Fresh: 6 Ways To Store
Parsley is popular and growing them in gardens is an easy and efficient way to flavorful dishes. So make sure you harvest plant parsley carefully along with storing it. And give them extra care and love. Hope you grow plenty of parsley in your herb garden after following the tips!
Edith Minz is currently majoring in political science, her major interest has stemmed from her surroundings including the eagerness to explore different cultures, changing international relations, lifestyles and sustainable practices around her. In her experience of two years in writing and research, she found ways to convey the right messages and thoughts for life through her diverse mind and experiences in this niche. With a soul to travel she is keen to explore destinations and write stories and advices for the readers to make their journey an easy one. She also dreams to be a professional in the field of writing and always helping and guiding people through this.