Parsley seeds do better when directly planted into the soil after the danger of frost. Make sure to wait to plant parsley seeds until the soil has reached 50 degrees. When planting seeds indoors, plant them in the spring 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Parsley also does very well as a transplant. After the danger of frost has passed is the best time to plant your transplant. Parsley likes moderately rich, moist and well-drained soil. Make sure they get 1 inch of water per week. You can transplant your full-grown plants into pots at least 12 inches deep to keep indoors over winter. Italian flat-leaf parsley also does well in pots. Parsley can be harvested as soon it produces leaves with three branches. You can freeze chopped leaves in plastic bags. Parsley can also be dried, but loses a lot of it's flavor. It can be used fresh, frozen or dried.
The Greeks held such high regard for parsley, they decorated tombs with it. They also used it as a crown to give to the victors of the Isthmian Games. It was used as a boarder in herb gardens, as well as, used medicinally. It is believed the Romans were the first to use parsley as a food. They also used parsley as a garland to help off-set strong odors.
Cooking with Parsley
Parsley is used in a wide variety of cooking because it enhances the flavor of other foods. The Italian flat-leafed parsley has a superior flavor for cooking. Curled parsley can be used as a flavor enhancer and as a garnish. Remember 1 tablespoon fresh herbs=1 teaspoon dried herbs. Here are some flavorful recipes using parsley.
Parsley in Hair and Skin Care
• Infuse 1/3 cup parsley with 4 cups boiling water, let cool and strain to make a hair conditioner.
• Make a facial steam with 1 cup parsley and 6 cups hot water to relieve dry skin.
• Planted near roses, parsley helps to improve both their health and their scent.
• Chew raw parsley to freshen breath and to promote healthy skin.
• Make a poultice with parsley to use as an antiseptic dressing for insect bites, wounds and sprains.
• Make a tea with parsley to aid in digestion.