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Sowing & planting parsley: Tips for a rich harvest

14.05.2021  /  Reading time: 5 minutes

Parsley is a popular culinary herb. It enhances many dishes with its essential oils, which provide a great taste. In addition to these, parsley also contains many minerals such as calcium and iron and a high proportion of vitamins A, B and C. Here you will learn what to consider when planting and sowing parsley.

This article contains:

  1. Planting parsley: how to sow & plant
  2. The right location for parsley
  3. Planting parsley: Good and bad neighbors
  4. Parsley in mixed cultivation: examples for your planting plan
  5. Curly or flat-leaf parsley?
  6. The right care for parsley
  7. Harvesting parsley correctly: A guide
  8. Frequently asked questions about sowing and planting parsley

Quick Overview

Planting and sowing parsley

  • Direct sowing from the beginning of April
  • Planting depth: 1-2 cm
  • Sowing depth: 0.5 cm
  • Row spacing: 25 cm
  • Location: semi-shady to sunny
  • Soil: humus-rich and water-permeable

Caring for parsley properly

  • sufficient moisture
  • No waterlogging
  • Keep the soil free of weeds

Harvesting parsley

  • from the outside to the inside, so that the parsley plant can sprout again
  • can be harvested several times until flowering, as parsley grows biennially

Planting parsley: how to sow & plant

You can sow parsley directly outdoors from the beginning of April and then harvest it in the summer to fall. You can even sow them indoors from January. However, early sowings tend to flower in summer. Late sowings, on the other hand, can even overwinter in the bed, as parsley is hardy down to -8 degrees. You can find out how to overwinter and propagate parsley in this article.

The seeds are sown 1 to 2 centimetres deep and approx. 25 cm apart in rows. However, sowing parsley requires a little patience, as it germinates very irregularly and takes a long time to germinate. It can take up to three weeks for the small seeds to germinate. Until the seeds emerge, the area must be well watered and regularly cleared of weeds.

However, you can also buy parsley in pots in many markets. At home, you should then repot or plant them as quickly as possible, as the plants are usually already well rooted. To do this, carefully divide them once or twice and then plant them in a larger pot or in a suitable place in the garden. Plant the seedlings a little deeper into the soil than before in the pot.

Parsley in a pot
Whether in a bed or in a pot, parsley looks good everywhere. Image by photosforyou on Pixabay

The right location for parsley

The location should be sunny to semi-shady, with parsley preferring a sunny location. The soil should be loose and humus-rich. Parsley is not fussy about its location, it just needs to be free of waterlogging and have enough nutrients. For a good start, you can add some compost to the parsley planting hole.

Planting parsley: Good and bad neighbors

The right neighborhood (mixed cultivation) and crop rotation also play a role in successful cultivation. Parsley should not be sown in the same area after other umbellifers. As neighbors, care should be taken not to plant crops too close to each other that require a lot of space. In addition, plants of the same family are often not good neighbors.

Good neighbors Bad neighbors
Arugula / Rocket Cucumber Beetroot Lettuce
Asparagus Garlic Borage Lovage
Basil Leeks Carrots Mint
Beans Marjoram Cellery Nasturtium
Broccoli Onion & Spring Onion Chervil Parnship
Chamomile Pepper / Paprika Dill Root parsley
Chili Savory Fennel Turnip-rooted chervil
Collard greens Strawberry Topinambur
Common marigold Thyme Lavender

Parsley in mixed cultivation: examples for your planting plan

For inspiration, you can find bed plans for mixed cultivation with parsley here. You will find ideas for the balcony, a herb spiral or your greenhouse.

Curly or flat-leaf parsley?

A distinction is made between smooth and curly leaf parsley. The smooth-leaved varieties usually have larger leaves and are more intense in flavor than their curly counterparts. They are therefore very suitable as a spice, finely chopped in food. The curly-leafed varieties, on the other hand, are somewhat milder. On the other hand, they keep fresh for longer and are great as a decoration on the plate. Curly parsley can also cope a little better with dryness in the bed than flat-leaf parsley.

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The right care for parsley

The herb is actually quite undemanding when it comes to care. It needs plenty of moisture to grow, but you should avoid waterlogging. The best way to test how much you need to water is to do the finger test. To do this, press your thumb into the soil, which should feel neither boggy nor very dry. At the beginning after sowing, it also needs a little more care. The seeds like warm and moist soil for germination. To be able to harvest throughout the summer, always loosen the soil a little and keep it weed-free. The herb no longer needs fertilizer.

Harvesting parsley correctly: A guide

When your parsley plants are strong enough, you can start harvesting. You should only cut off the outer leaves, as parsley grows as a rosette. New leaves continue to sprout from the heart in the middle. As it is a biennial, you can leave it standing over the winter and continue harvesting it until it flowers the following year.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at [email protected].

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Cover picture by AllNikArt on Pixabay.

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Marie studied agricultural science at the University of Hohenheim. Her main focus is on ecological agriculture and permaculture. She writes articles for Fryd to educate people about ecological interrelationships and alternatives to current land use. Our current economic systems, especially in agriculture, have numerous negative effects on nature and destabilize our ecosystems. We need a great diversity in our gardens and beds again to counteract the extinction of species. Every gardener can contribute to creating and maintaining habitats and food for a wide variety of creatures. With her articles, she would like to pass on her experience in dealing with natural systems and give people the opportunity to contribute to a stable ecosystem and thus also to securing our livelihood.

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You can sow parsley directly outdoors from the beginning of April until the fall, as it is hardy. You can start preplanting it in January and plant it outdoors from March/April.

Parsley takes quite a long time to germinate. The first seeds germinate after about three weeks. You therefore need to be patient when sowing parsley.

Parsley grows best in a sunny spot with humus-rich soil. If you only have a partially shaded spot, the parsley plant will also tolerate this. You should avoid waterlogging.

Parsley grows back and can be harvested several times. However, you should always leave the heart standing when harvesting and only harvest leaves from the outside.

These varieties differ in their leaf shape. Smooth-leaved varieties usually have larger and more aromatic leaves. Curly parsley, on the other hand, tastes milder and has a longer shelf life.

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