Parsley is a herb that belongs to Apiaceae or the carrot family and is used as a garnish or for flavoring in cooking. The two questions about growing Parsely are When to harvest parsley and how to harvest parsley  so that it keeps growing

When To Harvest Parsley

When the Parsley plant has a lot of foliage and the leaves are beginning to curl or you see three distinct segments on the leaf stems then parsley is ready to pick. If you are harvesting a parsley plant for the first time make sure that it has grown to have 5 to 10 stems I prefer that plant has at least 4 stems.  When grown outside in a garden it takes 70 to 90 days of growth from the seed before parsley is ready for harvesting for the first time while when grown indoors parsley can be harvested all through the year. After the first harvest of parsley, you can keep on harvesting the plant weekly. Make sure that you harvest parsley before it blooms as after that the taste of parsley will become bitter.

Parsley is a biennial plant though in most areas it is grown as an annual which means that you should harvest the parsley plant before it dies after completing one growing season.

How To Harvest Parsley So It Keeps Growing (Without Killing The Plant)

To harvest parsley so that it keeps growing without killing the plant make sure that you only harvest one third or a maximum of half of the plant in one harvest so that the remaining plant can grow back. The correct way of harvesting parsley requires you to use a gardening shear or a knife to cut stems and leaves together so that at least an inch of the stem is left in order for the plant to grow later.

While picking parsley make sure you only cut from the outer stems and make sure when harvesting you harvest from the base of the stem where they are connecting to either the central node or the soil. It is always correct to harvest both stem and leaves and not just harvest the leaves as harvesting the stems leads to a better harvest as well as encourages the plant to grow more and become more vigorous.

You can harvest parsley plants multiple times just make sure that after harvesting parsley you wait at least a week for the plant to grow before you can again harvest the plant.

The Right time to pick parsley is early in the morning after the dew is gone and before the sunlight has started hitting at this time the leaves of parsley are fresh and full of flavor.

Where do you cut parsley so it keeps growing?

You should cut the parsley leaves and stems from the base of the stem where it is connecting to the central stem making sure that you pick at most half or one-third of the plant and leave the rest of the plant to grow back.

Does parsley grow back after cutting?

Yes, parsley grows back after cutting and in a week after cutting you should be able to see new buds coming out from the plant base and these should be to grow back into new stems and leaves that can be harvested again by 4 weeks time.

How often should you harvest parsley?

You can harvest parsley as many times as you want during the growing season usually due to its long growing season you can harvest it at least 12 times. Make sure that you give a break of at least a week between two harvesting sessions. Also, try to plant multiple parsley plants so that you can rotate how you harvest these plants.

Harvesting Parsley for Fall

If you want parsley through the winter the best way is to plant it in a pot and  place it near a window where it receives sunlight

How to store parsley

You can store parsley by either drying it, keeping it in the refrigerator, or freezing it. If you store the parsley dried you can retain the flavor for six months to a year while if you freeze the parsley you can store it for up to 6 months. If you simply store the parsley in the refrigerator it can stay for 7 to 10 days.

How to harvest parsley seeds

To harvest parsley seeds

  1. First, find the seed heads that are dry on your parsley plant
  2. Pinch the seed heads out of the plant and then gently remove the dry stems from the seeds by rolling them in your hand.
  3. Store the seeds in a brown paper envelope or bag.
  4. Make sure you label the seeds with names and years so that you don’t forget about them

Parsley seeds can be stored for a period of 1 to 4 years provided they are stored in a moisture-free place. You will get parsley seeds only if you are planting parsley as a true biennial as it flowers and leaves seeds only in its second year.

How to harvest curly parsley

Harvesting curly parsley is the same as for any other parsley you have to take a shear or kitchen knife and cut leaves and stems from the base of the stem of the outer stem of the curly parsley plant.

How to harvest flat leaf or Italian parsley

Harvesting Italian or flat leaf parsley is the same as for any other parsley you have to take a shear or kitchen knife and cut leaves and stems from the base of the stem of the outer stem of the flat leaf aka Italian parsley plant.

Do parsley plants come back every year?

The Parsley plant is a biennial which means that the growing season for the plant runs for two years during the first year the plant grows and gives leaves and stores energy while in the second year, it blooms and then gives out seeds and then dies. The first year is the best time to harvest parsley leaves and this is the way to grow parsley if the climate you have is mild however most people will need to grow the parsley plant as an annual which means that you can ideally plant parsley in the fall and harvest it early in spring and after that plant parsley in the late winter and harvest it early in summer.

Why is my parsley bitter?

If your parsley is bitter it is because you have older leaves or parsley or you have harvested parsley after it has bloomed.

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By Pete