Days to Maturity
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula.
- Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
- Sow seeds when all danger of frost has passed in spring. In frost-free areas, sow from fall to early spring.
- Sow seeds thinly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
- Firm soil and keep moist.
- Seeds emerge in 14-21 days.
- Thin to 6 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Harvest the outer leaves by cutting them at the base of the leafstalk. Harvest leaves as needed.
- Sprigs are delicious in salads and make an excellent accent for vegetables and potatoes. Chewing on a fresh leaf can freshen your breath.
- Fresh parsley may be stored in zip lock bags in the fridge for a week. Fresh leaves freeze well in ice cubes or sealed zip lock bags, and may also be dried. It can be used in vinegars as well, or made into parsley herbed butter.