Parsley is often thought of as being difficult to grow.

It really isn't - people are impatient.

It is a biennial plant - that means that it is sown in year one when it builds up root and leaf, it then flowers and seeds the following year and dies - having done its job of reproducing.

Now, we want to use its leaves and so we're impatient for it to grow. It takes anything from 8 days to 3 weeks to begin to germinate, like most biennial plants.

So - the first thing - be patient with germination.

For general growth instructions click here

The second thing is that parsley is hardy, so it will grow outside for most of the year.

If you want a winter supply of it, then you can sow it in late summer - August in the Southern Hemisphere.

Soak some seed in tepid water for a few days.

Sow in pots filled with moist compost then cover with a fine layer of compost and put in a sunny spot.

Once the seedlings have emerged pot on so that they are 8 inches apart.

If it is really cold, then cover the pots with fleece or plastic.

You can also grow it indoors for the winter - sow two or three seeds to a pot in summer and let them grow.

Use your outdoor plants until they've finished - then you can use your indoor plants by just nipping the tips off when you need to use it.

I have it growing outside right through the year and don't feel the need to freeze or dry it as it is always on hand fresh.

The photo above is of a pot of parsley covered in snow which was growing in my garden. As you can see, the leaves are bright green and after the snow was brushed off, it was perfectly useable.

I don't use such a lot of it during the winter - during the summer, I tend to snip it into and over everything and make parsley sauce to go with new potatoes, broad beans and fresh garden peas.

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› Parsley

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