Monday, March 23, 2015

Parsley

For some reason that I cannot understand, I have trouble growing persil (parsley). Last spring I planted the remainder of a pack of seeds, there must have been between fifty and one hundred of them, and I got one plant. One. Plant. This is that plant, coming back now after dying back for the winter.

Flat-leaf parsley re-sprouting from last year's one successful plant.

Parsley is supposed to grow like a weed and re-seed itself year after year. I see it in other peoples' gardens all the time. I've seen it growing on rock walls. One of our neighbors has a robust patch growing right out of her compost pile. But I have no luck at all. Last fall, I asked Ken to pinch a seed head from that neighbor's parsley plant. I intend to plant those seeds this year and see if they come up.

Fresh shoots of parsley. Now, if I had five or six more plants like this...

For nearly twelve years now I've had this problem growing parsley. I have the same problem with chives, but to a lesser degree. Maybe it's a soil thing. Cerfeuil (chervil) grows well in my garden, as does coriandre (cilantro). I sowed some sarriette (savory) last year and it worked, too. So, what's up with the parsley?

14 comments:

  1. This is no help at all, but there is an old saying that in a household where parsley grows well, it's the wife that wears the trousers (you could fairly call that an old wives' tale).

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  2. My late grandmother, a farmer's wife here in Ireland where the soil is cold, used to pour kettles of boiling water where her parsley seeds were sown.

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  3. Good question, Walt, good question ;)

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  4. Walt

    Do you plant them in pot or in the ground?
    They don't work well , for me , when they are in pots but in the ground they are like weeds.

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  5. Oh, but that one plant is a beauty. My mother has a green thumb. Everyone gives her their dying plants to save; she's always successful. However, she has never ever been able to get Black Roses (the succulents) to last more than a year. Maybe it's metaphysical.

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  6. I had the same problem! But you have to remember that parsley is naturally a biennial. last year I got excellent germination with (1) fresh seed, (2) I sowed them in July. I sowed a little patch, about a square foot, just dusted them lightly with a little soil,and it did indeed come up like weeds. The plants are now doing just what your plant is doing, I suspect it will all run to seed pretty quickly - collect the heads as soon as they are dry and sow the seed straight away, The naturally falling seed doesn't hit the ground in early spring, so why sow then? Pauline

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  7. I was going to say that it is a biennial and will not last long after coming up this year. You should soak the seeds on dampened paper towels a few days before planting. It takes a while for them to germinate and the soaking will help.

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  8. We seem to be herb-challenged ourselves. What I wish we grow reliably is dill, but no such luck.

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  9. It is not easy to grow parsley.. in Poland

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  10. My mother told me that if my parsley seeds sprouted in profusion it was a sign that I would fall pregnant easily.

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  11. Maybe you don't talk to it nice enough. The only way I've been able to grow it is to buy a plant.

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  12. Parsley is a notoriously poor germinator. I'd do as Pauline suggests. The parsley in our orchard just seeds itself, which is a blessing. I've never had any luck trying to germinate it. Our family in Australia used the boiling water techique -- presumably a hangover from PaddyP's Irish techique, but the bit about cold soil having been forgotten over time (I've never heard that explanation of why you do it).

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  13. Hi Walt
    I have a load of parsley seedlings coming up right now. They must have germinated around the end of August. I'm going to dig some up to overwinter. Would you like some? Coriander did the same

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