When it comes to growing herbs, curly leaf parsley tops the list as one of the most popular herbs on a variety of garden planters. It is one of the easiest to grow, growing from just a couple of plantings in containers each. If you live in an area that does not get a lot of sun, this will work out well for you. Otherwise you will probably need to use other means to provide your herb garden with sunlight.
There are three varieties of curly leaf parsley that are most popular in the culinary world. Flat Leaf Parsley and Italian Parsley are most often used in sauces. However, there are other common varieties that are often used for the same reason, as garnish. Hamburg and curly leaf are more often used in salad dressings and as a green on top of baked potatoes.
Both flat-leaf parsley and curly leaf parsley can be used in a variety of different recipes. The only differences between the two is the texture of their leaves. In cooking, they are both very similar, with the only difference being how the leaves are harvested. The flat leaf parsley often has its stem cut off, while the curly leaf parsley has the entire root intact. The cut stem gives the garnish a unique flavor. You can use either type to make a wide range of different mouth watering recipes including: fish, poultry, lasagna, meat loaf, potato salad, corn on the cob, pasta, soup, stew, cabbage, tomatoes, squash, salad, meatballs, etc.
This biennial herb usually grows to about five inches or so in height. It prefers a warm climate, such as those found in most parts of North America. A sunny location is best, but can be found growing anywhere from the Midwest to the Northwest. The finely woven curly leaf parsley can be harvested as it grows. It is best stored or eaten right away.
Pruning can be necessary when the perennial is in season. This should be done after spring growth has stopped for three to four weeks, but no sooner than that. When the plants start to get to be a bit too thick to look at or the leaves become too heavy to move, trimming should be done. Harvesting should also be done after the last frost, when the young plants are just starting to sprout new leaves. This ensures that there is not dead grass or other debris on the lower parts of the stems.
This wonderful perennial will flower for only one growing season, but blooms heavily in its first year. The first step in starting your own garden from seed is to get it in a place where it will have full sun. This can be in the form of a raised bed, or in containers if you are planting it in your kitchen. In either case, this plant needs lots of light to flower, so the container should be placed where it can get plenty of afternoon sun. If you are planting in containers, make sure that the drainage holes in the bottom of the container are large enough to allow the roots to spread out.
There is usually a short growing season in this perennial, which begins in late spring and lasts until summer. It will grow to about three to four inches in height. If you want, it can be divided into two varieties: curly leaf and flat leaf. Usually grown in sunny soil, curly leaf parsley can be used as a variety of cilantro in salads or used as a tasty topping for pizza.
Flat leaf, on the other hand, grows best in slightly drier soil. It is a perennial, so you will notice a growth recession in the final months of the year. It will grow about three to four inches in height. You can divide these plants between the two groups if you like, using well-drained soil.