By MEREDITH KIRTON
Parsley actually has quite a few forms, from common curled parsley that most people recognize as the garnish from butchers windows of prawn cocktails in the ‘70s right through to the lesser known types like French Parsley, which is also known as Chervil. All are actually related to the carrot and parsnip, which is no surprise to those of you who know of Hamburg parsley, the cultivar that develops a carrot like white root with a delicate parsley flavour. All parsleys can actually have both the seed, root, stalk and leaf eaten, so long as they are washed properly.
In vogue today is Continental or Flat leafed parsley, which is also known as Italian parsley. It features in recipes like tabouleh and has a stronger flavour and leaf less prone to wilting. Coriander, or Chinese parsley, is also very popular, probably because of the increase in Asian food, and it lends an almost citrus-like freshness to foods.
The trick with growing all types is to sow seed directly into position. None of this family really likes transplanting, and the stress of doing so can trigger plants to prematurely “bolt” or go to seed. To encourage healthy, vigorous growth, plant in full sun in well drained soil, and feed every 3 weeks with a liquid feed like seaweed solution or fish emulsion.
Actually, one of the easiest ways to always have a supply of parsley is actually to let plants mature a seed naturally, that way they will pop up when the climatic situation is perfect. Also, the flowering heads of this whole family are great at attracting beneficial insects to the garden, which in turn will help keep your plant attacking insects in check.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS