Parsley Root - Seed
Lovely soft root parsley
Parsley root seed needs no prior treatment but steeping overnight in lukewarm water will encourage germination.Sowing
Sow under glass February and March. Sow outdoors April to June.
When outdoors, choose a sunny spot, April to June. There should be no fresh compost in the bed. loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm. Draw a furrow 1 cm deep and label the row. Mix the seed with some dry sand and sprinkle it carefully and thinly along the row. Cover with 0.5 cm soil, press carefully down and sprinkle with water. Extra rows, 20 cm apart.
Under glass from mid-February. Use a cold frame or possibly a small propagator for indoors - fill trays with fine potting compost, mix the seed with dry sand and sow evenly over the soil. Cover with a shallow layer of soil, max. 0.5cm. Press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Cover with glass and stand at normal room temperature in the light or in the cold frame. Once germinating, remove the glass.
The seeds will germinate in 28-35 days. After 2 or 3 weeks the seedlings can be thinned out (leaving 20 cm between seedlings) and transplanted (with a shorter distance of 10-15 cm between them). Do not wait too long to thin out and transplant to prevent damage to the root. Do not allow the seedlings to dry out.
Parsley root is of course a root vegetable but the leaves can be used in the same way as the herb parsley. The leaves resemble Italian (flat) parsley and the root is similar to a parsnip with the flavour of Celeriac and parsley.
Originally from the regions around the Mediterranean, Parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. crispum) is a biennial plant that is actually mostly used as an annual. This plant tends to flower (bolt) in year two. Very hardy, harvesting can continue throughout the winter although the leaves will disappear the colder it gets.
Parsley root is really good for you as the leaves contain lots of vitamin A and C and is known for purifying the blood.
Having cut your parsley, it is best to take the leaves from the stems (the stems can certainly be used but they are somewhat tougher). Finley chop the leaves and add to your recipes. Use raw in salads and salsas too. The root can be peeled, chopped, grated or sliced, eaten raw in salads and salsas. Great when cooked in soups and stews, bringing a lovely herb aroma to it all.
Did you know that chewing parsley covers the smell of garlic on your breath?
Root parsley will stay fresh in the fridge for several days. Freeze small amounts of root parsley leaves, just enough for one meal, by sprinkling chopped leaves into an ice cube form and freezing them into cubes. Transfer into a resealable plastic bag and you will always have some handy when working in the kitchen.
Water extra in periods of drought and keep the bed free of roots. This will encourage good growth. This. plant does not usually flower in the first year.Harvesting
Harvest the parsley root from mid-May through the following March (very hardy so lasts through!). Use a fork to flip the row of roots loose from the soil.
If only using the leaves, allow the centre growth to remain and cut from the outsides - use scissors or a sharp knife. If using thumb and forefinger, be careful not to put the whole root up (unless that is what you want). Do not use too much from one plant. As long as new leaves are appearing, keep picking them. This will extend your harvest greatly!