As you know, parsley is quite useful; therefore it is found in most gardens. It can be added to various soups and salads to fill the dish with a pleasant aroma, fresh flavor, and health benefits. However, the greens must be cut correctly. More details on how to harvest parsley without killing the plant we describe in this article.
Parsley plant types
Quite often, housewives wonder how to harvest parsley without killing the plant. It is important to understand that there are different types of parsley. Therefore, when collecting a biennial herb garden, you need to focus on the view. More on this, we describe later.
Curly parsley plant
The curly parsley is distinguished by dense leaves that curl. Curly leaf parsley has a light, fresh scent. Curly parsley is often used as just a garnish. Plant height varies from 8 to 14 inches.
Italian parsley plant
This variant has a spicy taste. It can be used to add soups, vegetable stews, and casseroles. Italian parsley height is no more than 3 feet. The peculiarity of this type is that the collection can be carried out by different methods.
Collection of parsley leaves
As you know, the most useful is fresh parsley. In almost all recipes that are found today, parsley leaves are used. Not all stems have a rich aroma. Often they do not smell and are hard.
If you want to collect exactly the leaves from the plant, you would have to spend a lot of time.
Therefore, it is much easier to cut off the stem on which the leaves are located and then remove the flat-leaf parsley already in the kitchen. This method has a positive effect on the longevity of the plant.
If you cut the parsley stalks, the plant sprouts even more branches, so you always have a supply of greenery in the garden. It is recommended to cut only the outer stems, which are thicker. It is on them that dense and large leaves are located.
This leaves room for the young shoots inside the bush to begin to grow more actively.
Collection, drying, and storage of parsley plants
As you know, for the winter, many housewives harvest dry parsley. However, it should immediately be noted that this negatively affects the preservation of taste.
Dried parsley has a less intense flavor, and therefore is consumed faster.
With the onset of autumn, the plant begins to lose strength, so you can start cutting the stems. You can put them in a container of water. Thanks to this, the greens are usable for several weeks.
However, over time, regardless of attempts to preserve them, parsley leaves disappear. Therefore, you need to look for other methods of storing parsley. Many people like to dry parsley. To begin with, the stems are cut in the summer. After they need to be dried. The dried parsley decreases in size.
Some tips for drying harvest parsley plant
If you decide to dry-harvest parsley plants, it is best to follow a few tips. Namely:
- Drying is carried out in fresh air. You can hang the parsley in bunches in a dry and warm place. The process takes several weeks.
- You can use a dehydrator, or you can install the drying system in the sun.
- Drying can be carried out in the oven. You need to set a weak fire and stock up in a few hours.
As soon as the parsley dries, you have to crush the flat-leaf parsley and remove the stems. This preserves the rich aroma and taste of parsley.
This is much better than buying greenhouse greens in the store, which practically do not smell.
To prolong the growing season of parsley, it must be grown in a pot. For the winter, it must be brought into the house, setting on a warm windowsill, or in a greenhouse. This provides you with fresh parsley even in winter.
Features of collecting parsley seeds
Many people ask, how do you harvest and store fresh parsley? Almost every housewife tries to save parsley seeds to plant them next season. After all, there is no guarantee that the seed material is supplied. That is why everyone needs to know how to save seeds.
First, you need to remember that the flowering of greenery is impossible until the plant reaches the age of two. At the end of the first year, you need to leave a few bushes in the ground. It is forbidden to collect leaves from them.
If you plan to harvest parsley seeds, timing is important. They should take on a brown tint. Visually, they appear dead. If the harvesting parsley seeds are too early, they may not fully ripen and dry out. Therefore, long-term and high-quality storing parsley are excluded.
There is a high probability that such seeds are not germinated in the spring. If the seeds are collected too late, you may not have time to prepare them for future sowing. Dry seeds quickly fall out of special boxes and spread throughout the garden.
There is a chance that some of them germinate. However, this cannot be guaranteed because birds can collect seeds. To collect seeds, place the seed heads in a breathable bag. You can also use a paper bag or a special seed bag.
Seeds should be left in such a bag until they are completely dry. Periodically, it needs to be shaken so that the seeds fall out of the boxes.
After that, you need to separate them from plant residues and choose the right storage place. It is better to do this in a dry and cool place before the next year.
If the freshly harvested parsley seeds are prepared correctly, they have much better germination. This helps them grow faster and better.
Therefore, as already mentioned, you have to leave a few bushes for overgrowing. If “arrows” have formed on the bushes, small flowers of a yellow or green hue soon appear.
Flowering lasts about a month, after which green fruits begin to form. As they mature, the shade becomes darker. It is at this stage that you need to start collecting seeds.
How to harvest parsley without killing the plant: easy steps
Many people ask, how do you harvest herbs without killing the plant? There are several steps to follow. More about them, you can read below.
Collection of young plants
As already mentioned, only mature plants need to be collected. They should have main stems as well as branches that are made up of three or more parts. If there are fewer segments, the plant does not have a rich taste. However, they have a more pronounced flavor.
It is recommended to harvest parsley leaves in the first year. This guarantees you the best possible result.
Harvest parsley plant during the first cycle
Throughout the first cycle, you can have uninterrupted access to parsley leaves. The plant produces fewer leaves as it enters its second year of growth. This reduces the taste of the leaves.
This is pretty easy to explain. The bottom line is that the root system of the plant deepens.
Breaking or cutting stems
At this stage, only the external stems need to be cut. Leaves and inner stems should be set aside. It is recommended to cut the parsley by 1/2 so that the plant has the possibility of further growth.
If you plan to collect some leaves, it is better to do this from the outside of the bush. There are more mature stems, and young stems remain inside the bush. First, you need to cut off the outer stems, gradually moving to the inner ones.
Thanks to such actions, you stimulate the growth of the stems. And if you immediately cut off the young, growth slows down.
If you collect a little parsley, young stems develop more actively. The stem ripens faster and produces excellent products.
Cutting the entire stem
If you plan to harvest parsley a lot to prepare for the winter, you need to cut the entire stem, as close to the base as possible. It is recommended to work with sharp tools that help save the life of the plant.
At the same time, parsley bushes are healthier and lush. If you pluck individual leaves, the yield decreases in the future.
Cutting stems to the base
Such actions contribute to the fact that parsley grows profusely throughout the growing season. Experienced gardeners have been able to prove that pruning contributes to the active growth of plants.
Cutting stems from below
If you plan to harvest parsley a lot, you need to cut the stem at the base. If only the tip is cut, the leaves turn brown and die off. If you cut at the base, the stem, and leaves grow more vigorously.
Cutting the outer parts
As already mentioned, first you need to cut off the more mature stems that are on the outside of the bush. This allows the parts that are left inside to better ripen before harvest.
If you cut the whole plant, hold the formed tuft with one hand and cut it off with the other hand. The remaining parts of the plant should be left for several weeks. This allows them to recover and grow back.
As soon as new stems begin to grow, you can re-harvest. Thanks to this, you have a fairly large amount of harvested greens.
A few basic tips
If you decide to harvest parsley and save the life of the bushes, you need to follow a few tips. More about them, you can read below.
Use of sharp instruments
As you know, the stems must develop and form new leaves even after pruning. If you use blunt tools, you risk damaging the stem. This increases the likelihood of developing a fungal infection, and even death.
You should also cut the stems a little diagonally. This provides better maneuverability and also allows a sharp tool to glide over the stems.
Possibility of rest
Once you’ve harvested your first crop, it’s important to give the plant time to rest. This allows it to recover. It is recommended to wait, as already mentioned, at least 2 weeks. This time is enough for new shoots to appear.
In the future, after each harvest parsley, you can take a break for 1 week. At the same time, during the first harvesting of parsley, half of the plant should be left to maintain its viability. In the future, the stems can be cut into 2/3 parts.
Parsley plant storage options
You can store the harvested parsley plant in several ways. More about them, you can read below.
Harvesting parsley in a refrigerator
If you plan to store parsley in the refrigerator, it is recommended to wrap the stems in a damp paper towel. This allows the stems of fresh parsley to keep in this state for about two weeks.
You can also put a few branches in water, and then place the airtight container in the refrigerator. The shelf life is no more than one week.
Harvesting parsley in the freezer
A fairly large percentage of people store parsley in the freezer. After thawing it, you can use greens for cooking. It is recommended to divide the greens into small portions, and then freeze them.
You can pour some chopped greens into ice molds, then add a little water and freeze. After that, you can get a few cubes to throw into the soup.
You need to understand that frozen parsley has the same taste and aroma as fresh. However, it is no longer crispy.
Harvesting parsley plants in the room
Parsley can be stored indoors. The shelf life is several months. However, the greens are dry out, and no longer have a rich aroma.
You can also dry the parsley using one of the methods mentioned earlier. This significantly increases the shelf life of greens.
When it comes to harvesting parsley, almost all housewives are faced with numerous questions. Detailed answers about harvest parsley without killing you can read below.
How do you pick parsley so it keeps growing?
And with all other types of herbs, parsley only needs to be trimmed a little. This stimulates its additional growth. Collect all the stems of flat-leaf parsley in a bundle, then cut with scissors or a knife at ground level.
If you plan to cut only a few branches for lunch or dinner, then you need to start work from the outside of the bush. Cut at ground level.
For more interesting details check out the article – How to Harvest Parsley So You Can Keep Coming Back for More.
Does parsley grow back after cutting?
If you completely cut a parsley bush, it soon recovers and grows. However, this takes much longer. That is why the need should be taken into account. You don’t need to cut more than you require. This allows you to maintain the health and productivity of the crop.
As you can see, harvesting parsley is a rather responsible and important process. After all, the slightest mistake is fraught with the fact that the plant slows down in growth, or even stops producing crops. Try growing parsley carefully, using sharp tools, and the recommendations described in this article.
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