Last Updated on August 8, 2020 by Matt Gardener
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, this article is specifically written with you in mind.
Parsley is a variant of Petroselinum and belongs to the family of Apiaceae. Highly beneficial and nutritious, it is a powerful antioxidant, rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Parsley is a popular garnish used to add color and flavor to salads, soups, and varieties of meals.
Now that you have found how great and delightful parsley is, in addition to its utility when added to different meals, you will perhaps want to add this must-have plant into your herb collection.
Parsley is a fast-growing plant that can be easily harvested when you follow the steps outlined here.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
When to Harvest Parsley
In trying to discover how to harvest parsley without killing the plant, it’s also a step in the right direction to know when to harvest palsy without killing it, to avoid premature harvesting.
Parsley is a fast-growing plant that thrives in several plant growing conditions. Although it is usually grown as an annual, it is a biennial plant meaning it sprouts every two gardening seasons.
The space between seasons will give your plant enough time to yield new green foliages and go to seed. This is also when it cultivates a big taproot.
Parsley can be harvested several times in one plant cycle if protected from extreme weathering conditions; it may be harvested for two years in a row.
As a fast-growing plant, it thrives either from seedlings or nursery beds. Keep the plants moist, weekly with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) depending on the climatic conditions. Like its cousin carrots or most herbs, it is a sun-loving plant that grows well in areas with six to eight hours of sun, even though it can bear a part shade.
Now that you have provided all that is required for the plants to grow and they are blooming, you also need to know when to harvest parsley.
After planting, it takes between 70-90 days of growth before the plant’s stem begins to show three segments; this often shows the first sign parsleys are ready for harvesting.
At this point, the plants should have a large amount of foliage. In some areas, seedlings can be planted in the fall season for harvesting in early spring and again in late winter for harvest in early summer. Also, in some regions, parsley overwinters, and you might be harvesting fresh parsley again in its second year.
How to Harvest Parsley Without Killing the Plant
To harvest parsley without killing it, you will need a sharp knife, kitchen scissors, or garden shears. Once you have any of these tools, follow the steps below to harvest your parsley plant:
So, your plants are growing and ready for harvest? But how to harvest parsley without killing the plant is the question. Harvesting parsley is a process that would yield lots of produce if done correctly.
Don’t be anxious; harvesting parsley is super easy. Just like other herbs, parsley likes to be cut as this stimulates additional and healthy growth.
Do it rightly, and enjoy your harvest. You can simply cut off one piece or bunch the stems and leaves together and cut off at ground level depending on your needs.
Now that you already know when to harvest parsley, follow this guide to harvest parsley without killing the plant.
The general rule is they should be harvested once the stems have three leaf segments. Harvest the outer longer stems avoids cutting the center stalk.
Harvesting Parsley Seeds
Parsley seeds are best harvested during the second year of growth when leaf production is minimal. This is the right time to harvest seeds, allow them to be well cultivated on the plant, and then when they reach maturation, cut them off at the stem when they are entirely dry.
You can store harvested parsley seeds in an envelope until they are ready for use.
Harvesting Parsley Leaves
To allow the plant to yield continuous growth, do not tamper with the inner stalks in the center so that the plant can keep growing.
Parsleys allows for constant harvest throughout the first farm cycle, so you can take several cuttings all through the first growing season, the more cuttings, the more plant growth and leaves to yield.
The second year of growth sees a decline in the production of leaves, and the leaves available could be less tasty in flavor than the ones in the first year, but this is not to worry, it is only a sign that your plant is cultivating deeper roots.
Allow the plant to flourish. After this phase, you can harvest the seeds for storage, as mentioned earlier, or simply collect them for sowing the next planting season.
When you’re ready to harvest your parsley, the steps involved are quite simple:
Harvest parsley when the main stems branches into three or more segments. Stems with lesser than three segments are said to be immature and should be allowed to reach maturation before harvesting. Always try to harvest younger parsley plants, as they have the best flavor.
When harvesting, cut the more mature stalks at the outer portions of the parsley plant first, this will allow the inner and newer parts of the plant to mature longer before harvest. Outer cuttings are a natural way to prune your plant by removing old growth and also giving room for new growth.
However, if you decide to harvest the whole plant, hold the bunch down in one hand and cut the entire bunch with the other.
Occasionally cut down the stem of the plant to the ground as this will encourage new and continued growth all through the season. Severe pruning is often known to stimulate vigorous plant growth.
If you are used to keeping your parsley outdoors during the winter, it will die, especially if you have an extreme winter. However, if the plants are killed by winter frost, they often regrow from the roots in spring.
But, if you want a continuous supply, you can either harvest it in full before the first frost or take it inside the house throughout the winter season. Growing parsley indoors Indoor will allow you to maintain your plant supply without the harsh winter weather killing them.
Keep harvesting parsley until the plant goes to seed again, then you start the cycle all over. You can easily tell when the plant goes to seed because it will grow a tall, woody flower stalk.
Harvesting Parsley Root
Four months after planting, you can pull the taproot of your parsley from the ground. The roots also have a flavorful taste and can be eaten and replaced with carrots in salads or stir-fries.
Parsley is more than just a garnish; it is a great herb that is amazingly easy to grow, with its countless health benefits and culinary uses. It also pairs well with different types of dishes, salad, soups, stews, eggs, stir-fries, etc. It adds flavor and texture to any meal it is added to.
Many people, professionals, old or newbie gardeners often wonder how to harvest parsley without killing the plant. So, you are not alone. However, with this guide, you are guaranteed a continuous harvest of your favorite plant.
You can also grow parsley as companions to perennials, annuals, perennials, and herbs in containers or beds.