Parsley is an easy to grow annual plant and comes as two varieties; curly leaved and flat leaved. Curly leaved parsley being more attractive and milder in flavour, with flat leaved parsley being stronger in flavour and easier to prepare.
Parsley can be grown on a windowsill, all year round but you can also sow it outdoors from March onwards. It can make an attractive plant for pots and borders too. You can buy and plant young plants or sow the seeds yourself.
Sow approximately 1/2 inch deep, about 6 inches apart in a sunny or partially shaded spot in well-drained soil.
Parsley can be tricky and slow to germinate; some growers recommend pouring boiling water into the soil before sowing. It can take some time before seedlings appear - keep the bed weed-free and water gently. Alternatively, start them off indoors and then plant out.
Once the seedlings have grown big enough to handle, thin out where it is necessary - these can be used as a garnish.
Water regularly in dry weather and keep picking the leaves to encourage re-growth. Take off any lower leaves that may be turning yellow and remove flowers to extend the cropping period.
Parsley is usually an annual, which will begin to die off or bolt.
Parsley leaves can be eaten raw in salads as well as being cooked in sauces and used in dressings and soups. It can be dried by hanging it in a cool, dark place and then crushed or grounded and stored in an air-tight container or jar. You can freeze it by adding water to it - for example in an ice tray to pop out as you wish to use it.