Cultivation The point to remember about parsley is that it is certain to be needed by the cook at all times of the year. To allow for this, frequent (at least three) sowings should be made between March and September. Large beds of parsley will not be required by the average family and so the plants may be used as an edging to a vegetable plot, or even, as the leaves are decorative, they may well be used to edge the flower border. If larger quantities are required the seed should be sown thinly in 2.5cm (1 in) deep drills, spaced 30cm (1 ft) or so apart and the seedlings should be thinned eventually to 15cm (6in) apart. Plants will grow in any ordinary soil, provided it is not too acid. The best results are obtained if the soil is dug deeply and a fair amount of garden compost or other organic material is incorporated.
Parsley seed is rather slow and irregular in germination and it is not at all unusual for nothing to appear for a month or six weeks. Thinning of parsley may, of course, be used for garnishing, and when your plants are well grown it will be necessary only to cut part of the foliage for use, leaving the plants to make fresh growth.
To make sure of your winter supply it is as well to give the plants cloche protection before the frosts occur, but generally no cover is needed at least until November. If you care to pot up a few plants of parsley and bring them into the greenhouse in winter you may have excellent leaves to cut at all times, even when frost is severe. The seedsmen offer a few named kinds such as ‘Dwarf Perfection’, ‘French’, `Green Velvet’, ‘Moss-curled’.