Parsley, watered down

Last year, I did not grow nearly enough parsley. What parsley we did grow came up sparsely (Parsley, sparsely. It feels like an Ogden Nash poem…), and it never felt as abundant as, well, grabbing a bunch at the store. You know those store bunches: fat and happy and usually more of the flat-leaf variety than you can possibly use before it goes limp?

That didn’t happen in my garden.

This year, I vowed not to repeat that experience. But I also wanted to try growing more things from seed…including parsley.

Parsley seedsLuckily, after I bought the seed but before I planted it, Kalyn posted a very helpful tip that I took to heart: soak the parsley seeds for 24 hours before you plant them.

“Are you making parsley seed soup?” Steve asked as I flooded a bowl of the teeny seeds with water from the tap. “Is this like the spinach seed salad?”

“No, I’m soaking them,” I said. “For 24 hours. Like Kalyn said.”

Steve nodded, bearing that look that said, She’s quoting her bloggy friends again…

The next day, I stared into the bowl. If you want to know how tiny parsley seeds actually are, think about a pencil dot, and then shrink your thinking. They’re quite miniscule, and would slip through my sieve without a second thought. How to get them out of the water?

Then it occurred to me…it was not as if the seeds were soaking in lye or, for that matter, some sort of Scott’s Miracle-Gro product. They were in…water. Which, really, wasn’t going to hurt the soil one bit.

So I took the whole bowl outside, and dumped it, carefully, into two pots, dividing the parsley seeds in half as I did it. It was an awful lot of seeds, so something will have to come up, and with two pots, I figure the chances are even better that I’ll have the kind of abundant crop I’d hoped for last year.

This is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging, which, this week, is hosted by the intrepid Pat of Up a Creek without a PatL. Please stop by later in the weekend for the full round-up of posts!

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10 Responses to “Parsley, watered down”


  1. 1 Michelle May 10, 2007 at 5:33 am

    I suppose if you were terribly insistent on draining the water you could use a coffee filter. I would have probably done the same as you though.

  2. 2 steven May 10, 2007 at 6:31 am

    You can never have enough(flat leafed) parsley. I buy the really big packages of seed and sprinkle a ridiculous amount over the bed. The plants that I thin go into salads and gremolata and pretty soon I have a solid 4×6 carpet of parsley. The plants die back in the winter, but come back the next year and then go on to set seed late in the summer. I spent several hours collecting seed last Autumn and I think have enough seed to open a parsley seed soup kitchen.

  3. 3 Kalyn May 10, 2007 at 7:17 am

    I agree, you can never have too much parsley. It’s supposed to be a biennial, but for me I have some that comes up every year, and then I plant a little more to fill in the thin spots! And I am not biased like Steven, I like the curly parsley too, just as well as the flat. I use them both, depending on what I’m making, and in things where parsley is a major ingredient I kind of prefer the curly kind. (I know, kitchen blasphemy!)

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener May 10, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Michelle, did you hear that sound? That’s the sound of me smacking myself in the head. Coffee filter. Of COURSE! Still, the water wasn’t at all bad for the plants, for sure.

    Steven, a 4×6 plot of parsley would rule.

    Kalyn, I like the curly, too. It’s definitely not kitchen blasphemy! Thanks again for the excellent tip — I’ll let you know whether I get the good crop.

  5. 5 Marc @ GardenDesk May 10, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    We are growing parsley for the fist time this year. My wife already has a plant or two but we were also going to plant some seeds. I’m glad to hear the tip about soaking the seeds first. Forget the coffee filter. I might just soak the seeds in my watering can and then when I pour them on the bed I’ll tell the kids its magic water.

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener May 12, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Marc, I love the idea of telling the kids it’s magic water — how cool!

  7. 7 peter jones May 14, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    The nutrient film technique is one kind of so-called solution culture in hydroponics. Solution culture hydroponics involves the growing of plants without soil and without any sort of solid growth medium. Many hydroponics practitioners believe that solution cultures are the only true form of hydroponics. They say that when growers add solid growth mediums, they invariably are adding nutrients to the plants in the same way soil does. The nutrient film technique, on the other hand, like all solution cultures treat the plants only with nutrient solutions mixed by the growers and delivered to the plants via water.

  8. 8 sprout_canada May 15, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Forget the sieve, and bowl for soaking, and try this idea. I find a paper towel, fold it, and insert it into a plastic container with a lid. Sprinkle your seed between the folded layers of paper, then dampened paper towel, and rest a plastic bag over the surface (keeps it from drying out quickly). Snap on the lid.

    Check this incubator periodically, and once you see sprouts, you’re off to the the races. Eyebrow tweezers are helpful for picking up the seed, and voila, you’re in control of your seed!

  9. 9 sprout_canada May 15, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Inexpensive suggestion

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener May 17, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Peter, that’s so very scientific! I need to do more reading on hydroponics — it’s interesting, but I haven’t done that much research into it.

    Sprout, I like that idea — I might give it a try with some pepper seeds that I’m considering getting in the ground (even though it’s probably late for pepper-starting…).


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