Parsley is an easy to grow, cold hardy herb that can be harvested throughout the entire growing season. It’s a biannual plant, which means it will grow for two years, and it will flower and die the second year. Once parsley flowers, it won’t taste as good so it’s best to harvest the entire plant when it starts to flower. Harvesting parsley, and then cleaning and storing it allows us to enjoy our homegrown parsley all year long.
Like basil, parsley is a cut-and-come again plant, meaning you don’t have to harvest it all at once. You can harvest from it over and over again throughout the entire growing season. So any time a recipe calls for fresh parsley, you can simply walk out to the garden and take the exact amount you need from the plant.
Related Post: How To Grow Parsley From Seed: Step-By-Step
Harvesting parsley from the garden
- Harvesting Parsley
- Cleaning Freshly Harvested Parsley
- Storing Parsley
- Connect With Us!
- Parsley Characteristics
- How to Grow Parsley
- Parsley Plant Uses.
- Shopping for Parsley Seeds
- How To Store Parsley and Other Herbs to Stay Fresh Longer
- How to Clean, Chop, and Store Parsley
- Follow These Steps
- Parsley Pruning Tips
- Method #1: Refrigerate with paper towels
- Method #2: Freeze into an herb “cigar”
- Method #3: Make herb-oil cubes
- Parsley Growing and Harvest Information
Harvesting parsley fresh from the garden is easy. To harvest parsley, simply cut or pinch off each sprig at the base of the plant (right at the soil level). This will allow the plant to branch out again, and produce even more fresh parsley for you to harvest later.
Freshly harvested parsley
If you’re going to harvest all of your parsley at once, you can simply cut the entire plant down to the ground. Select only the stems that have dark green leaves on them, and discard any yellowing or brown stems.
How to harvest parsley
Cleaning Freshly Harvested Parsley
Since parsley grows pretty low to the ground, sometimes it can be pretty dirty after you harvest it. If there’s not much dirt on the stems and leaves, you can just give your parsley a quick rinse. But if there’s a lot of dirt, then I like to toss my parsley into a bowl of water and let it soak for a few minutes. Then I’ll gently swish it around to wash the dirt off. After that, I drain the water using a colander, then fill the bowl and swish it around again. I’ll repeat this process until the water is clear. Once it’s clean, I use my salad spinner to spin dry my parsley before storing it. It’s a fantastic (and essential) tool if you grow herbs or any greens in your garden!
Spin drying parsley in salad spinner
After harvesting parsley and cleaning the leaves, there are a few ways you can store it. If you only need to store your fresh harvest for a short time, then you can store it in the fridge. But if you want your harvest to last through the winter, then you’ll need to either freeze it or dry it. Freezing herbs helps them hold their flavor better, but drying is also a great option. Here’s more details for each of these methods of storing parsley…
In the fridge: Fresh parsley will last for several days in the fridge, and sometimes I’ll just store it right in my salad spinner. An herb keeper also works great for storing fresh parsley, and it takes up less room in the fridge. You could also store fresh parsley in a glass of water in the fridge for a few days if you’re in a pinch.
Store parsley in glass of water
In the freezer: Freezing parsley is easy, and it’s one of the best ways to store garden fresh parsley. I just toss my fresh parsley into a freezer bag. But if the parsley isn’t dry enough, the leaves can clump together in large chunks using this method. So, if you don’t want that to happen, you can flash freeze your parsley first. Simply lay the parsley sprigs on a cookie sheet and freeze them for 10-20 minutes before putting them into a storage container. That will keep them from sticking together once they’re frozen.
Flash freeze before storing parsley
I have a few favorite recipes that call for parsley, so I also like to freeze some of my parsley in perfect portions to make it super easy to just drop it into my recipes. To do this, you can use herb freezer trays or mini ice cube trays and measure out any portion you want before freezing.
Ice Cube Tray Used For Freezing Parsley
In the pantry: Another way to preserve parsley is by drying it using a dehydrator or herb drying rack. Once it’s dry, you can store it whole in a sealed container, or you can crush it up and store it in a spice jar. A mini food processor or an herb grinder makes crushing parsley super quick and easy.
Parsley dried and ready for storing
Parsley is one of those herbs that you probably don’t need every day, but it’s definitely a must to always have it on hand in the kitchen. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh parsley, but since it’s super easy to store, you can keep your garden fresh harvest and use it all winter long.
More Garden Harvesting Posts
- How to Harvest Chives From Your Garden
- Free Garden Harvest Tracking Sheet & Guide
- Harvesting And Storing Basil Leaves
- How To Harvest Lavender Fresh From The Garden
- When To Harvest Onions From Your Garden
Do you have any tips for harvesting parsley and storing it for later use? Please share them in them comments section below!
Connect With Us!
Parsley is a delicate-flavored herb in the Apiaceae family, meaning it is a close cousin of vegetables like carrots, celery and parsnips, and herbs like dill, fennel and cilantro. There are two types of parsley: flat leaf and curly leaf. (Flat leaf is what you’ll see in the video below.) Flat leaf varieties, such as Giant Italian, tend to be more flavorful than curly leaf varieties, though it’s acceptable to substitute one for another in a recipe that calls for a specific type.
Although they’re slow to germinate, parsley plants can produce an abundant amount of herb for kitchen use. Originating in Sardinia, it’s partial to zone-9 gardens. Plants prefer full sun, growing to 18 to 24 inches tall and 8 to 16 inches wide, and produce dark-green upper leaves. It’s important to continually harvest parsley and avoid letting it bloom—this encourages growth and ensures you get the flavor you want to make your soups and casseroles shine.
To harvest, select larger stems of the plant and cut them at the base. Use immediately, or wrap the stems in a damp paper towel and keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
(Carum Petroselinum, Linn.)
Relates to the habitat of the parsley plant in nature, where it naturally grows among rocks – the Greek word of which is petros. To learn more about the origin of parsley, visit our History of Parsley page.
Hardy biennial herb
Native to Mediterranean shores, and cultivated for at least 2,000 years. As early as the 15th century there are records that parsley had developed several well-defined forms and numerous varieties. Parsley now has the largest number of varieties among all garden herbs.
Parsley grows to a height 2 feet or more tall when it flowers in the second season.
Dark green leaves with long stalks.
Erect, branched flower stems which bear umbels of little white flowers.
How to Grow Parsley
(Seeds, planting, cultivation, harvesting seed, and harvesting fresh leaves.)
Of all of the sweet herbs, parsley is perhaps one of the easiest to grow. Parsley plants will thrive in ordinary soil with only a moderate amount of light; making it a great option for container gardens.
We found only one source that proclaims they are growing parsley from cuttings. They list several references but none of them discuss growing parsley from cuttings. From everything we’ve read, parsley can only be propagated from seed.
Growing Parsley From Seed.
Parsley seed is notoriously slow to germinate and can require 4-6 weeks to sprout. Soaking parsley seeds in warm water for at least 24 hours can help speed germination. We’ve had good success with placing parsley seeds in a wet, but not dripping, paper towel and putting the paper towel into a zip lock bag. We blow a bit of air into the bag before closing and put the bag with the parsley seeds on top of the refrigerator. The key to growing parsley from seed is patience.
Once the seeds sprout and the root seems strong, we gently remove them from the paper towel and plant the sprouted parsley seeds into a mixture of potting soil and growing medium. By combining the growing medium and potting soil we seem to gain the benefits of both – the soil doesn’t dry out so fast and the growing medium is more light and airy.
The high moisture requirement means that parsley seeds should be sown very early.
Planting Parsley Seeds.
To plant parsley seeds directly in your garden, several sources recommend planting in cold frames or beds for later transplantation. One option is to sew in rows only 3-4 inches apart with alternating rows of radishes. By the time the parsley seedlings appear, the radishes will have already been harvested. The radishes will also help mark the rows as well as loosen the soil and shape the parsley seedlings.
Another common companion for parsley is lettuce. Another early producer, lettuce will be harvested just as the parsley is taking hold providing the gardener with a much more efficient use of their garden space. That said, once the parsley is established, lettuce is not a good parsley companion plant.
When sowing parsley seeds in open ground, set drills 12-15 inches apart with at least one inch between seeds.
As we’ve already discussed, there are a number of great companion plants for parsley. Before adding this culinary herb to your garden, be sure to check out our parsley companion planting guide.
Conduct your first thinning around May to space plants two inches apart. When they begin crowding, harvest each second plant.
Parsley does best when the soil is supplied with humus, preferably from decaying leguminous (beans, peas, clover, alfalfa and others) crops or from stable manure.
Strangely enough, to maximize yields, young parsley plants respond well to being transplanted as many as three times during the growing cycle. But, once established, their long tap root makes transplantation more difficult and can negatively impact your plant’s overall health.
Harvest parsley leaves as needed to flavor your cooking or cut up to half the leaves just above soil level. Cutting parsley should also stimulate your plant’s growth.
Swallowtail Caterpillars on a Parsley Plant
Parsley leaves are a favorite place for black swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs, look for striped caterpillars prior to cutting the leaves. If your parsley plant is lucky enough to be found by these beautiful caterpillars, you will be surprised how their nibbling of the plant will lead to the plant’s flourishing. As small as they are, they also provide a bit of great fertilizer in their excrement as well.
A few years ago, we had purchased a discounted, late-season parsley plant. A few days later we had one of these beautiful caterpillars doing a bit of harvesting. Parsley is one of their favorite foods and our little fellow quickly ate our small plant down to a nub. Whether through our care, we babied that parsley plant to keep it healthy for our new friend, his excrement or his pruning, that bedraggled plant grew into a bushy plant within a few weeks.
It is common for gardeners to divide their parsley plants into three parts so as to have a succession of cuttings. Once the plants have been cut, it usually takes about three weeks for a new crop of leaves to grow and mature. Larger overall yields will be achieved if only fully matured leaves are cut and the under-developed leaves are left to continue growing.
To harvest parsley, simply cut sprigs from the plant. Harvest the older growth first which will encourage your parsley plant to produce more leaves. When growing successive crops in your garden and harvesting parsley, keep in mind that 2-year-old plants will have a slightly weaker flavor than their younger counterparts.
Harvesting Parsley Seed.
Parsley in Flower
Parsley plants are biennial which means that they live for two years and at the end of the second growing season will flower and produce seeds. When growing parsley for seed production, remove every imperfect or weak plant so that only the healthiest plants can fertilize each other. Protect these plants over the winter and they should bloom the next growing season. Plants tend to irregularly ripen their seeds which makes some seeds ready 1-3 weeks before others. Keep the harvests separate as the early seed producers should be given priority in next year’s garden.
Cut parsley seed heads when the bulk of the seed is brown or dark in color. When gathering the seed, take care to avoid shaking the stems and scattering the fine seeds. Thresh lightly over tightly woven fabric or old sheeting and retain only the ripest seed or shake into a paper bag. The stalks can be spread thinly on sheets and set in the sun for two days to ripen additional seed.
Dry all seed lots for 10-14 days to make sure they are thoroughly dry, turning daily.
Parsley Plant Uses.
Parsley is perhaps one of the most commonly used herbs in the kitchen. From a culinary standpoint, parsley can be used as an ingredient or garnish for most any dish.
Parsley root, in the culinary world refers to a plant in the parsley family that is actually a vegetable. Our research indicates that the roots of the herb are edible but should not be eaten in quantity by pregnant women.
Parsley Greats100 delicious recipes with parsley…available on Amazon.com.
Whether fresh or dried, parsley leaves can add a touch of flavor and color to most any dish. Minced green leaves are often mixed with other vegetables just before being served. Parsley transforms plain, boiled potatoes to a new level particularly when young, red potatoes are used.
Parsley seeds should not be eaten because of their high concentration of apiol.
Shopping for Parsley Seeds
Are you looking for the best place to buy parsley seeds? Have you considered Amazon.com? Yes, that wonderful online retailer that has your favorite books, Kindle readers and just about everything else under the sun – sells parsley seeds too – even organic and heirloom ones. Why not try one of these varieties the next time you place an order with them?
Dark Green Flat Italian Parsley – Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds
500 Parsley “Triple Curled” (Petroselinum crispum) Seeds By Seed Needs
Seed Saver’s Exchange Organic, open-pollinated Giant from Italy Parsley Seeds (250 seed packet)
Culinary Herb Garden Seeds (8 Easy-to-grow Kitchen Herbs)
How To Store Parsley and Other Herbs to Stay Fresh Longer
Learn how to store leafy herbs and stop wasting money.
I love adding the bright color and clean flavor of fresh herbs to all kinds of recipes. But I hate wasting money when these leafy herbs wilt before I can use them up. You know what I’m talking about. Good thing there’s an easy solution. You can make fresh leafy herbs last longer by doing a very simple thing as soon as you unpack your grocery bag: Make a bouquet of herbs for the fridge. I’ll show you how easy it is to do.
How to Make a Fresh Leafy Herb Bouquet
You can do this with all leafy herbs that have soft stems, such as basil, chives, dill, and mint.
A bunch of leafy herbs such as parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, dill, or mint.
Cloth or paper towels
Knife or kitchen scissors
Jar or cup
Plastic bag large enough to fit over the herbs
1. Rinse herbs to remove soil. Discard any yellowed leaves and stems. Blot dry.
2. Gather the herbs into a bouquet and snip a bit off the stems to even them up and allow water to come into contact with the freshly cut surface.
3. Put a couple of inches of fresh water to the jar and add your leafy herb bouquet. If any leaves are below the water level, strip them off and use them up first.
4. Cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag. This keeps the leaves humid but allows airflow.
5. Put the jar in the fridge.
Your leafy herb bouquet will stay fresh for two or three weeks. Change the water a couple of times a week, remove any yellowed leaves, and give the stems a fresh trim once a week.
Another way to keep leafy any herb fresh is to wash and dry it, wrap it in a paper towel, put it in a plastic bag, and store it in the fridge for up to a week. On the plus side, this method saves shelf space. On the minus side, I lose sight of the herbs and forget they’re in there — something I never do when there’s a bright green bouquet of herbs waving hello every time I open the fridge.
I hope this kitchen tip helps you save money!
Related: Find recipes for herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, lemongrass, and more.
How to Clean, Chop, and Store Parsley
Follow These Steps
- “Dunk and swish” the parsley in water
Dunk your parsley bunch in a bowl of cold water and swish it around; dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl. For very sandy herbs, repeat with clean water until the bowl is clear.
- Shake out the water
Remove parsley from bowl and shake off excess water.
- Pat dry with paper towels
Pat parsley dry with paper towels. Set damp paper towels aside to use in storing parsley.
- Shave the leaves from stems
Grasping the base of the bunch, use a chef’s knife to shave leaves off stems at an angle, working away from your body. Only shave off as much parsley as you plan to use immediately.
Tip: Leave the rubber band on to help keep the parsley together in a bunch
- Chop or “slice” the parsley
Remove thicker stems, gather leaves in a pile, and slice roughly. Don’t press the parsley leaves too hard; you may bruise them.
- Rock the knife back and forth for a finer chop
For a finer chop, use one hand to hold the tip of the knife on the cutting board while the other hand rocks the knife down and across the leaves; continue until parsley reaches your desired consistency.
Tip: Don’t over-cut because it can bruise the parsley
Tip: Use damp paper towels to wrap and uncut herbs and store in plastic bag; refrigerated, they’ll keep for 3 to 5 days.
Parsley Pruning Tips
If you grow parsley in your herb garden, some simple pruning will help keep the plant healthy while increasing its overall yield. This is important since this plant tends to be a very active grower, and if it is not occasionally thinned out, it loses its vigor. Many parsley species flower abundantly, producing a lot of seeds as they die. Removing them will conserve the energy it takes the plant to produce seeds, redirecting it to foliage production instead. Pruning will also stop your parsley from taking over the garden and choking out other plants, and it will increase air flow in the bed so that the plant doesn’t contract diseases like powdery mildew.
Tip: Always thoroughly wash your pruning shears after trimming back any plants so that you do not risk transferring diseases to otherwise healthy plants.
1. Check for Dying Blooms
Check frequently to see if your parsley plants have flowered. When these blooms begin to fade, it is important that you deadhead—or remove—them immediately; you may have also heard of this process described as “pinching back” the flowers. By deadheading or pinching back, you prevent the plant from over-seeding in the garden, which will quickly cause overgrowth of the parsley. All you do is just snip the dying flowers at the root of the stalk with a sharp pair of pruning shears and discard them.
2. Trim Unhealthy Foliage
Always keep a watchful eye out for any unhealthy foliage. Trim yellowed, brown, or insect-eaten leaf stalks at ground level and discard them. Do this any time you notice such foliage.
3. Give it a 1/3-Inch “Haircut”
Take your scissors and just give your parsley plant a trim or “haircut” to keep it from growing too high. Periodically take the tops of the plant and cut about a third of an inch off. Do this when you notice the plant is exceeding an ideal height at any time during the growing season. A trim will not damage or kill the parsley and will allow you to maintain a nice appearance in your herb garden while controlling overgrowth. This can also be done by simply plucking back the leaves.
Tip: When the time comes to begin harvesting your parsley, begin by cutting the leaf stalks to the ground, starting on the outside of the plant. As you continue to harvest, work inwards. Don’t be afraid to harvest too much. Healthy parsley plants will always bounce back!
4. End with Mulching
After taking care to prune your parsley, make sure to mulch the plant to keep it protected against the cold. Take mature compost and spread it in the top soil to improve moisture, but keep it away from the roots to prevent rotting.
Parsley is a biennial herb, meaning that it will grow for two years. At the end of the second year it will send up many flower stalks (called “bolting”), go to seed, and die. When you notice the parsley begin to bolt, you should dig it up and discard it; nothing can prevent the parsley from dying after the second year of growth. Many treat this herb as an annual simply because the foliage becomes bitter as it ages. Whether you choose to treat your parsley as an annual or biennial, pruning will be a necessary part of its care.
Tip: If you want to save your parsley seeds to plant next season, do not dig up your plant when it bolts. Instead, allow the parsley to go to seed and snip off all of the seed casings. Store them in a cool, dry place during the winter. In the following spring, soak the tough seed casings in hot (but not boiling) water. Let the water cool to room temperature and leave the casings in it overnight. Pull the seeds out in the morning and sow them in your garden for a brand new parsley plant.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the untimely death of a bunch of fresh herbs is a great tragedy. And the refusal of most supermarkets and farmer’s markets to sell smaller bunches of herbs is downright infuriating. If you’ve lost a lot of good bunches of parsley like I have, here’s how to store the herb best so that you can use up every last sprig.
Method #1: Refrigerate with paper towels
First, rinse your parsley in a colander to remove any dirt or grit. Then dab the herbs dry with a few paper towels. Don’t throw the paper towels away! Rather, wrap the herbs loosely in the dampened paper towels and place them in a resealable bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate. This method, which allows the herbs to retain plenty of moisture, will keep your parsley fresh and wilt-free for 3–5 days.
Method #2: Freeze into an herb “cigar”
If you need to keep your parsley longer than 3–5 days, freezing it is your best option. The herbs won’t be sprightly enough to work as a garnish, but they’ll definitely work when stirred into an herb sauce, a pan of scrambled eggs, or a pot of beans.
First, rinse your parsley in a colander to remove any dirt or grit. Then dab the herbs dry with a few paper towels or spin them dry in a salad spinner. Unlike the refrigeration method, you’ll want to remove as much moisture as possible here to prevent freezer burn. Place your washed and dried bunch of parsley all the way to the bottom of a freezer bag, then roll the bag up into a tight cigar shape, making sure to push any air out of the top of the bag as you roll. This will ensure that the parsley stays fresh and free of freezer burn. When you’re ready to use it, simply use kitchen shears to cut off the amount of parsley you want from your “cigar,” and add directly to whatever you’re cooking!
Method #3: Make herb-oil cubes
The other way you can freeze your parsley is by making frozen cubes of herb-infused oil, which makes an amazing instant flavor-booster for your favorite soups or stews when you stir in a cube or two. First, rinse your parsley in a colander to remove any dirt or grit. Then, dab the herbs dry with a few paper towels, or spin them dry in a salad spinner.
Now it’s time to chop the parsley. You can do this simply on a cutting board with a chef’s knife if you’re freezing a not-too-large amount. You want to get a really fine dice on your herbs, chopping them almost into a paste. If you have a large quantity of parsley, you can throw it in the food processor and pulse to finely chop. If you’re using the food processor, add 2 tablespoons of a neutral-tasting vegetable oil or olive oil—the oil will help preserve the flavor of the herbs as they freeze, and frozen oil melts faster than plain water.
Once you’d made the herb puree mixture, you can freeze it one of two ways:
For the ice cube tray method, portion out spoonfuls of your chopped parsley and press them into the trays, topping off each “cube” with a thin layer of oil if you haven’t already added oil to your herbs in the food processor. Once the cubes are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag for long-term storage.
For the freezer bag method, place your big batch of finely chopped herbs in a freezer bag, adding 2 Tbsp. of oil if you haven’t already added them in the food processor. Seal the bag almost the entire way and press the herbs into an even, flat layer, making sure to remove any excess air.
Now that you are more aware of how to store parsley, you can make tons and tons of recipes with—parsley. Here are a few of our favorites at Epi:
1 / 40Chevron Chevron Parsley, Red Onion, and Pomegranate Salad Yes, you can treat parsley as a salad green, as long as your bunch isn’t woody. Sweet molasses and tart sumac make it vibrant. Get This Recipe
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Parsley Growing and Harvest Information
|Soil and Water|
|Space between plants|
|Space between rows||18-24″|
|Companions||Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses, tomatoes|
|Basically, cut the leaves when needed. A pair of scissors or nipping with the fingers both work well. It pays to cut the top leaves first, to encourage the plant to shoot out again further down the stem. To harvest the entire plant, bunch the stalks together and cut them off with a pair of sharp scissors or a knife.|
A hardy biennial which can be harvested all year round with winter protection. Flat-leaf and French parsley are the two most common varieties. The leaves and stems are used as garnish in salads and as a condiment. Parsley’s reputation as a garnish often does it a disservice—it gets left on the side of the plate. In fact it’s been known for thousands of years for its excellent flavor and versatility.
Add chopped parsley to buttered potatoes and veggies; toss it on a sliced tomato salad along with a pinch of basil. Parsley is also a natural breath freshener, as well as an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Where to Grow
Parsley will grow anywhere and can survive cold. It tolerates heat, but very hot weather will make the plant go to seed. An ideal herb for container growing, it normally grows to a height of 1′. It also does well as a houseplant; some gardeners bring parsley in from the garden in fall and let it winter in a bright window.
Soil for Parsley
Prefers fertile, well-drained, moist soil in full sun to partial shade. Don’t fertilize before planting.
Start seeds indoors six weeks before the average date of last frost. For transplants, set out two to three weeks before your average date of last frost.
Plant it from seed; they take a long time to germinate, but you can speed up the process by soaking them in warm water overnight before planting. Plant the seeds a 1/4″ deep in rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Thin the seedlings to 12 to 18 inches apart when they’re growing strongly.
Parsley is fairly easy to care for. The most important thing is to keep the soil moderately moist; parsley needs a regular supply of water to keep producing new leaves. Fertilizing the soil is not necessary for parsley to grow well. To encourage the growth of new foliage, cut off the flower stalk when it appears. The flower stalk shoots up taller than the leaves, and the leaves on it are much smaller than the surrounding leaves.
How Parsley Grows
A biennial plant treated as an annual, growing to a height of 1 1/2 feet. It has finely divided, fern-like leaves that are either flat (Italian) or curly, depending on variety. The leaves grow in a rosette from a single taproot that in some varieties is quite large and can be eaten like parsnips. Parsley has flat-topped clusters of greenish-yellow flowers, similar to those of dill (which belongs to the same family).
|Store fresh parsley in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. Wash it first, as it could be earthy, sandy, or very damp. If it is wilted, sprinkle it lightly with water before refrigerating it; or if you have washed it avoid drying it completely. Although parsley freezes well (without blanching), it loses it’s crispness; use it raw. Store dried parsley in an airtight container kept in a cool, dark, dry place. You can dry most herbs by tying them in small bundles and hanging them up with a string. Hang them upside down to dry. When completely dry, remove stems and put in jars. They will keep all winter and beyond. They can also be dried in a slow oven (100F) or a food dehydrator.|
|Fresh||Excellent; cuttings last 2-7 days in the refrigerator|
When to Harvest Parsley
Parsley is ready to cut or harvest in about 70 to 90 days after planting. A 10-foot row of parsley will keep you and all your neighbors well supplied. Harvest parsley leaves any time during the growing season; cut them off at the base of the plant. Parsley is not affected by hard frosts, and if protected it can be harvested all winter long. Otherwise it will die back in the winter, and would be best to harvest before winter fully sets in. Parsley will generally retain its rich color until early winter.
How to Harvest Parsley
To harvest or cut parsley leaves, cut the stems off at the bottom of the plant. If you only want a few leaves, it is reccomened that you pick leaves from the outside. This allows new leaves to grow from the middle of the plant, and harvests the older growth. Many gardeners harvest the entire parsley plant in fall and dry it; you can also bring the whole plant inside for the winter, and make it a houseplant. Parsley lends itself well to freezing and drying. Store the dried leaves in an airtight container.
The parsley caterpillar is the only pest you’re likely to have to contend with. Hand-pick it off the plants.
Parsley has no serious disease problems.