Monty Don is, when it comes to gardening advice, the don. So, when he says that we all ought to be planting parsley right about now, you better believe that we add it to the top of our list of garden ideas.
Now, we know what you're thinking: you're already inundated with herb garden ideas and must-try garden trends, and you're far too busy learning how to take lavender cuttings (and trying to avoid making any watering mistakes in this funny weather) to take on another gardening project.
Here's the thing, though: it's Monty Don. And it's parsley, aka one of the easiest and tastiest herbs ever to be found in a cook's garden.
With that in mind, then, I'm sure we can all find a little bit of time for this project.
Monty Don's tips for sowing summer parsley
'I like to have a constant supply of parsley which can easily be done as long as you make successional sowings,' writes Monty Don, in this month's instalment of his popular gardening blog.
'Now is the best time to sow the seeds that will provide plants for harvesting through winter and the first part of next spring.
Ready to give it a go? Of course you are.
What you will need
To begin growing your own parsley, you will need:
- Parsley seeds, such as these French Flat Parsley seeds from Crocus
- A growing site with well-drained soil, either in sun or partial shade
- A watering can, such as this nifty number from CrazyGadget (via Amazon)
How to grow parsley
As mentioned already, parsley is very easy to grow from seed – and that's whether you opt for a curly- or flat-leaved type.
'You can start seeds off in a pot on a well-lit windowsill,' says Christopher O'Donoghue of Gardens Revived. 'Or, if you prefer, you can sow them directly into the soil outdoors.
'Just be sure to water them well and keep the soil free of weeds at all times – and prepare to be patient, as germination can take up to six weeks.'
Meanwhile, Monty Don advises that gardeners avoid sprinkling seeds, as doing so will encourage them to grow 'into a bunch of spindly seedlings'.
Instead, space them at least 9 inches apart, as this will 'encourage each individual plant to be strong'.
'The well-spaced plants will have a big root and recover quickly from being cut back by throwing up more fresh leaves and thus provide a much better source of leaves for a longer period,' adds Monty Don.
Once you've gotten them going, you're all set, because parsley needs very little attention.
'All you have to do is water it regularly, keep weeds at bay, and snip off any yellow leaves,' says Christopher.
'I'd also recommend giving it a good feed every few weeks, to really help it thrive!'
All that's really left to do is harvest your parsley, and do it regularly, too: snipping leaves with scissors close to the stem will encourage plenty more growth, which means all of your salads and summer feasts will be flavoursome until the autumn.
Thanks for the tip, Monty!
Does parsley grow well from seed?
Parsley is a low-maintenance plant and very easy to grow from seed, although it can take a wee while to germinate: expect to wait around six weeks for those all-important shoots to appear.
What time of year do you plant parsley seeds?
Traditionally, gardeners tend to plant parsley in the spring – although Monty Don has July pegged as the best time to sow your seeds, as it means you'll be kept steadily supplied with the herb throughout the late summer and autumn months.
What is benefit of eating parsley?
Parsley is rich in vitamin A, C, K and other antioxidants, which means it is a very beneficial edimental to grow in your garden.
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Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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