Sowing parsley

Need to know the best time to plant?

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Primrose
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Sowing parsley

Postby Primrose » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:33 am

I never have much luck getting parsley to germinate although I sow some pots of it every year. Does it really help by pouring boiling water over the seeds in the compost or is this just an urban myth? I know the seeds are slow to germinate but how slow is "slow" and after how long should I accept defeat if no shoots have appeared?
Last edited by Primrose on Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby alan refail » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:40 am

I sow flat-leaf parsley in a half seed tray.Heated propagator in spring, on the bench otherwise; through in 10 days. I wouldn't put boiling water on any seeds, though it's a popular "tip" for parsley.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Westi » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:42 pm

I had a supermarket plant that I kept & let go to seed. I used to dutifully collect the seed heads to sow each year but it was pretty erratic from seed, so now I just keep an eye out for it's little seedlings around the area & dig these up when quite tiny and transplant them.

No tray taking up space & no hardening off required, although it is a little later to get going I rarely get failures unless I find them when a little too large then they sulk when transplanted & generally bolt early.

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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby FelixLeiter » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:53 pm

I've only recently heard of the boiling water technique. I may give it a try as I've not found a way of consistently germinating parsley successfully. I once sowed in in autumn, in early October, and got masses of parsley plants from seed which I simply broadcast. I think this simulates plants self-seeding. My mother's parsley has kept going by self-seeding for years. iI can't help thinking that the freshness of the seed is also important, but no proof of this.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Ricard with an H » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:37 pm

Oh-hell, I'm presented with an opportunity to help and don't quite know how I'm going to help.

Last year I sowed parsley from a Lidl packet of taped seeds, last year was a difficult year because of the cold so I lost seedlings from various varieties though I had lots of parsley plants to the point I was giving them away and having them back all last year.

This year I sowed the same seed along with other stuff that sprouted but the tape parsley hasn't though it's only ten days.

Last years parsley from the taped seeds were a massive success that I have to assume was beginners luck because I have never been able to grow parsley.

It was lovely-tasty flat leaf.

What do you think ?
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby John » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:11 pm

I soak the seeds in a saucer of water for a couple of days before sowing. Once or twice a day I replace the water as it becomes yellow. Then I sow in the normal way and germination is usually good.
I suspect that the seeds may have something in their outer layers to inhibit germination and that soaking removes this - just an idea don't know if there is any truth in it!

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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:55 pm

I grow Italian giant parsley from seeds of Italy. Needs no special treatment. Not only does it survive the winter, it self-seeds prolifically so you need never sow it again !
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:15 pm

My tape-seed parsley from Lidle has shown it's head, it is the nicest parsley I have tasted for years though previously I only bought store-bought parsley.

I haven't done anything other than keep the sowings moist, all my sowing is in my proper-blokes-shed. I light a fire in the stove ever day so the night temperatures rarely get below 10 degrees though the light is only coming through two velux windows so plants get leggy very quickly.

This year I'm moving them to my cold frame as soon as they are about two inches high.

So-far-so-good.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Primrose » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:09 pm

Well I have to report my first ever success at last :D The two pots I'd sown had been looking dead as dodos for almost a month in my mini greenhouse. In desperation I put them into the airing cupboard and within 48 hours they were both full of tiny seedlings. Don't know whether it was the sudden burst of heat or whether they had just reached their due germination time.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Ricard with an H » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:00 pm

I think it was Alan who pinned the blame for my last years failures on the fact that my seedlings were probably suffering low night-time temperatures of under 10 degrees.

Some things seem to grow at 10 degrees though seeds seem to need a boost of temperature as you noticed by putting them in the airing cupboard.

This gardening-lark is a lot more scientific then the marketing-bods make out, some wild flowers need to go in the fridge for a month and beans are very fragile to the point I have lost 50% of my sowings because I'm trying far to early for this environment.

My dad always said, "When you're gardening, you're nearest to god. Because always half-blxxxxxxxdy dead. :D

After taking a break from cutting wood I'm shovelling and transporting black-gold-soil from the barns to a raised bed, a round trip of around 300 metres and some uphill pushing of the wheelbarrow.

Now, I'm so tired I can't feed myself.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby robo » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:01 pm

All our parsley died off over winter we did have some nice big plants, last week my mother moved from her house into a flat she is 90 years old and got fed up with her comfortable house anyway she told my wife to take what she wanted from her garden , one of the things we found was a big clump of parsley bright green and in need of trimming
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:22 am

Oh-hell, I didn't realise parsley was perennial. I dug up all my last years plants and binned them because I thought they go to seed on the second year. Or maybe I thought they might not taste as good.

Its hell getting old when you can't remember why you did stuff, oh-well. I have some new plants emerging.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby John » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:53 pm

Hi Ricard
Parsley is a biennial - same family as carrots. It will flower in its second year when leaf production is not very good.
For best result treat as an annual and grow fresh plants each year.
Hope this helps
John
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:48 pm

Thanks John.

Looks like I'm slowly getting things right.
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Re: Sowing parsley

Postby Motherwoman » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:29 pm

Robo, are you sure it's parsley? Water hemlock is perennial, looks very similar to a flat leaf parsley and is poisonous.

I'd grow from fresh seed if I was you!

I sowed half a tray of Italian and half of curly about 4 weeks ago. The Italian came up after about 3 weeks and the curly is just showing. I plant them out in big pots (old tree pots) in May and enjoy parsley right up until they go to badly to seed which is about the begining of June.

MW
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