This biennial umbellifer, found wild in the south of Europe, was introduced into the English gardens in 1548. The crop is of limited commercial importance in the United States. It is unquestionably our most beautiful vegetable for garnishing, but not fully appreciated for this purpose. The leaves are finely cut, curled and valued for salads and flavoring as well as for garnishing.
Extra Curled Dwarf is probably the most largely planted. Moss Curled, Fern-Leaved and Summer Green are also popular.
As the seeds germinate very slowly, they are often sown under glass, and transplanted once before setting in the open. The plants are hardy and may be taken to the open ground nearly as soon as cabbage. It is also customary to sow outdoors early in the spring or at intervals during the summer. For the fall crop in the North, June is the proper time to sow. The rows should be about 14 inches apart and the plants 6 to 10 inches apart in the row. The leaves may be used as soon as they are large enough, and gathered during the entire season.. Parsley will thrive in any moist, fertile soil. Nitrate of soda is especially valuable in securing rapid, tender growth. The leaves are tied together in small bunches for marketing. By protecting the plants in cold frames a supply throughout the winter is insured.