Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Choosing Parsley Varieties

Fresh parsley

Fresh parsley

Growing parsley in your home garden is all about controlling and enjoying the growing process; being able to harvest and use fresh parsley while it’s still fresh (not days or weeks old, like what you might buy in the grocery store); and saving money (store-bought fresh parsley can be expensive, compared to growing your own, besides being not-so-fresh!).

But, first you have to choose your plants—and you don’t have too many choices of types of parsley that you can grow in your garden, because available varieties are quite limited. In fact, for most of us, your choice is curly parsley or flat-leaf parsley—and while that seems limiting, other more rare varieties aren’t as versatile for the wide variety of gardening and cooking needs you might have.

The key thing to remember is to decide what your goals are first:

  • Are you growing parsley just for culinary purposes? Then, you’ll want to make sure you consider what types of parsley you’ll need for your recipes and cooking.
  • Are you growing parsley as a companion plant, to help other plants fend off pests or to spot watering needs in sections of your garden? If this is the case, you can choose almost any variety of parsley that’s easy for you to obtain.
  • Are you growing parsley for decorative purposes in your garden? Then, please consider the right plants for your needs.
  • Or, perhaps, are you trying to achieve a little of all these goals—parsley for cooking, parsley as a companion plant, and parsley to make your garden look great?

Whatever your goals, please check out our Plant Profiles section, to see which varieties of parsley plants will best suit your needs.

Parsley Storage Bonus Tips: The best way to ensure freshness when cooking with parsley is to only cut what you need, directly from a plant, just before it’s needed. But, if you have extra parsley or store-bought fresh parsley, keep it fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks by washing the entire bunch in warm water, shaking off all excess moisture, wrapping tightly in paper towels, and sealing in a plastic bag. If you need longer storage time, remove the paper towel and place the sealed bag in the freezer. Then simply break off and crumble the amount of parsley you need for soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.

What types of parsley are you planning for your garden? What are your goals for your parsley—are you planning to cook with your parsley harvest? Please share your plans for parsley in your garden in the comments below.

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