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How to Harvest Parsley - When Where to Cut for Best Production

Published By Adam Travis Last Modified: 
March 12, 2021

If you want to know the non-destructive way to harvest parsley then you are in the right place. Here I have explained how you can harvest parsley in steps. Besides, I will share the tips to get the best productions and method to collect seeds for plantation.

You can cut parsley as like cutting other herbs. Usually, these herbs are ready to harvest after 70 to 90 days of planting. But, you should not harvest it, if the plants have the flower. At that time, it will taste bitter.

Parsley is generally used by garnishing it into dishes to add flavor, color, and nutritious value. It belongs to the same family as that of carrots. Besides, this is a type of herb that can survive in all sorts of conditions.

Now let's began with the methods of harvesting...

A Guide to Harvesting Parsley (Without Killing the Plant)

Harvest Parsley Easily

Most often, people plant parsley and grow it with organic vegetables. Now, this herb is getting popular as organic vegetable farming is getting popular. This plant has a life span of about two years if protected.

So, it can be grown several times every year. Start harvesting the parsley when it is about six inches tall. It can be grown in any soil where the sunlight is available for 6-8 hours. You can start picking parsley when they between 70-90 days old.

But, when you are growing for self-use, you can cut them any time in their growing season.

When to harvest?

Most of the time, people choose the younger plants to harvest as they have the most robust flavor. The leaves of these plants can be collected even after the first year. And this will give the best yield and product.

  • As we mentioned earlier, the first time harvesting starts at the age of 10 weeks to 12 weeks. In the USA and other countries nearby, seeds are planted in the fall for spring harvesting or late winter for summer production.
  • Generally, at that age, each herb plant got ample leaves. However, not every parsley is qualified to be harvested. You aspire to pick the healthy ones only.
  • Harvest the parsley when the main stems do branch into three different sections. Check the stems if they are mature enough to be harvested.
  • Parsley will harvest regularly throughout the entire season, even after you harvest the leaves. In this manner, you can have a steady supply of herbs, and it is unnecessary to gather them all at a time.

Now we are going to look out at some of the ways you can harvest parsley.

How to Harvest Parsley?- Easiest Method

When you are harvesting the whole stem, make sure to harvest the entire branch of the parsley. Start the clipping from the bottom of the plant instead of trimming it from the upper end.

  • Use a sharp pair of scissors or garden shear to do so.
  • Proceed by plucking from one stem at a time. Many plants are ready to be harvested within about three months are they have been planted. Allow the new and the inner parts of the stem to mature before you harvest.
  • Start cutting from the outer base of the plant so that the inner stem can generate more stem.
  • Therefore, a bushier parsley plant is formed that also has a refined yield.
  • If you are thinking about harvesting a small amount in sprigs, pluck them out from the outer portion of the plant instead of from the inside.
  • Removing the leaves from the outside will ensure that those leaves are not turning brown. This also allows the plant to concentrate its energy.

Tips for getting Best Quality Parsley

Parsley Harvesting Tips

If the parsley is kept outdoors and is not kept safe from external weather conditions, it will wear off during the winter. Harvest the plant before this occurs so that the plant has the chance to grow back before the spring season arrives. 

  • Parsley is the best if it is fresh. If you cut a small amount of parsley at a time, try to use it up immediately.
  • However, if you want, you can store it for several months. The defrosted parsley can be used in a similar way as fresh parsley. But, the taste of the leaves fades away with time.
  • Again, if you pluck some leaves more than you need then cover the leftovers with a damp cloth and keep it in a refrigerated area for later use.

How to Store Parsley in the Refrigerator?

One of the methods is - trim the leaves and to keep them in ice cube trays.

Then fill the trays with water and freeze them in the usual manner. The let the ice cubes have formed. 

Now, how to use them? 

Bring them out from the freezer and leave them in the open to melt and remove the water.

And then add it to the dish you are preparing. However, the chilled parsley will have its original taste. Tt will miss the flimsiness you could have using the fresh.

You can also use the parsley for a long time by drying up the leaves in a food dehydrator or any other means possible.

Tips on Harvesting Parsley Seeds

Now we will discuss some of the ways that you can use to harvest the parsley seeds 

  • Parsley plant does not produce seeds until the second year of plantation.
  • To have a better chance of harvesting the parsley seeds. It is highly advised to pluck off the weak plants that are about two years old.
  • That is done to ensure that the healthiest plants fertilize each other and produce the best seeds for the harvest.
  • When harvesting and stowing away the seeds, keep the seeds that are ready to be harvested early. 
  • To harvest all the seed heads, wait until all of them have turned dark brown.
  • If you harvest them before the seeds heads have changed their color, they may not germinate later on.
  • After the seeds have finished flowering, it will come out as a light green color. The seed will become tanned in the second period, and then finally, it will turn into a dark color.

Where to Cut

Cut below the seed heads to clip off the seeds. Use the thumb and the index finger to pinch the part of the stem below the sed head and then finally cut it off.

Shake off the seed heads gently in a paper bag to remove the mature seeds easily. You can also separate the mature seeds by shaking them slightly over a tightly woven patch of plastic sheet. 

But, Do not shake the seeds while trimming off the stem. To prevent the seeds from spreading all over the place.

If a certain number of seeds from the entire lot ripen off earlier than the other, you can harvest them individually by stomping them with your index finger and thumb.

The parsley plants do often ripen off at an irregular pace.

Do not pull off the seed too harshly as that can cause the stem to recoil. If there are too many mature seeds they will eventually break off with the force of the recoil and will scatter all over.

Therefore, the best way to collect the seeds is to collect them independently if many of the seeds are not yet ready to reap.

It is essential to dry the seeds for almost two weeks before stocking them and using them later. If you want to dry the seeds, then spread them on a baking sheet and then put them in a spot that is not cold and damp. Place the dried seeds in an airtight plastic bag until they are ready to plant. These dried seeds could be used for the next spring season.

Final Word

Parsley is relatively easy to harvest. Follow the guidelines provided in this article, and you are ready to have your first parsley harvest done correctly. Happy Harvesting!!!

A die heart farmer. Loves farming and growing various things in his backyard. He is one of the founder member of Farming Method- The Modern Farmers Blog.

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