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

By Adam Travison April 5, 2020

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.

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

Now lets began to the methods of harvesting...

Harvesting Parsley: When and How?

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

Therefore 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 the are aged between 70-90 days.

When to harvest?

Most of the time people choose the younger plants to harvest as they have the strongest 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 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 not necessary to harvest 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 stem of the parsley and be sure to 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 base of the plant so that the plants are able to generate more stem, therefore, a bushier parsley plant is formed that also has a refined yield.
  • If you are thinking about harvesting a small number of parsley sprigs for immediate use, 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 or are in the plant for too long. This also allows the plant to concentrate its energy.

Tips for getting Best Quality Parsley

Parsley Harvesting TipsIf 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 used fresh. This can be stored for several months, the taste of the leaves fades away with time If you use a small amount of parsley at a time try to use it up immediately.
  • However, if you pluck several leaves more than you need then cover the leftovers with a damp cloth and keep it in a refrigerated area for later use.
  • If you freeze the parsley, the defrosted parsley can be used in a similar manner as you would use the fresh parsley. You can keep the parsley cold in many ways.
  • One of the methods is to trim the leaves and to keep them in ice cube trays. Then fill the trays with water and freeze it in the usual manner. When the ice cubes have formed, leave them in the open to melt, remove the water formed and then add it into the dish you are preparing. Although the chilled parsley will have its original taste it will lose the flimsiness that you could have when used 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.
  • This is done in order to make sure that the healthiest plants do 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 away from those that could be used later. 
  • 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 the 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. As the seeds are very small, they will definitely get lost.

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. It can be seen that some of the seeds of the same plant earlier than its counterparts.

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 important to dry the seeds for almost two weeks before you can stock them and use them later. If you want to dry the seeds then spread the seeds 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 perfectly. 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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