Parsley (Petroswlinum hortense) is one of the most important leafy vegetable crops in the western countries of the world. It belongs to the family Umbelliferae. It is mostly grown for its leaves. It is a hardy cool season. It flourishes well under both temperate and tropical conditions.
How to Grow Parsley
There are three types of parsley
Humburg– plants are tall, course, and tough stem, leaves look like celery shoots.
Well-drained sandy loam soils are most suitable for parsley cultivation. It requires a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Parsley yields better under deep soils with rich in organic matter. Avoid soils with a lack of proper drainage facilities.
The optimum temperature for parsley cultivation is 50-80 ̊ F. parsley requires an optimum temperature of 24 ̊ C for germination. It contains high light requirements compared to the other crops. Parsley is somewhat resistant to cold. The optimum temperature required for the growth of parsley is 15 -18 ̊ C.
Land should be plowed in such a way to create smooth seedbeds. Better to add organic manures like farmyard manure, etc. for better yields. Prepare the beds of convenient size to facilitate easy intercultural operations. Land should be plowed 1- 2 times to achieve a fine tilth. Remove weeds and stubbles of the previous season before plowing.
Parsley is mainly cultivated by seeds. Seed soaking for 24 hours in water before sowing will ensure quick germination.
Seed rate: 50-100 grams of seeds per acre.
Prepare 60 inches raised fine seedbed by adding forest soil, leaf mold, and compost. Maintain a spacing of 18 to 22 between beds. After sowing, the seeds in the nursery cover the seeds with soil or leaf mold, etc.
July is the best time for transplanting. The seedling will be ready for transplanting after two months after sowing. Care should be taken while transplanting to avoid injuries to the tender roots.
Recommended spacing for parsley cultivation is 50 × 50 cm.
Whenever you find the soil dry, irrigate the soil. Lack of soil moisture will adversely affect the yield. Better to install drip or sprinklers to irrigate the plants. Always keep the soil moist enough. Irrigation should be provided at 15-20 days intervals. Providing proper drainage is essential.
Covering beds with any type of material, either organic or inorganic is called mulching. Mulching conserves soil moisture and hinders the growth of weeds, which in result increases the yield.
Fertilizers of different kinds, either organic or inorganic can be used. Pouring tea to parsley plants also shows a beneficial effect on parsley growth and development. Apply farmyard manure of 10 -12 tonnes along with 60: 45: 25 N, P, and K. Apply nitrogen fertilizers in split doses.
Weed management is necessary for parsley cultivation. Growing crops under mulch mostly reduce weed growth by cutting light. Remove the weeds whenever they found in the fields. Generally, 2-3 weeding’s necessary. Various herbicides can also be used for effective weed control.
Pest and disease:
Spraying of chemicals like Fosetyl-Al, PyraclostrobinMandpropamid, and Potassium Phosphite controls downy mildew effectively.
Fludioxonilspary will control damping-off in parsley.
Neem oil sprays are recommended to control leaf spots
Sprays of sesame oil or azadirachtin
Spraying of cypermethrin, Azadirachtin, or garlic juice extracts works effectively against aphids.
Beetle and weevils:
Spraying of cypermethrin, Azadirachtin, or garlic juice extracts control beetles and weevils without causing yield losses.
Plants come to harvest in 90-100 days (direct sown crop). In the case of transplanted crops, it comes to harvesting within 60-70 days after transplanting. It can be harvested when the plant is 6 inches tall. If parsley has to be sold at a fresh market mostly harvesting was done manually. It is better to use scissors to cut the plants near the soil line which in result does not disturb the roots. If we want to take up multiple cuttings leave at least one inch of stem from the ground without cutting.
In parsley, we can take around 3-4 cuttings from without a single crop. The average yield involved in parsley cultivation is 5-8 tonnes per hectare.
Parsley is rich in vitamin C, A, and Iron.
It is used in the preparation of salads.
It is also used in garnishing and flavoring.
Parsley is also used in the preparation of soups and stews.
Parsley roots and dried stems are also used as a condiment.
It possesses carminative, diuretic, and antipyretic properties.
Juice extracted from the leaves of parsley is used as an insecticide.
It also helps in controlling high blood pressure and strengthen the bladder.
It also reduces the itching effect due to mosquito bite when crushed and rubbed on the skin.
An essential oil apiol is extracted from parsley by the steam distillation method.