Wouldn’t you love to add the flavor of fresh herbs to your hearty cold weather dishes? Well, there’s no reason to regret the arrival of cold weather because some of our favorite kitchen spices, like parsley, are hardy and grow all year round. You can overwinter parsley in the garden. It will slowly but steadily produce crisp, fresh leaves in cool temperatures.
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Is parsley winter hardy
As one of the most commonly grown culinary herbs, parsley is a popular ingredient in recipes ranging from baked goods to savory dishes and smoothies. And of course, it’s also known as a pretty and practical garnish! Being a biennial, it’s a natural when it comes to surviving the winter . Whether you grow it in a pot, in a sheltered spot in the garden, or even on a sunny windowsill indoors, you can enjoy its tasty leaves all year round.
We’ll show you how to enjoy the fresh taste of parsley all year round! A hardworking companion plant, it is welcome anywhere in the garden as it naturally repels pests. And its pretty foliage also makes an attractive addition to beds, borders and containers! Low temperatures slow production, but the leaves continue to grow – even with a light covering of snow on the ground.
Tips for growing in cold weather
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your cold weather crop:
- Parsley is easy to grow from seed. Always harvest the outer leaves first. Never pick more than 1/3 of a plant’s leaves at a time – they provide energy for the roots.
- Extend the life of the plant (a little) by removing the flower stalks in time.
- In areas with a lot of cold precipitation, pots must have excellent drainage. Remove coasters and place pots directly on the ground to keep them out of water.
- Parsley will self-seed vigorously. Allow one or two plants to flower and sow them – that way you’ll always have a steady supply of seedlings for the garden or containers.
Overwinter parsley in the garden
- To overwinter your plants, choose a location that is protected from dry winds and offers full sun.
- Enrich the soil with plenty of organic material such as compost or old manure at planting time to ensure vigorous plants.
- Protect the roots and crown with a thick layer of straw mulch. This keeps the roots moist and protected from frost and thaw.
- In the fall, remove up to 1/3 of the longer shoots from the outer edge of the plant. This allows more sunlight to reach the center of the plant where new growth will develop.
- Leave 3 to 5 inches at the base of the cut stems to encourage new side shoots.
- If nature does not provide enough moisture, water lightly in the morning – and only when temperatures are above freezing.
- Plants that are harvested also benefit from regular applications of fertilizer, but only at half strength. A monthly application of diluted fish fertilizer or a water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer will provide the necessary nutrients.
- To keep the leaves viable in sub-zero temperatures, provide a protective cloche. Some cloches have adjustable ventilation to control temperature and humidity. With these tips, you can easily overwinter parsley in the garden!
Outdoor tubs and pots
Place outdoor containers in a sheltered location where they will receive as much light as possible. Place the containers in corners, against a fence or foundation, or under leafy shrubs and trees. Cover the entire surface of the container with a thick layer of mulch, 8 to 10 inches thick. Protect the roots from freezing by wrapping the pots with bubble wrap or insulating the containers with layers of pine branches or straw.
Water only when the top inch of soil is dry, and fertilize monthly with a half-strength dose of fertilizer. Protect plants with a cloche when frost threatens. In areas with high winter rainfall, remove coasters or trays from under pots to keep them out of water.
Winterize potted plants indoors
In colder zones, you can dig up some plants and bring them indoors in pots or containers. Dig them up carefully, making sure most of the long taproot is intact. Use containers deep enough to accommodate the roots, and make sure the pots have drainage holes and a thick layer of seepage. Use a light, rich potting soil.
After placing them in the pots, water them well and place them in a lightly shaded area for a few weeks to allow them to recover from transplanting. Before a frost, bring the pots indoors and place them in a cool, sunny window. With adequate light, the plants can survive the fall and winter and will slowly form new leaves. Water lightly when the top inch of soil is dry, and fertilize monthly with a dilute fertilizer. The quality of the leaves decreases with the end of the life cycle of the plant.