The Secret for Growing Herbs in Pots

I think everyone should grow a pot of herbs. Even if you only have a tiny spec of outdoor space, if you have some sun, you can grow herbs. Most herbs grow well in containers and some (like mint and lemon balm) should be grown in pots because if you grow them in your garden they will try to take over the world. Also, many are pretty forgiving and even beginners can grow them with success. I grow herbs for cooking and decoration as well.

Almost any recipe is better if you put parsley in or on it (ok, perhaps not chocolate mousse, but you get my point). Parsley is exceedingly easy to grow. You can either buy seedlings, almost anywhere that sells plants or grow it from seed. I usually buy seedlings because the seeds can take weeks to germinate and are fussy about transplanting. If you do start parsley seeds, soak them overnight before planting.

Parsley comes in two types, Italian, also called flat parsley and curly parsley, which is the more common variety. Many people prefer flat parsley for cooking and curly parsley for garnishes. I’ve never been able to tell the difference in taste. Parsley prefers full sun, but can grow in partial shade. It’s very hardy and will make it through a frost. I’ve even found perfectly usable parsley under a a few inches of snow of snow. To harvest, just snip off at the base of a stem. As with most herbs, the more you harvest, the more you’ll get.

Parsley is biennial, which means that it can come back for two years, though some think the leaves are more bitter the second year.

Parsley is an herb that will thrive if you keep using it. To harvest, cut stalks on the outside of the plant, down near the soil.