Learn how to harvest parsley for drying!
Parsley is undoubtedly one of the most popular types of herbs on the planet. It is used not only as a dressing for various dishes but also to help make those dishes a lot tastier. If you grow a lot of parsley and you’re interested in drying some of it so that it’ll last longer, the good news is that the task is a lot simpler than you might think.
Once parsley starts to grow, it can seemingly overtake your yard, but that’s only because it grows so easily. Parsley certainly can dress up any meal you’re serving, but there are some rules that you should follow if you are harvesting parsley in order to dry it.
SEE ALSO: 5 Easy Methods of Drying Parsley at Home
How to Harvest Parsley for Drying
After your parsley starts to grow, you may want to dry some of it to make it last longer and this is very easy to do. Parsley is a leafy-looking herb, and when you notice that the leaf stems all have three segments, this means that it is ready to be harvested. This usually takes 70 to 90 days from the time that you planted the parsley, so don’t expect to harvest this herb for at least 70 days.
When you go to cut it, take a pair of kitchen shears and snip it at ground level after you’ve taken the stems and leaves and bunched them together with your other hand. If you snip or cut too high up on the plant, it could make growing more parsley afterward a lot more difficult.
This is why, when you cut the parsley, only cut the leafy part off and leave the stems if possible, because that’s where all the flavor is. And let’s face it; the aroma and flavor are the main reasons to grow parsley in the first place!
Another tip when cutting parsley is to always cut the outside stalks first before cutting inward. If you leave the inside stalks and let them keep growing, they’ll have more time to mature and therefore will look much better and have more herbs to harvest when you get to them. Again, you’ll want to cut at ground level and snip off only the leafy part whenever possible to get the best-tasting parsley in the end. Naturally, some of the stems is always going to be left behind, but you want to end up with mostly leafy parts and little stem whenever you can.
If you plan to continuously harvest throughout the season, it’s a good idea to wait roughly a week between harvesting times. Parsley grows fast, and if you wait a week between one harvest and the next, there will be plenty of new, fresh parsley stems to choose from the next time that you head out with your kitchen shears. Parsley also grows very easily and the seeds are cheap to buy, so if you accidentally mess up when you’re cutting your parsley and you end up having to throw some of it away, don’t worry because there will be plenty of parsley where that batch came from.
What to do next?
If you’re not going to dry your parsley immediately and you think that you may eat it very soon, you can place it gently into a glass of water and put it in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh and edible for roughly ten days. Just place the fresh parsley in a glass cup, then cover it loosely with a see-through plastic bag or some plastic wrap. You can go in and take out what you need whenever you like, then leave the rest in there for the next time.
If you’re going to dry your parsley, you won’t want to do this; instead, you’re better off if you dry it immediately while it’s still fresh. Keeping it in water in the fridge should only be done when you’re interested in keeping it fresh for a short time period before you eat it.