How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

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How To Harvest and Dry Parsley. Parsley is a great herb to grow that can be harvested throughout the summer growing season. Here are step by step instructions to harvesting, and drying, parsley.

Parsley is a great herb to grow that can be harvested throughout the summer growing season. Here are step by step instructions to harvesting, and drying, parsley.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

Parsley or garden parsley is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae. There are over 30 varieties of parsley, few of which I would know. I planted Flat Parsley in my garden (Italian Parsley) which is great for cooking. Generally, Parsley is ready to cut or harvest 70 to 90 days after planting. Mine was ready sooner.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

I decided to run out and harvest my parsley yesterday. Life has been a bit chaotic here, and I was afraid it would get hot, the parsley would bolt, and then I’d lose it all. It was ready to cut a week or so ago. That meant I had a ton I could cut!

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• Parsley is ready to harvest when you see that the stems have three segments.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• With kitchen shears, gardening shears or regular old scissors, you want to cut from the outside of the parsley plant, in. You are taking the older parsley off first.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• Snip at the bottom.
• You are taking the entire stem.
• That stem will rot if you leave it, and taking it close to the base will encourage more stem growth, and therefore, more parsley.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• You can snip off one piece, or a whole lot depending on your need.
• If you have several plants, take off an even amount from all of them rather than stripping one and leaving the rest full.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• To dry your parsley, first wash it thoroughly.
• Remove the stems, and wash again. You want to make sure all the dirt and any bugs are removed.
• I spin mine in a salad spinner to remove excess water and for faster drying.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• I have two convection ovens with a drying setting, and that is what these drying instructions are for:
• Insert a baking rack into a jelly roll pan. If you don’t have a rack, no problem, your parsley just may need a stir or two and a while longer to dry if it placed directly on a jelly roll pan (or other baking sheet).
• If you have a convection oven with a drying setting, or a dehydrator, set the temperature to 125° (I’ve seen everywhere from 95° to 170° suggested. A lower temperature doesn’t hurt, it just takes longer to dry. A higher could cook the parsley, and you don’t want that, so be cautious and check your parsely often.
• Spread a single layer of washed parsley onto the baking rack in your jelly roll pan.
• Dry for 2-4 hours. The dry time will depend on how wet your parsley is, and how evenly you spread your parsley.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• Now crush the dried parsley with a mortar and pestle.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• Oooooooooooooor if you are lazy like I am, use your mini food processor!!!
• Fill up the mini processor’s bowl, pulse 2-3 times. Bomb-ba, done!
• You can grind all your parsley in the mini food processor in the time it takes to crush on load in the mortar and pestle. I highly suggest if you have a mini food processor, use it for this job.

How To Harvest and Dry Parsley

• Now store in an air tight container, or freezer.

You know Hubby, he wanted to get the foodsaver out and one of the vacuum seal jars and store the dried parsley that way. But, I like the freezer instead because we will remember we have it and actually use the dried parsley if it is staring us in the face in the freezer!

He couldn’t argue with that.

I expect to do this several more times before the gardening season is over (provided the parsley doesn’t bolt). I had six plants, and that will give is more than enough parsley for the year.

Interested in more gardening posts? You might also enjoy these:

How To Harvest and Dry Basil – Basil is a great herb to grow that can be harvested throughout the summer growing season. Here are step by step instructions to harvesting, and drying, basil.

10 Easy Herbs to Grow – If you are a beginner gardener and would like to start growing herbs, this list of easy to grow herbs will help you decide what to cultivate.

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  1. Congrats!
    Do this ‘several more times’ and you will have a lifetime supply of parsley. LOL
    -what are you going to do with the REST of the plant? 🙂 Did you talk to hubby about juicing? You know that green vegetable juicing?
    BTW: Normally parsley, being biennial, will not bolt until the following spring. But you are in a diff zone than I am and your results may vary. I have a single curly parsley plant that has not bolted in 3 years. That’s the record for my back yard.

    • LOL I pulled in close to 40% of what was out there, and it made maaaaaaaaaybe a cup. If it doesn’t bolt I will have a lifetime supply, if it does bolt, what I processed won’t last until Christmas. I’m not sure what will/will not happen – everything I read said take the seeds! (and reproduce forever). A three year old plant, Barbee? Good for you!!


      • Sounds like your plants are still babies-maybe? Here in Z-8 they get huge. Before flowering 1 ft across and at flowering, the stalks can get 4 feet tall.
        Here in Z-8 the plants bloom in the Spring, attracting all manner of itsy bitsy pollinators, and the seed heads mature in the Summer. So all things being equal-looks like no seeds for you this year.
        Here, the plants are evergreen down to the teens. Much colder and you may have to mulch them to carry over until next Spring. Do you have anyone local you can ask about that?
        We don’t use that much dried parsley but fresh is GREAT. You have a recipe here for parsley potatoes where you can take advantage of the fresh parsley. (I love Parsley potatoes w/ lots and lots of butter. Yummy!)
        Another herb you may want to try is sage. I adore sage in all my meat stews or crock pot dishes and it dries like a dream. Fresh is always best but ‘freshly rubbed’ dried sage leaves are very potent too.

        I’m really glad you made your herb garden such a success. And if it becomes a perennial herb garden-more’s the better. Any plans to add more next year? Lavender maybe?
        P.S. That 3 yr old parsley is a freak. Probably some kind of genetic defect. You get that w/ seeds sometimes. I had a kohlrabi plant that was like that. I cut the bulb off and two more grew, I cut those and 4 more grew etc… that was really neat. (Until a hard freeze finally killed it.) I don’t hold my breath that it’ll ever happen again, but it is kinda’ neat when it does.

        • I saw some guy on some board at 3′, and I laughed my head off. Yours are 4′, Barbee!!! not here. Now I will worry less about crazy growing and seeding.

          I am already considering next year’s plans, Barbee. First I want to see what those giant flowers taking over under the tree are. I regret leaving them at the moment, but if they bloom beautiful, I may be glad. I sincerely doubt I will plant tomatoes in the earth box again. Sure they are huge and already turning red, but the ones I planted in the soil are not that far behind. I’d rather do something else in those earth boxes – possibly a more evasive herb. I won’t grow lavender again up here … did that at my old house, and it grew like a weed!

          Now the question is: what are YOUR plans for a garden at the new place next year?


          • LOL @ your question. Was JUST NOW browsing Sustainable Seed Co. when I remembered that I wanted to follow up in here @ AEL. Went to the house today and looked my experimental planting of sweet potatoes. They are doing better than I hoped. I did a really sloppy planting on 6/24 of 10 un-rooted cuttings. ALL are doing well and some are in flower. What is amazing is that I put exactly 3 gallons of water (total) on those 10 plants in 2 months.
            ….I have a super special plot of land in that spot. And it WILL be my garden next year and every year. It on the south end of the lake and at a lower elevation so the natural water table is really high. There a a lot of cray fish burrows there and you look down into them and see the water-it that high. YAY for no/minimal extra irrigation.
            To answer…I am going to plant everything I can. Will likely run out of time before ideas. Oh and I’m starting from scratch. I have no trees, shrubs, bulbs, bushes. Nothing. I will be busy. 🙂
            P.S. Jealous of your lavender. That is one weed I would love to be plagued by.

            • Edit: I planted on 5/24 not June. Typo> OOOPs

            • Ok, I laughed out loud when I read you had started a garden prior to move in! I am not sure why I am surprised, Barbee. Sounds like you have winner soil on your land in dry Texas.

              Watering here isn’t something I really think about…we were *this close* to a drought (semi drought the weatherman called it) 3-4 years ago, but then it rained buckets the last two years, and this year is perfect weather. Since we live on a Great Lake, I never really think about the lack of water a lot of the country has to deal with.

              We basically have the sprinklers for August.


  2. Ann,
    I have this very old clunky Mr Coffee food dehydrator and I do mine a little different in I use that and I do not crush my leaves until I am going to use them. That helps keep the maximum scent and flavor. I use fresh parsley a LOT and never can have enough! I even put it in my dogs food every meal I remember, they love it! It is a wonderful antioxidant! I dry my sage in this as well and while drying the herbs it fills the house with wonderful fragrance! I give my herbs away as Christmas gifts to friends and family and everyone loves it! The most important thing to remember is to make sure it is really DRY ! I would love to have a convection oven I hear they are really fun!

    • So you store a big bag and if it gets smushed it gets smushed, Debb? I can see that! I may give that a go next round. Thanks for the tip!

      As far as the convection ovens go – they were here when we bought the house. I had never had one prior. I doubt I would buy another stove/oven without the convection option in the future, I use it that much!


  3. I take the LONG way by hanging them to dry. I pluck the dried leaves and when I am ready to use, then I crush.

  4. I do a little bit of all of your ideas with the exception of the convection oven..

    Usually I lay mine out in my oven and just let them air dry in there… Sometimes I bundle them together with a rubber band & hang them upside down in the basement and them shove em in a canning jar when they are dry.. I also often will just cut a whole handful about 2″ above the ground and just stick them in one of the Ziploc Vacuum Bags.. I had so many herbs in my freezer I did a huge purge last month.. I tend to use them more if they’re dried and in canning jars.
    I have a dehydrator that I use a lot too if its upstairs.. but I rarely will bring it up to dry herbs.. I just hang em up or toss em in the oven for a few days… 😛

  5. I miss having parsley! Growing up, we never had to plant it after the first time, because it reseeded nicely. Since we are in a temperate climate, we never had to worry about storing it. Whenever we wanted it, no matter the season, all we had to do was snip some off. At my current location, though, I have been working on finding a spot for the herb garden that won’t get flooded out in the winter. I think I’ve finally got it figured out, but I am still working on clearing the space. Time will tell!

  6. I deal with huge amounts of herbs. I have found that drying some herbs still on the stems is easier to deal with as if you time it correctly, the leaves will be crispy dry and the stems will still be pliable. This will allow you to crush the leaves away from the stems.
    This works with cilantro, thyme, oregano and catnip. I have not had that much success with this technique for basil or sage. I just got done spending 45 minutes picking stems from a bag of sage i just harvested.


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