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.
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!
• Parsley is ready to harvest when you see that the stems have three segments.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Now crush the dried parsley with a mortar and pestle.
• 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.
• 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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