The world’s most popular culinary herb, also known as “rock celery!”
Plant a Patch of Parsley for an abundant supply.
Rub your seeds between fine to medium sandpaper or place between pieces of paper and ‘massage’ them with a rolling pin! Soak 24 hours for faster germination, 2 Cups H2O, ½ cup vinegar. Parsley seed has a chemical in the seed coat that inhibits germination. Soaking the seeds, then discarding that water, removes enough of the inhibitor to get things going. Put the seeds on a paper towel to drain so when your pick them up they don’t stick to your fingers in clumps. Another way, if you have the courage, is to freeze then soak the seeds, plant, pour a teakettle of boiling water down the row! I like the freezing part ok, but the boiling water would kill all the soil organisms, at least temporarily.
Parsley seeds need to be planted 1/8” deep, very at the surface, like lettuce seeds. Barely cover, or simply sprinkle on top of your soil, press in with the back of your hand. Parsley doesn’t germinate in the light! So cover it, maybe a piece of heavy black plastic. Keep watch; remove the cover when they have germinated. Seed packets say it takes 21 to 28 days to germinate, but soaking and covering will half that time! Some people get ‘em in 3 – 4 days!
Parsley is a bit particular. It likes moist but not mushy soil, has a tap root, so make your bed about 10” deep with rich soil. It likes regular deep water. Once it wilts, it usually doesn’t recover. The first year, it’s a biennial, you get abundant leaves! If you let it go to seed in its 2nd year, it’s pretty little yellow flowers are a host for swallowtail butterflies, and you have next year’s seeds!
Types of Parsley
Most popular are curly and Italian flat leaf. Both related to celery, the Italian is more fragrant, sweeter. Turnip-rooted, Hamburg, is grown for its roots, resembling salsify and burdock. Chinese parsley is actually cilantro!
More than a pretty face!
When I Googled ‘benefits of parsley,’ I was surprised at my options! Tea, juice, root, for dogs, leaves, oil, herb, and garlic, supplements! Most of us know it as the pretty sprig on your restaurant plate to cleanse your palate and breath at the end of your meal. More than that, parsley is high in vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C. It is one of the best reliefs for edema, helping when other remedies have failed; parsley is a reliable diuretic. Parsley’s volatile oils can help neutralize particular carcinogens that are part of cigarette and charcoal grill smoke! The Alpha & Omega oils in parsley are good for you because their short unsaturated molecules can most easily break up bigger fat molecules, allowing these bigger molecules to be more easily burned by the body. In short, you burn fat, lose weight! Not bad for such a small investment!
Parsley root tea makes stiff and unmanageable fingers work again. It’s easy to make! Pour a quart of boiling water over a cup of firmly packed fresh parsley and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and then refrigerate. Raw parsley juice is a most potent juice and should never be taken alone in quantities of more than one or two ounces at a time unless it is mixed into a sufficient quantity of carrot or other juices. Parsley can help with expelling watery poisons, excess mucus, flatulence (gas), and reducing swollen or enlarged glands.
Use parsley chopped with bulgur wheat, chopped green onions (scallions), mint leaves, lemon juice and olive oil to make the Middle Eastern classic dish, tabouli. Add parsley to pesto, as a rub for chicken, lamb and beef. Tasty in soups and tomato sauces. Serve a colorful salad of fennel, orange, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and parsley leaves. Chopped sprinkled on salads, vegetable sautés and grilled fish. Slide some into your sandwich! Bon appetit!
Avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney or gallbladder problems. And, always, always, check with a qualified physician or health care professional before starting any herbal regime! Herbs are potent!
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Posted in Community Gardens, Compost, Lasagna Gardening - Food Not Lawns, Manure, Mycorrhizae, No-dig, Raised Beds, Soil, Worm Castings, tagged aerate, air, alfalfa, amendment, bloom, brown, build, cardboard, casting, chop and drop, circulation, compost, Day, deck, decompose, dry, earth, FNL, food, food miles, Food Not Lawns, frameless, front, fruit, fungi, garden, grass, green, innoculate, landscape, lasagna, lawn, layer, leaves, manure, microclimate, minerals, mulch, mycorrhizal, N, newspaper, niche, Nitrogen, no dig, nutritious, organisms, phosphorus, pollution, raised bed, Red, restoration, rock, roots, scraps, seeds, sheet, Soil, South, straw, sun, sustainability, tarp, terrace, transplant, trim, uptake, veggies, wet, wetted, worm, wriggler, yard on April 16, 2011 |
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Food Not Lawns is all about raising veggies not grass. Studies show they both take about the same amount of water, but veggies pay back sustainably with fresh highly nutritious food on your table and no-food-miles or pollution. Plus they make seeds for their next generation, adapting to your microclimate niche! http://www.sbfoodnotlawns.org
- Do I have to rip up my lawn? You can do lasagna gardening/sheet composting right on top, start with cardboard/newspaper.
- Do I have to do a major portion of my lawn? You can do any part you want, big or small, your call!
- But I don’t want to do my front lawn. You don’t have to! It’s yours, do what makes you happy! You only need 6 to 8 hours of sun to grow veggies, any space, corridor that has that, works.
- Is it really hard work? Using the lasagna/sheet composting method is no harder than gathering the materials to do it! There is NO DIGGING! And you don’t have to build raised beds. Building soil on top of your lawn can make a lovely undulating landscape. Frameless raised beds have plantable sloped sides!
- Is it ugly? Could be, but how you do it is up to you! It can be integrated along/among border landscaping plants, you don’t have to have raised beds at all. If you want to though, you can make really attractive raised beds with beautiful materials, ie a lovely rock wall, terracing. You can cover an unsightly area like the edge under a south facing deck. There are so many lovely options!
- I don’t want to wait months before I can plant! You can plant the same day! Just pull back a planting hole, throw in compost, bought or made by you, plus any amendments you want, just like usual, and plant NOW! No waiting at all!
Sheet Compost/Lasagna Garden Layers
Mulch or Tarp or not
Optional – Compost, Sprinkled Soil
Repeat layers until 18” to 2’ deep
Greens – Garden chop & drop
Browns – twice as deep as greens
Greens/Wet – kitchen veggie scraps, garden trimmings, grass, manure
Browns/Dry – leaves, straw for air circulation, alfalfa for Nitrogen
Well wetted Cardboard/Newspaper
Existing surface – Lawn
Wet green layers go above dry browns so the juicy decomposing stuff seeps down, keeping the brown stuff moist! Straw is good in a brown/dry layer because air can pass through it, keeping the pile aerated! Throw in some red wriggler worms to work the pile, make castings! Maybe toss in some soil to ‘innoculate’ the pile with soil organisms.
Don’t worry overmuch about exactness of ingredients in your layers as you chop and drop greens from your garden/yard. In fact, you can mix them up! But do put in manures for Nitrogen (N). Decomposing plants use N to decompose, so add a little so your growing plants will have an adequate supply.
If you can, make your pile at least 18” high; it is going to sink down as it decomposes. Thinner layers, or layers that have been mixed, and smaller pieces, decompose faster.
If you like, cover the whole pile with some pretty mulch when you are done! Or tarp it to keep things moist until ready for use.
When you plant, especially in ‘new’ soil, sprinkle the roots of your transplants with mycorrhizal fungi! The fungi make micro filaments throughout your soil that increase your plants’ uptake of minerals, especially phosphorus that builds strong roots and increases blooming, fruiting!
Anybody can lasagna garden/sheet compost in any garden, any part of a garden, any or all the time! It’s a time honored soil building/restoration technique! Happy planting!
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Posted in Bean, Chard, Community Gardens, Corn, Cucumber, Design - Layout, Go Vertical!, Green Beans, Indeterminate, Legumes - Peas, Beans, Fava, Lettuce, Melon, Mildew, Recipes, Squash, Summer Plants - Warm Season, Sunflower, Tomato, tagged arbor, artistic, bean, build, butternut, cage, chard, community, espalier, Examiner, fence, garden, gourd, growing, harvest, heavy, High, Home Depot, indeterminate, Jack-in-the-beanstalk, kids, La, land, lettuce, mildew, onion, OSH, pasta, pesto, Pilgrim Terrace, Plant, pole, prolific, remesh, salad, sawhorse, shade, small, square foot, summer, sunflower, tomatoes, trellis, twine, upside down, veggies, vertical, vine, walnut, winter, year, yield, zucchini on April 7, 2011 |
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- From the LA Examiner.com Pasta with fried zucchini, teardrop tomatoes and walnut pesto!
Four of the highest yield summer plants per square foot are indeterminate tomatoes, pole beans, zucchinis, and chard! Three of these crops can be grown up, on trellises, in cages, so your land need is small. Chard is prolific, cut and come again all year long!
Tomatoes are classically grown UP! They have their own little support systems, tomato cages! Some people trellis them, grow them against the fence, espalier them, even grow them upside down! At Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden we have two foot diameter cages we build out of two remesh panels – if you are local, drop by to see them on the job!
We use those same structures for pole beans! Pole beans love growing on trellises, any kind! Those simple tripods tied at the top work fine. Or let them shinny up your sunflower Jack-in-the-Beanstalk style! I feed them across my remesh panel horizontally so they remain at harvest height!
For zuchs, the easiest thing is to grab the largest strongest tomato cage you have and feed the zuch leaves up though it as your zuch grows! Let some of the outmost leaves stick out so the plant is more open for easier harvesting in the center, air flows to allow cooler conditions to prevent mildews. Cut the bottommost leaves off as the plant gets taller and well foliated, plant other plants underneath! As your zuch vines more, put in another cage, or two, right next to the first one. Let your vine grow right over the top of them, above the other plants already growing there. Put in as many cages as you need as your vine grows. This is one time when it really doesn’t pay to let your zuchs get huge on the vine, break the plant from their weight, fall on plants below! Harvest small and salad tender. If you see one coming, don’t neglect to check on it in a maximum of 2 days. In prime conditions they are FAST growers!
If you are growing butternuts/winter squash, or gourds, pop in a well staked sturdy trellis – simplest is remesh 4′ X 7′ panels from Home Depot or OSH, or an arbor. Remesh can be bent whimsically or cut to fit a spot perfectly, or green wire tied together to make cage sizes that suit your needs. Tie your vine, 10′ for squash, 25′ for gourds, to the trellis, or to a southwest facing fence so your squash get plenty of heat and light. Use that flat green garden tie that expands with your plant as your plant grows. Heavy fruits will need to be supported. Use cloth twine, net veggie bags ie onion bags, old panty hose, old sheets, towels, colorful cloth scraps, parts of old clothes. Have fun with it!
That said, another ‘vertical’ trick, that doesn’t require tying, is to put up an upside down ‘U’ shaped device. Take one of those remesh panels, or a trellis and lay it over the top of sawhorses or any way you can devise, cinder blocks staked with rebar, whatever you have around. Be sure to support anyplace that needs it so the structure won’t sag. Plant your plants, cucumbers, melons, beans, outside the ends of your ‘arbor’; let them grow up and over. Your fruits will be supported by the remesh or trellis! Don’t make your structure too wide, and make it high enough – you want easy access to tend and harvest other plants that you will grow underneath, like summer lettuces that need a little shade! Or it can be a kid play place and they will harvest the beans for you!
Trellises?! Buying them readymade is time saving. Some gardeners would never dream of buying one. They build their own! Some make the simplest, three poles tied together at the top. Others go into fastidious detail and artistic ritual, creating works of beauty! To them, gardening wouldn’t BE gardening without doing that.
Blessings on your way. Up you go!
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Posted in Amendments, Arugula, Basil, Bat - Seabird Guano, Bean, Beets, Bone Meal, Carrot, Chard, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumber, Design - Layout, Determinate, Disease, Early Blight, Eggplant, Epsom Salt, Fertilizer - Sidedressing, Foliar Feeding, Fish - Kelp, Fungus, Fusarium Wilt, Green Beans, Heat Tolerant, Herbs - Culinary, Medicinal Food Magic!, Jicama, Late Blight, Legumes - Peas, Beans, Fava, Lettuce, Manure, Melon, Mycorrhizae, Nonfat Powdered Milk, Okra, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Pepper, Potato, PreSoak, PreSprout, Pumpkins, Radish, Seeds, Squash, Strawberries, Succession, Sunflower, Tomato, Turnip, Varieties, Veggies!, Verticillium Wilt, Watering, Watermelon, Worm Castings, tagged 105, 55, 75, AAS, airborne, All America Selections, April, arugula, baby, basil, bat, beans, beets, Black Seeded Simpson, blight, bloom, bolt, bone meal, bud, canner, cantaloupe, carrots, casting, chard, cilantro, coast, coat, community, compost, cool, corn, cucumber, daytime, deactivate, degree, dense, disease, drop, early, eggplant, eHow, endive, Epsom Salt, F1, feed, fish, foliar, French Breakfast, fungi, fusarium, garden, gound, grain, Green Bean Connection, green beans, greens, guano, harvest, heat, heirloom, herb, humidity, hybridize, Jericho, Jetsetter, kelp, kernal, leaves, Legend, lettuce, lover, maintenance, manure, mature, may, mesclun, milk, mow, mulch, mycorrhizal, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Zealand, night, nonfat, Nufar, Nursery, onion, Orange Blaze, oregano, overplant, parsley, Peas, pepper, Pilgrim Terrace, Plant, pollen, pollination, presoak, presprout, protein, radish, resistance, Romaine, root, rosemary, sage, Santa Barbara, seabird, seed, shade, sidedress, Sierra, silk, slicer, slo, soak, Soil, Solanacea, spinach, squash, stunt, succession, successive, sucker, summer, sunflower, Surecrop, tassel, thyme, tipburn, tolerant, tomato, transplant, turnips, variety, verticillium, VF, VFFNTA, VFN, virus, water, watermelon, wilt, winter, worm, wound on April 1, 2011 |
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Why not start with an AAS (All America Selections) 2011 Winner?!
Pepper ‘Orange Blaze’ F1 Early ripening orange variety, very sweet flavor, multiple disease resistances!
AAS 2011 Winner - Orange Blaze F1 Pepper
Get out last year’s garden notes if you made any, and review for varieties you liked, where you got ‘em, how much to plant!
Plant in blocks, not rows, for pollination. When tassels bloom, break off pieces and whap them on the silks! Each silk is one kernel, each needs one grain of pollen!
Corn hybridizes – plant only one variety, or varieties that don’t have pollen at the same time. This is pretty much not doable at a community garden since everyone is planting all kinds at any time, so if you harvest seeds, don’t expect true results!
Heat tolerant, tipburn resistant lettuces – Nevada, Sierra, Black Seeded Simpson, Jericho Romaine
Slo bolt cilantro, arugula in semi shade (among your corn?!)
Eggplant love humidity and heat. Tuck ‘em in between, right up against, other plants. Near the cooler coast plant the longer length varieties that mature earlier.
Jicama, limas, melons, okra, peppers, seed potatoes, pumpkins
From Seed: basil (Nufar is wilt resistant), chard, green beans (while peas finishing), beets, carrots, corn, endive, New Zealand spinach, parsley, radish, squash – summer & WINTER, sunflowers, turnips. Coastal gardeners, get your winter squash in NOW so it will have ample time to mature.
The radish variety French Breakfast holds up and grows better than most early types in summer heat if water is supplied regularly.
PreSoak and/or PreSprout for 100% success! Click here for details! Per eHow: How to Soak Watermelon Seeds in Milk Before Growing. Sometimes the seed coat carries a virus, and the proteins in milk will also help deactivate the virus. Read more
Transplants: cucumbers (hand pollinate?), tomatoes, watermelon
WAIT FOR MAY to plant cantaloupe
Herbs from transplants – oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme
Plant successively! If you put in transplants now, also put in seeds for an automatic 6 week succession! Plant different varieties (except of corn if you want true seed - see above)!
If you overplant, thin for greens, or transplant when they are about 2 to 3 inches high. Lettuce, carrots, onions. Too many stunt each other. OR, this from Santa Barbara Westsiders Lili & Gabor: Overplant mesclun on purpose, then mow the little guys! If you are at home, plant densely in a planter bowl, cut off, leaving 1 ½” of stem still in your soil. They will regrow, you will have several months’ supply of tasty baby greens. Plant two or three bowls for more people or more frequent harvest! Give a bowl as a gift!
Plant for excellence - Throw a handful of bone meal in your planting hole along with a handful of nonfat powdered milk, worm castings, compost/manures, mix it all up with your soil. Sprinkle the roots of your transplant with mycorrhizal fungi! That’ll do it! Stand back for bounty!
REMOVE LOWER LEAVES OF TOMATOES Wilt prevention. Water sparingly or not at all after about a foot tall. Wilt comes from the ground up the leaves and is airborne. Remove any leaves that touch the ground or could get water splashed. Don’t remove suckers – airborne fungi can enter open wounds.
Sorry, NO HEIRLOOMS if you know the soil has the wilts. Heirlooms don’t have resistance. Get varieties with VF on the tag or that you know have resistance/tolerance.
Mid day, rap tomato cages or the main stem, to help pollination. 55 degrees or lower, higher than 75 at night, or 105 in daytime = bud drop. Not your fault. Grow early varieties first that tolerate cooler temps.
Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden Kevin and Mary Smith have had successes with 2 blight resistant/tolerant determinate varieties, New Hampshire Surecrop, a 78 day, great tasting slicer/canner, and Legend, a very early 68 day! Ask for them, and more Jetsetters, with unbelievable VFFNTA resistance/tolerance, at your nursery. See Tomatoes and Wilts here at the Green Bean Connection Blog for a list of additional resistant/tolerant varieties and tips!
Maintenance! Sidedress when blooms start. Fish/kelp, foliar feed Epsom salt for Solanaceaes, seabird guano (not bat) for more blooms, manures for lettuces and leaf crops like chard, collards.
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