The root of root parsley is an elongated, thickened taproot resembling parsnips. It is yellowish-white with white flesh, between 10 and 20 cm long and around 2-5 cm thick. The plant grows up to 120 cm high. Cultivation is possible outdoors and in a greenhouse. The leaves resemble those of cut parsley. The root and leaves are edible. The taste of the root is reminiscent of celeriac.
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Sowing – preparatory work
Before you can start sowing, some preparatory work is necessary. First, the soil should be thoroughly loosened, for example with a digging fork or a spade. Larger chunks of earth should be broken up. Then all weeds are removed and the soil is smoothed using a cultivator or a rake. It is best to spread ripe compost about 1-2 cm thick on top of this, which you then rake in with a rake or rake when smoothing the surface.
Parsley roots can be sown from March to mid-April. The best way to do this is to draw appropriate rows using a string and two sticks. The distance between each row should be about 25-30 cm. More detailed information is usually also on the seed bag.
Then the seeds are sown about 1-2 cm deep into the ground, covered thinly with soil and lightly pressed. Then the whole thing is carefully poured, preferably with lukewarm water, because that can accelerate the germination process. When watering, you should use a fine shower if possible, so that the soil is not washed away. From now on you have to keep the soil evenly moist. Prolonged drought would cause the seeds to lose their ability to germinate.
A soil temperature of 6 degrees and an ambient temperature of 7-20 degrees are optimal for germination. It then takes about 2-3 weeks for germination, which occurs irregularly with root parsley. After germination, day and night temperatures between 12 and 18 degrees are sufficient. If the seedlings are big enough, you can stretch them out to 10 cm or thin them out. Now the plants need a much wetter soil.
location and soil
- The root parsley prefers predominantly sunny locations.
- This can also be partly in the penumbra.
- The soil should be deep, loose, rich in humus, neutral, fresh to moist and calcareous.
- Fresh loamy soil is particularly suitable for cultivation.
- Compacted and stony soils are just as unsuitable as soils that tend to waterlogging.
Compliance with crop rotation
Due to the fact that parsley is incompatible with itself, among other things, it is important to ensure that crop rotation is observed when choosing the location. This means that the root parsley should only be sown again in the same location after three years.
In addition, it should not be grown where other umbellifers such as carrots, fennel, parsnips, celery, coriander or dill have previously been. A neighborhood or mixed culture with borage, lettuce or picking lettuce, tarragon, chervil, peppermint as well as garden and nasturtium is unfavorable.
In contrast, root parsley can benefit from a pre-culture of tomatoes, potatoes, legumes, leeks, radishes, cucumbers, garlic or radishes.
watering and fertilizing
The parsley roots, which are related to leaf parsley, should be watered regularly, but the soil must not be too wet and, above all, waterlogging should be avoided. This applies both to the garden bed and to root parsley cultivated in pots. When watering, make sure to only water from below and not over the leaves. It is also advisable to water in the morning and not in the evening, as this allows the whole thing to dry faster.
As far as fertilizing is concerned, it is an advantage if the soil is already old fertilized, this plant does not tolerate fresh fertilizer very well. The soil should not be fertilized immediately before planting. Since the root parsley removes nitrogen from the soil, basic fertilization in the spring with humus and well-rotted compost makes sense. Stable manure is completely unsuitable for fertilization, as it encourages carrot fly infestation.
Root parsley is relatively hardy and can be harvested fresh in winter as long as the ground is frost-free. However, an appropriate covering of leaves, brushwood or a suitably thick layer of straw is required. The herb is much more sensitive to frost and tolerates only light frosts.
One way to be able to harvest the herb in winter is to dig up some roots in autumn, plant them in pots and place them in a place with temperatures between 8 and 15 degrees. Then it should be watered regularly so that the roots form leaves again. When harvesting the leaves, it makes sense to only cut off the outer leaves and leave the heart leaves, so the plant keeps putting out new leaves.
diseases and pests
- Celery Scab – Affected roots show reddish-brown to black spots. To prevent this, attention should also be paid to compliance with the crop rotation. A mixed culture with onions is also advantageous. Affected roots must be destroyed if necessary.
- Black Rot – Black Rot is manifested by brown colored herb that will rot as it progresses. Black spots are found on affected roots. Infected plants should definitely be destroyed. Compliance with crop rotation also plays a crucial role in this disease. In addition, nitrogen-rich fertilization should be avoided.
- Carrot fly – Damage caused by the carrot fly or its maggots is reflected in the reddish discoloration of the herb, which later dies. In the event of an infestation, you should pull the parsley roots out of the ground and dispose of them in the household waste. To ward off such pests, it makes sense to cover the root parsley with an insect repellent fleece.
- Ground Aphid – Ground aphid infests the leaves and can transmit viruses. The leaves turn yellow and curl. To prevent an infestation, you can administer plant-strengthening agents that you can make yourself from horsetail or yarrow in the form of tea, manure or broth or buy as a ready-made preparation in stores. Plant protection agents containing potash soap, for example, can be sprayed to combat them.
- Root -knot nematodes – Yellowing of the leaves and reddish discoloration on the leaf edges can indicate an infestation with root-knot nematodes, also known as nematodes. In order to prevent an infestation, it is important to observe the crop rotation. In addition, a mixed culture with marigolds or marigolds, radishes, radishes or tomatoes makes sense.
harvest and storage
You can harvest parsley roots from October to November, although depending on the species, the herb can be harvested as early as August. In order to use only the roots, you dig them up, roughly free them from earth residues and remove the herb. You should not wash the roots, as this significantly affects the shelf life.
If the fresh roots are wrapped in damp sand in a box or bucket in a cool cellar immediately after harvest, they can be kept for up to 6 months. However, it should not be warmer than 2 degrees. If there is no cellar or if it is too warm and dry, there is still the tried and tested method of storing root parsley in what is known as a heap of earth.
Fresh parsley roots from the ground heap
An earth heap is nothing more than a hole in the ground in which vegetables such as potatoes, celery or even root parsley are stored. Such a ground rent should be as close as possible to the house.
Dig a pit about 30 cm deep and lay a close-meshed wire mesh on the bottom and sides to protect against voles. A layer of gravel or sand is then put in there as drainage and straw on top. Then the leaves are twisted off the root parsley except for a few heart leaves and the roots are spread on the straw.
Only healthy and undamaged vegetables should be stored. A layer of straw is then placed on top of the vegetables and then the whole thing is covered with a layer of earth about 10 cm thick. In this way you can also store several layers of vegetables on top of each other, depending on your needs. In particularly high-rainfall regions, a final covering, for example with boards, makes sense.
- Root Parsley ‘Half Length’ – The root parsley Petroselinum crispum ‘Half Length’ has white, smooth roots that have a pleasant, spicy taste. When cooked, this spicy taste is intensified. It tolerates pruning very well.
- Root parsley ‘Alba’ – This root parsley is a very flavorful variety that is particularly good for cooking. It can be stored very well. The roots of this variety can be stored very well and are also suitable for freezing.
- Root Parsley ‘Konika’ – The ‘Konika’ variety forms long white, firm, very smooth and conical roots with an intense aroma. The herb can be harvested from August, the roots in late autumn.
- Root Parsley ‘Arat’ – This professional variety is very productive and forms long, white, smooth, conical and broad-headed, very aromatic roots. It can be sown from March to September and harvested around 50-70 days after sowing. The fresh herb can be used like leaf parsley.
Root parsley is a tasty and aromatic winter vegetable, which also contains important vitamins. It is relatively easy to grow and easy to care for. However, attention should be paid to compliance with the crop rotation and waterlogging avoided. The roots are hardy. You can keep or store the root parsley fresh for up to half a year in a cool, dark cellar or in a heap of earth. If necessary, the spicy herb can be overwintered in the pot and thus be harvested fresh in winter.