Parsley is a great herb to keep in the garden, and even if you can’t stand eating it – the chooks and quail will.
To start with, they get along with just about all other plants, have deep set roots that help break up the soil and bring up nutrients that others can’t reach (especially other savoury salad type herbs).
Very easy to grow and self seed – to the point where a fully grown plant will stand several feet tall and let go thousands of seeds. Once it is established you will never want for parsley during the sunny months.
Now as for those seeds, which started off as flowers. Bees love parsley flowers, and having bees around helps with all those fruit trees, pumpkin, watermelons and so on. Close up bee photos are on an earlier post of mine here.
The video above is from my own garden, and this parsley plant is in its first year. They are bi-annuals, hence a 2 year life, although with the way they can self seed you could probably consider them like a herbaceous perennial.
Can you see how the bee treats the parsley flower clusters like a carpet of pollen?
This plant is growing around one of the truck tire ponds, filtering some sunlight off the water and providing a place to rest/eat for insects, and hopefully frogs find it the same way.
I find that around this time of year – late Spring early Summer, the lavender is between blooms (having provided a first flush early Spring), and the natives and rosemary are depleted. The nasturtiums are starting to wilt, and the clover and catmint are there but not in enough quantities to keep pollinating insects interested.
So parsley is the number one attractor of bees this time of year, and soon enough they will be needed for the pumpkin, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It might not be totally necessary, but there is always a bigger crop of these when bees are around in large numbers.
Parsley is an all round winner, and even at the end of its productive life, it will continue to draw nutrients to the surface, create a wind break and support for smaller plants, and then go on to make a great mulch that breaks down into a fine soil in time for the next Spring. Go grow some!
- Lovage (esscentualalchemy.wordpress.com)
- The final drying & storing of herbs (frugalupstate.com)
- Culinary Herbs for the Autumn Garden (runwritedig.com)