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Always present on the table of Italians, parsley is not only a faithful companion for the flavoring of dishes, but also a powerful medicinal plant and a precious phytotherapeutic resource. It is a plant that can also be found in the form of spontaneous sprouting and certainly easy to grow even in your own small garden; it is no coincidence that it is extremely widespread and many choose to personally grow their own small parsley resource without having to resort to buying it when needed. Parsley is a perennial plant with an easily recognizable appearance with its long leaves that can reach up to 70 cm in height, generated at the base of the plant by a single rosette from which the roots that sink into the ground also develop. During the flowering period, parsley has characteristic yellow flowers with a flattened top that make the plant not only a culinary resource but also a natural decorative element, able to give a touch of color to the space in which it is immersed. Parsley is among the most characteristic crops of the Mediterranean area and of Europe with a temperate climate, so it is found in a widespread and widely used way in Italy and in the rest of Europe already in ancient times: even the Greeks recognized some properties beneficial, including the positive effect on kidney disease and toothache. On the Roman table, however, its use was more specifically linked to the seasoning of dishes, as well as to the decoration of the tables.
Active ingredients and beneficial properties
Parsley is universally used to flavor foods: but its primary function is not limited to a decorative or marginal effect in the diet. On the contrary, the consumption of parsley can prove to be a valid help against various ailments that can affect the body. As ancient peoples had already noted, parsley is in fact rich in beneficial properties that act primarily in rebalancing the digestive system by purifying the body; for this reason, in case of kidney problems, parsley proves to be a valid help. Its purifying activity also acts on the excretory system, in particular by promoting diuresis, thanks to the presence of apioside. Parsley is also rich in antioxidants, beneficial for the human body, and vitamins, in particular vitamin C, which acts directly on the immune system by strengthening it and making it more effective against external attacks. Together with beta carotene, which is also present in fair quantities, parsley is an excellent remedy for reducing problems related to asthma, arthritis, rheumatism and arthrosis. On a preventive level, the consumption of parsley can finally reduce the risk of tumor formations.
Being a plant native to Italian soil, on which it also grows as a spontaneous sprouting, cultivating parsley is not a particularly difficult task, thanks to the climate favorable to its growth and development. Parsley can be grown on the ground or even in pots, if you do not have large spaces but do not want to give up a small green corner. Cultivation takes place by laying the seeds, which are usually planted between May and June, preferably in draining soils rich in organic substances from which to draw nourishment, such as humus. In case of cultivation in pots it is good to avoid saucers, as stagnant water could compromise the growth and development of the plant. In general, it is a cultivation that needs light and lighting, but it is better to avoid direct exposure, if possible, in the hottest months and hours. To improve the development of the plant you can provide for fertilization, regular watering and the elimination of weeds, which would take away the nourishment of the growing parsley, until it suffocates. If you want to grow more seedlings, you need to sow at a safe distance from each other, taking into account the future development, so that they do not harm each other.
Parsley: Commercial products
Being cultivated mainly for culinary purposes, parsley is purchased primarily in its natural state, together with other vegetables and greens. It is of course also possible to buy seeds for cultivation, or directly sprouted seedlings, in order to limit the efforts for cultivation. Parsley can also be purchased in the form of ready-to-use preparations, such as frozen leaves, parts already chopped, freeze-dried, to be frozen or in their natural state. Together with other herbs, parsley can also be found or used in infusions and herbal teas, mainly for purifying purposes. From the point of view of consumption, there are no limits to the use of parsley, which can be used as a base for soups or soups, or as a condiment for a huge variety of foods and dishes, depending on the taste and preferences of those who are is about to consume.
Parsley in the vegetable garden
Parsley is an aromatic herb famous for being good everywhere on the table, it certainly cannot be missing in your garden.
Parsley leaves are used to flavor, never overdoing it because large quantities are not good for the liver.
The plant is part of the family of the umbelliferae, even parsley is a biennial plant like fennel and celery, it is simple to sow and cultivate and it produces quickly and a lot, so it is certainly interesting for the home garden, practically all the year, from March to December.
Parsley (Petroselinum hortense, L. 1753)
Before seeing how to grow parsley in pots, let's first see what the characteristics of the plant are in order to understand its needs. Parsley is a plant native to the Mediterranean basin: it was also known by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it for its medicinal properties, as well as to embellish tombs. This created a superstition that lasted for many centuries. Indeed, throughout the Middle Ages, planting parsley was believed to cause poor harvests or even mourning.
Only in 1500 this belief declined, so the species began to take on importance as an aromatic plant. Since its cultivation has begun in most Italian and foreign gardens, or even in pots on the balcony of the houses.
Types and varieties of parsley
Many think that some types of parsley are better suited for garnishing and others for cooking. Try them all and you can decide for yourself which parsley varieties are the best.
Curly parsley (common) - This standard, versatile and easy-to-grow type of parsley is both decorative and edible. Curled parsley varieties include green forest parsley and extra curly dwarf parsley, a compact, fast-growing variety.
Flat-leaf parsley - Flat-leaf parsley is large and reaches a height of 24-36 cm when ripe. It is prized for its culinary qualities, and is tastier than curled parsley. Flat-leaf parsley includes Titan, a compact variety with small, serrated, deep green leaves Italian Flat Leaf, which has a slightly spicy, coriander-like flavor, and Giant of Italy, a large, distinctive plant that tolerates a variety of difficult growing conditions. Flat-leaf types of parsley are a great addition to a butterfly garden.
Japanese parsley - Native to Japan and China, Japanese parsley is an evergreen herb with a slightly bitter taste. The sturdy stems are often eaten like celery.
Hamburg parsley - This large parsley has thick, parsnip-like roots that lend texture and flavor to soups and stews. The parsley leaves of the burgers are ornamental and look a bit like ferns.
Now that you know the most common varieties of parsley, you can try them all and see which one you prefer in your kitchen or garden.
Active ingredients of parsley
The chemical components used for phytotherapeutic purposes they are contained in the entire herbaceous including the roots, leaves and fruits.
- vitamin C, A and K
- minerals (especially potassium, calcium, phosphorus and copper)
- amino acids such as: alanine, cystine, lysine and phenylalanine
The volatile alkaloids give parsley its own particular and pleasant fragrance.
Apiolo: what is it
It is a phenylpropanoid element that constitutes the essential oil of parsley extracted from the fruits of the plant itself.
- abortive, parsley was used in ancient folk medicine for this purpose. This effect is due to the contractions of the smooth muscles of the uterus induced by the ape. The parsley decoction taken in large quantities gave rise to severe bleeding that allowed the fertilized egg to be eliminated. The use of this remedy also had serious consequences for the body, such as: damage to the liver, intestines and kidneys.
In addition, the otricresyl phosphate contained in the apiol can cause a severe neurotoxicity capable of paralyzing the lower limbs.
Cultivation: the transplant can be carried out at any time of the year and we recommend the intercropping with tomatoes and asparagus.
Transplant distances: between the rows 25-30 cm and on the row 5 cm.
Ground: it adapts well to all terrains but better productions are obtained on medium-textured, fresh and rich in organic matter soils.
Climate: parsley is a rustic plant, it prefers temperate climates with mild and short-lasting winter periods. It has good cold resistance.
Irrigation: regular, more intense in the summer.
Fertilizations: Prepare the soil by distributing slow-release nitrogen fertilizers and abundant well-mature compound manure.
Exposure: prefers a sunny position.
Illnesses: For information and treatments for parsley diseases click here
Why does parsley turn yellow?
If your parsley plant suddenly seems to be at the top, you may be looking for the answer to the question, "Why does parsley turn yellow?" The yellowing of parsley leaves can be the result of a number of factors. Let's take a look at some of the most common:
Mushroom placed on the leaf - A fungal infection called leaf spot can probably be the culprit, resulting in yellowing of parsley leaves. Both sides of the leaves are plagued with yellow spots, which gradually turn dark brown with small black tips in the center and a yellow outer edge. The leaves will weaken and wither and will eventually fall off altogether.
Use a fungicide to control infection or, if severely affected, it may be necessary to dig up and discard the entire plant.
Blight - Another reason your parsley plant has yellow spots on its leaves could be downy mildew, with onset symptoms that include brownish spots on the foliage. As this infection progresses, the bush typically overtakes the leaves, causing the plant to die.
Caused by conditions of high humidity, the remedy is obviously to avoid watering the foliage and the water at the base of the plant just to reduce humidity levels. Also water in the morning so that the plant can dry out and thin the plant to promote air circulation.
Root or root rot - Another possibility for the parsley plant that turns yellow can be crown rot and root rot. The rot of crowns and roots affects the entire plant, eventually causing its disappearance and is caused by bacteria and fungi in the soil. Soft or soft roots, red spots on the root, reddish discoloration at the root, browning of the roots and stems, diseased leaves and water rings on the stem are all signs of crown and root rot.
Once again, keep the plant in sunlight and water in the morning so that the soil can dry out. Crop rotation can help with the eradication of crown and root rot. Furthermore, this fungus occurs at the end of winter and melts when the dead leaves decompose, hosting bacteria and fungi which are then spread to healthy plants. Treat parsley like a year old and roll out the first growing season in the fall.
Stemphylium mushroom - Stemphylium vesicarium, a fungus found most often in crops such as garlic, leek, onion, asparagus and alfalfa, was recently discovered to plague parsley herbs resulting in parsley growing yellowing and dying. To minimize problems with this disease, separate the parsley plants and water in the morning.
Septoria leaf spot - Septoria leaf spot on tomatoes is also a very common cause of yellowing or yellow to light brown lesions with a yellow border on parsley leaves. A general garden fungicide should be applied, or if the infection spreads, remove the plant completely. A disease resistant variety of parsley should be planted, such as “Paramount. '
Spider mites - Finally, spider mites are another culprit that causes the leaves of parsley to turn yellow. To get rid of spider mites, an insecticide can be applied or predatory ants or predatory mites can be introduced. To attract ants, sprinkle some sugar around the base of the plant. Predatory mites will need to be purchased in a nursery or nursery. In addition, the application of neem oil and insecticidal soaps will significantly reduce the population of spider mites. Make sure you cover the underside of the leaves.