Growing parsley and other leafy vegetables on the windowsill of your own apartment is a useful and exciting activity. A mini-vegetable garden, in which spicy plants develop all year round, allows you to meet the needs of a small family for juicy vitamin greens. Parsley, like other umbrella crops, including dill and fennel, is unpretentious, and with proper care for crops, it gives stable yields in a mini garden.
Parsley can be grown both in specialized containers (plastic boxes, specially knitted wooden boxes, pots, pots and flowerpots), and in any improvised containers, the depth of which is more than 12 cm, for example, in plastic trays for herring and portioned chicken pieces, leaky pots and bowls or in baby buckets.
In the absence of drainage holes in them, the bottom of containers or bowls is lined with a centimeter layer of brick chips or eggshells crushed in hands. The presence of drainage prevents stagnation of moisture, an excess of which can lead to rotting of seedling roots.
According to the reviews of experienced vegetable growers, for a mini garden, you can use a mixture of fertile soil from your own garden (before using it, it must be calcined in the oven for at least half an hour or spilled with a solution of potassium permanganate of medium pink color) and a peat substrate intended for growing vegetable seedlings. The components for the soil are taken in approximately equal proportions. But the easiest way is to buy a universal soil for indoor plants with neutral acidity (pH 5.5 – 6.5).
All varieties of culture are suitable for forcing garden parsley for herbs at home.
However, the best effect is obtained by gardeners who grow early ripening and high-yielding types of umbrella vegetables on the windowsill, for example, “Fragrant leaf parsley” or “Curly parsley Mospop”.
Dry parsley seeds are evenly laid out on slightly tamped and necessarily moist earth (not very thick), moistened again from a spray bottle and covered with a layer of loose substrate from 3 to 5 mm.
Until the emergence of shoots, the plants are kept under a glass or cellophane cover in a dark and warm place, for example, near a battery. Depending on the variety and the freshness of the grains, the first shoots appear in 4-14 days. The plantings are aired daily, removing the cover for an hour, and, if necessary, moisten the ground from a sprayer.
In the middle lane, cold-resistant parsley, which can withstand short-term drops in temperature to –4-5 ° C, can be grown on a glassed-in balcony, as in a cold greenhouse, from the end of March, when the temperature is above zero, without fear that crops will die with small night frosts. They begin to bring planting containers into the house from the end of November, after the onset of a long cold snap.
The optimum temperature for germinating seeds after sowing is from +20 to 24 ° C. To create a greenhouse effect, planting containers with parsley are covered with glass, plastic wrap or wrapped in bags. Moisture settling on the inner surface of the cover creates optimal conditions before the seeds awaken.
After the sprouts appear, the cellophane is removed, and the planting containers are placed on the windowsill. In a warm room, seedlings develop quickly. The optimum temperature for the growth of greenery is from +16 to 20 ° C. In the cold, the growth of both underground and aboveground parts of plants stops.
Do not allow the topsoil under the parsley to dry out. At the beginning of the growing season, it is recommended to moisten seedlings every day or every other day with extremely soft water without chlorine through a fine spray nozzle. In the future, the crops are watered from a mini watering can or a homemade sprinkler every 1-4 days, depending on the humidity and air temperature in the room or on the balcony.
Parsley, like other leafy vegetables, is demanding on lighting. From the end of autumn to mid-spring, it is necessary to supplement even the crops of the culture that live on the windowsills of the southern windows, when the daylight hours are short and the sun is not shown every day because of the clouds, or even only several times a month.
Greenery requires at least 10 hours of daylight. Seedlings grow best of all, which receive additional lighting up to 15 hours. Sources of additional lighting, for example, fluorescent lamps, phytolamps or LED strips, are installed at a height of 15 to 20 cm above the tops of the bushes.
In summer, parsley crops can be skimmed if they are on the windowsills of windows facing the southeast, south and southwest. The maximum yield of lush greenery is obtained by the owners who carry containers with plants to an open balcony or veranda in places with access to open sunlight in the warm season.
Parsley for microgreens
In the absence of additional lighting from October to mid-March, as well as in conditions of lack of light, which are observed on the window sills of windows facing north, northeast and northwest all year round, it will not work to get full-fledged sprigs of parsley. Massively appeared parsley sprouts stretch out in 4-10 days. Their stems become thinner, elongated, and eventually lodge.
However, don’t be upset. If you do not have the opportunity to supplement the illumination of crops, then the shoots of parsley are cut at the stage of development of cotyledon leaves. Such microgreens contain increased doses of vitamins and valuable nutrients, therefore it is considered much more useful than fully developed parsley sprigs. When your shoots are 4 cm tall, start harvesting. And immediately sow a new portion of leafy vegetables in the vacant space.
All parts of the seedlings can be eaten, after having thoroughly washed the white roots under running water. Microgreens are a great addition to any vitamin salads and other cold snacks. To preserve all vitamins in seedlings, it is recommended to add them to chilled food, that is, it is not advisable to put grass in hot borscht or soup.
We wish you stable harvests of greens in your mini vegetable garden!