MOSS CURLED PARSLEY (Petroselinum crispum) is an heirloom first introduced in the 19th Century. Its flavor is more subtle than the Italian flat leaf (which I prefer for cooking) and so is favored as an edible decorative garnish. It is also gorgeous, with the crisply curled dark green leaves so tightly bunched that they resemble moss. You may want to grow both out in your kitchen garden and indoors under grow lights in your kitchen so it is available to you year-round. Biennial in zones 6-9, but grow as an annual, refreshing the planting every year so you are never without this essential culinary herb. 70-85 days. 50 seeds.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: Parsley has been widely acknowledged as a digestive aid and breath freshener since the days of herbalist Nicholas Culpeper in the 17th Century. Its emanogogic properties have been shown to reduce histamine, so it is a valuable aid to allergy sufferers. It has been shown to be an effective diuretic. Scientific study has shown it can be effective in preventing and treating kidney stones. It is also rich in Vitamins C, A and as well as calcium, iron and other vitamins and minerals.
GROWING TIPS: Helpful, but not necessary, is to soak seeds for 24 hours in lukewarm water before sowing. Sow seeds outdoors 1/4" deep when there is still a chance of light frost. Can also be started indoors and set out as small plants, although I find this can provoke early bolting. Seeds germinate in 14-21 days. Prefers rich, well-drained soil in a sunny position to partial shade. Parsley also grows nicely year-round if given sufficient light and warmth.
TO SAVE SEED: If you are saving seed, do not grow other parsleys as they will cross-pollinate. Harvest seed heads the second year when they produce. Let dry and separate by hand. Or, dig up the roots, cut the foliage back to 2" and store in sawdust, sand or leaves in a 32-40 degree environment. Replant in early spring.