Parsley Crop Management
Herb Growing in South Africa

© Louise Brodie
Flat-leaf parsley or Italian parsley.

Crop Rotation

Rotate any crop of a different family and try to rotate two to three years to the same field.

Yield - Tonnes per Hectare

Conservative
4 tonnes fresh, 0.5 tonnes dry

Average
10 tonnes fresh, 2 tonnes dry

Good
15+ tonnes fresh, 5+ tonnes dry

Harvesting

Depending on the size of the operation, parsley harvesting is done both manually and by mechanical harvester. Three to five harvests can be done from the same plant.

When harvesting for fresh parsley it is important to harvest in the cool of the morning to prevent wilting and to get the leaves to a cool processing facility immediately after harvest.

Harvest parsley for drying on warm mornings and make sure the leaves are dry. Cut the stem 10 to 15 cm above the ground with some foliage remaining on the plant to hasten re-growth.

Storage

Storage of fresh parsley should be at about 1°C to 2°C and a relative humidity of over 90% for maximum storage of eight weeks.

Storage of dried parsley should be in sealed containers and kept in a cool, dry storage area.

Pests

Common pests of parsley are aphids, army worms, nematodes, slugs, snails, snout beetles, thrips and weevils.

Diseases

Downey mildew, leaf spot, powdery mildew.

It is best to get expert advice of local conditions and parsley crop protection practices from the local extension officer or crop specialist.

By Louise Brodie