when can i plant parsley out?

glorysbrite(z6PA-Berks)March 26, 2008

We've had an early spring & it seems parsley doesn't mind the cold, so i wondered if i could plant parsley out now.

Thanks for your help.

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francescod(6b/7a VA)

An early spring certainly doesn't mean you won't have any more freezing or frosty weather.

Although mature parsley plants are cold hardy in most areas, they are a biennial. This means that once they go through winter they will flower, make seed, and die. You may be able to get a small harvest before it dies the second year, but most people treat it as an annual and replant each year or let the plant drop its seed to produce new plants later in the season.

Young parsley plants, especially the Italian types, may be tricked into thinking they have gone through winter if exposed to near freezing temperatures for too long (like a week or two of very cold nights and cool days). It will then complete its life cycle in the current year.

Any plant that is cold hardy and has not been outside for the winter will need to be hardened off by gradually exposing it to outside temperature, wind, and sun. It takes a week or more to toughen up the plant. It is best not to plant young starts until after the danger of freezing is over in your area. Older plants that have gone through the winter outside can be planted whenever the soil can be worked.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Here in Zone 7, in the particular area I'm at, the date to put out seedlings is after April 15. It's usually then you can be assured that there will be no more frost or cold winds. Even though it's going to be almost 80 degrees here today at the end of March, I know what can happen suddenly. Better safe that sorry and replanting.

Lots of my winter hardy plants did well. The Mexican oregano, the thymes, the rosemary. But my cilantro patch is coming back huge already, the onion and garlic chives are coming up, the mints (of course) and my lemon verbena. And the strawberry plants are coming back in patches.

And soon, thankfully, I can move my citrus trees back outside. So glad for that. They faired well over the winter. I am pleased with them. I got quite a crop of Meyer lemons and Sanbokan lemons (Sambo Tree) this year. The Eureka lemon tree is much younger and I intentionally pinched off young fruitlets to encourage the plant to put it's energy into growing instead of producing fruit. Worked well too. They've all grown well inside through the winter.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:51AM
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