As Parsley Is Grown For Its Leaves It Can Scarcely Be Over Fertilized

Like cabbage, but, of course, upon a smaller scale, it is a gross

feeder. It demands that plenty of nitrogenous food be in the soil. That

is, the soil should be well supplied with humus, preferably derived from

decaying leguminous crops or from stable manure. A favorite commercial

fertilizer for parsley consists of 3 per cent nitrogen, 8 per cent

potash and 9 per cent phosphoric acid applied in the drills at

the rate o
600 to 900 pounds to the acre in two or three

applications--especially the nitrogen, to supply which nitrate of soda

is the most popular material.

A common practice among market gardeners in the neighborhood of New York

has been to sow the seed in their cold frames between rows of lettuce

transplanted during March or early April. The lettuce is cut in May, by

which time the parsley is getting up. When grown by this plan the crop

may be secured four or five weeks earlier than if the seed is sown in

the open ground. The first cutting may be made during June. After this

first cutting has been made the market usually becomes overstocked and

the price falls, so many growers do not cut again until early September

when they cut and destroy the leaves preparatory to securing an autumn

and winter supply.

When the weather becomes cool and when the plants have developed a new

and sturdy rosette of leaves, they are transplanted in shallow trenches

either in cold frames, in cool greenhouses (lettuce and violet houses),

under the benches of greenhouses, or, in fact, any convenient place that

is not likely to prove satisfactory for growing plants that require more

heat and light.

This method, it must be said, is not now as popular near the large

cities as before the development of the great trucking fields in the

Atlantic coast states; but it is a thoroughly practical plan and well

worth practicing in the neighborhood of smaller cities and towns not

adequately supplied with this garnishing and flavoring herb.

A fair return from a cold frame to which the plants have been

transplanted ranges from $3 to $7 during the winter months. Since many

sashes are stored during this season, such a possible return deserves to

be considered. The total annual yield from an acre by this method may

vary from $500 to $800 or even more--gross. By the ordinary field

method from $150 to $300 is the usual range. Instead of throwing away

the leaves cut in September, it should be profitable to dry these leaves

and sell them in tins or jars for flavoring.

When it is desired to supply the demand for American seed, which is

preferred to European, the plants may be managed in any of the ways

already mentioned, either allowed to remain in the field or transplanted

to cold frames, or greenhouses. If left in the field, they should be

partially buried with litter or coarse manure. As the ground will not be

occupied more than a third of the second season, a crop of early beets,

forcing carrots, radishes, lettuce or some other quick-maturing crop may

be sown between the rows of parsley plants. Such crops will mature by

the time the parsley seed is harvested in late May or early June, and

the ground can then be plowed and fitted for some late crop such as

early maturing but late-sown sweet corn, celery, dwarf peas, late beets

or string beans.

When seed is desired, every imperfect or undesirable plant should be

rooted out and destroyed, so that none but the best can fertilize each

other. In early spring the litter must be either removed from the plants

and the ground between the rows given a cultivation to loosen the

surface, or it may be raked between the rows and allowed to remain until

after seed harvest. In this latter case, of course, no other crop can be


Like celery seed, parsley seed ripens very irregularly, some umbels

being ready to cut from one to three weeks earlier than others. This

quality of the plant may be bred out by keeping the earliest maturing

seed separate from the later maturing and choosing this for producing

subsequent seed crops. By such selection one to three weeks may be saved

in later seasons, a saving of time not to be ignored in gardening


In ordinary seed production the heads are cut when the bulk of the seed

is brown or at least dark colored. The stalks are cut carefully, to

avoid shattering the seed off. They are laid upon sheets of duck or

canvas and threshed very lightly, at once, to remove only the ripest

seed. Then the stalks are spread thinly on shutters or sheets in the sun

for two days and threshed again. At that time all seed ripe enough to

germinate will fall off. Both lots of seed must be spread thinly on the

sheets in an airy shed or loft and turned daily for 10 days or two weeks

to make sure they are thoroughly dry before being screened in a fanning

mill and stored in sacks hung in a loft.

Varieties.--There are four well-defined groups of parsley varieties;

common or plain, curled or moss-leaved, fern-leaved, and Hamburg. The

last is also known as turnip-rooted or large-rooted. The objections to

plain parsley are that it is not as ornamental as moss-leaved or

fern-leaved sorts, and because it may be mistaken for fools parsley, a

plant reputed to be more or less poisonous.

In the curled varieties the leaves are more or less deeply cut and the

segments reflexed to a greater or less extent, sometimes even to the

extent of showing the lighter green undersides. In this group are

several subvarieties, distinguished by minor differences, such as extent

of reflexing and size of the plants.

In the fern-leaved group the very dark green leaves are not curled but

divided into numerous threadlike segments which give the plant a very

delicate and dainty appearance.

Hamburg, turnip-rooted or large-rooted parsley, is little grown in

America. It is not used as a garnish or an herb, but the root is cooked

as a vegetable like carrots or beets. These roots resemble those of

parsnips. They are often 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Their

cultivation is like that of parsnips. They are cooked and served like

carrots. In flavor, they resemble celeriac or turnip-rooted celery, but

are not so pleasing. In Germany the plant is rather popular, but, except

by our German gardeners, it has been little cultivated in this country.

Uses.--The Germans use both roots and tops for cooking; the former as

a boiled vegetable, the latter as a potherb. In English cookery the

leaves are more extensively used for seasoning fricassees and dressings

for mild meats, such as chicken and veal, than perhaps anything else. In

American cookery parsley is also popular for this purpose, but is most

extensively used as a garnish. In many countries the green leaves are

mixed with salads to add flavor. Often, especially among the Germans,

the minced green leaves are mixed with other vegetables just before

being served. For instance, if a liberal dusting of finely minced

parsley be added to peeled, boiled potatoes, immediately after draining,

this vegetable will seem like a new dish of unusual delicacy. The

potatoes may be either served whole or mashed with a little butter, milk

and pepper.

TTITLE Pennyroyal

(Mentha Pulegium, Linn.), a perennial herb of the natural

order Labiatae, native of Europe and parts of Asia, found wild and

naturalized throughout the civilized world in strong, moist soil on the

borders of ponds and streams. Its square, prostrate stems, which readily

take root at the nodes, bear roundish-oval, grayish-green, slightly

hairy leaves and small lilac-blue flowers in whorled clusters of ten or

a dozen, rising in tiers, one above another, at the nodes. The seed is

light brown, oval and very small. Like most of its near relatives,

pennyroyal is highly aromatic, perhaps even more so than any other mint.

The flavor is more pungent and acrid and less agreeable than that of

spearmint or peppermint.

Ordinarily the plant is propagated by division like mint, or more rarely

by cuttings. Cultivation is the same as that of mint. Plantations

generally last for four or five years, and even longer, when well

managed and on favorable soil. In England it is more extensively

cultivated than in America for drying and for its oil, of which latter a

yield of 12 pounds to the acre is considered good. The leaves, green or

dried, are used abroad to flavor puddings and other culinary

preparations, but the taste and odor are usually not pleasant to