Parsley Companion Planting Guide – What and What NOT to Plant
Read on to find out exactly what parsley companion plants will work best for you in your vegetable garden, herb garden, or flower bed! This parsley companion planting guide will encourage the culinary herb’s growth and will help to deter unwanted pests from moving in and snacking. Learn what plants make great companions and what plants make bad companions for parsley(petroselinum crispum).
Related: How To Harvest Parsley For An Abundance All Season Long
This easy guide on how to harvest parsley will cover all aspects from how much to take from each plant during every harvest up until the plant goes dormant late in the season. Learn exactly how to harvest parsley without killing the plant.
All About Parsley
Parsley is best grown in rich soil full of organic material such as compost and well-rotted manure. A soil pH of 6-7 is recommended for parsley’s nutrient absorption and overall health. Parsley grows best when it is kept moist– be careful when placing it next to heavy water feeders. It enjoys 6-8 hours of full sun.
Parsley is a great addition to the garden. Relatively easy to start from seed and maintain, this herb can be enjoyed fresh, dehydrated, or frozen for later. When in doubt, garnish your plate with a sprig of parsley… bonus points if it is home-grown parsley! Check out this easy guide for harvesting parsley without killing the plant.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a simple way to get the most out of your vegetable or flower garden- more specifically your parsley! Whether growing your parsley in a raised bed, herb pot, or your garden, it is important to keep companion planting in mind. Companion planting is a tried and true method combining science and traditional lessons handed down over multiple generations to maximize the health and efficiency of your plants. Gardening with companion planting in mind can help you to encourage nutrient uptake, encourage pollination, deter pests, attract beneficial insects and pollinators and provide shelter or a space to climb. Companion gardening stretches beyond the confines of small-scale conventional gardening to orchards, food forests, trees and shrubs, grains, grasses, and other field crops. If you are aiming for a bumper crop of home-grown parsley, this guide is for you!
What Are The Benefits of Companion Planting?
Weed Prevention: Certain crops provide fast growing ground cover that help to suppress surrounding weeds. Try to alternate upright crops with sprawling plants to keep weeds at bay in your garden. In its early stages, parsley is very susceptible to being damaged or “choked out” by weeds. Consider planting cover crops or laying down mulch around new parsley seedings to help provide natural weed suppression to parsley seedlings.
Nutrient Provision: An appeal of using a polyculture type of approach and planting different plants next to each other is that the plants wont be competing for the exact same nutrients. Certain plants add needed nutrients into the soil and help neighbouring plants to thrive. Legumes are considered “givers” and include plants like peas, beans, clover and alfalfa. They have deep roots that fix nitrogen into the soil. Planting these next to heavy or light feeders that use up nitrogen will create the perfect growing conditions for your parsley crops to thrive.
Trap Cropping: Placing certain bug-appealing plants near other susceptible plants can help to attract pests away from fragile crops and allow them to feed on others that won’t be harmed or aren’t as important. Planting the trap crop ahead of your target crop will ensure the pests stay away from delicate seedlings. Once the trap crop is infested, you can remove it along with the pests.
Beneficial Insect Attraction: Certain plants can help to encourage bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects to frequent the area. Parsley is beneficial to many other plants, making it a great companion! Parsley flowers attract hoverflies and the larvae eat and decimate aphids, thrips, and other harmful beetles. Bright and attractive plants such as borage and parsley attract pollinators and other beneficial predatory insects to neighbouring crops.
Pest Suppression: Mixed scents from different plants can help to repel insects (mostly small, egg laying flies) from laying on neighbouring plants. Certain herbs and flowers are known to prevent worms, nematodes, repel cucumber beetles, and other fungi. The scent of parsley can help to keep garden pests at bay.
Protective Shelter: Fragile plants or plants with very specific needs can benefit from the shelter that surrounding plants can provide. Companion plants can provide shade, a wind barrier, and a canopy to protect lower plants from rain, hail, and even frost. Parsley needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and should be planted next to crops that wont block it.
Natural Supports: Strong, tall plants such as sunflowers and corn offer trailing plants or low growing plants like peas and cucumbers a strong trellis-like support to climb and spread.
Parsley Companion Plants
Parsley is a workhorse and in most scenarios, is the “helping” plant rather than the “helped” plant.
Other Herbs: Choose herbs that have similar water and nutrient needs as parsley. Parsley prefers steadily moist soil, so does basil, cilantro, tarragon, marjoram, and dill. Other herbs that should be potted or planted separately because of their preference for dryer soil include: rosemary, lavender, thyme, and oregano.
Asparagus- If you are looking for a match made in heaven, look no further! Parsley is perhaps the best companion plant for asparagus. Asparagus beetles often rear their ugly heads in the middle of spring just in time for tender asparagus shoots to emerge. The smell of parsley keeps asparagus beetles away, adding a layer of protection to your asparagus crops. Much like asparagus, parsley can withstand light frosts and so it making it a logical growing companion.
Corn-Corn is particularly susceptible to a miriad of worms including cut worms, army worms, and earworms. Parsley attracts parasitic braconid wasps and tachinid flies, which hunt the worms that prey on corn. The scent of parsley also helps to keep other insects from preying on the corn. Consider planting the parsley at the base of your corn patch, on the sunniest side.
Tomatoes– Parsley helps to protect tomatoes against aphids bevause of its ability to attract hoverflies. Hoverflies feed on the aphids, wiping out their population and protecting the tomato plants from damage. It is important to research your tomato variety and whether it is compatible with parsley because there have been some negative reports of it stunting the plant’s growth.
Apples + Pears– Parsley attracts the braconid wasp… this wasp is especially helpful to apple and pear trees because it helps to wipe out codling moths and gypsy moths.
Legumes (beans, peas)- Similar to corn, beans and other legumes are at risk of cutworms. Parsley flowers attract tachinid flies which are a natural predator of cutworms.
Peppers- Parsley acts as good ground cover peppers, offering shade to the soil and moisture retention. Aphids, corn earworms, army worms, and beetles are a common problem with peppers. Flowering parsley attracts parasitic wasps and tachinid flies all of which help to wipe out the pest populations.
Brassicas- All brassicas including cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, turnip, and arugula are plagued by cutworms and cabbage worms. Companion planting parsley with your brassicas will work wonders to deter these pesky worms. The strong smell repels adult moths, deterring them from laying eggs. If any eggs are laid and the larva survives, braconid wasps and damselflies will be drawn to the parsley and will kill the cutworms and cabbage worms.
Nasturtium- Nasturtium are all around good companion plants for most vegetable crops including parsley. Parsley is very susceptible to aphid infestations. Aphids also love nasturtiums making them a great trap crop to draw the aphids away from your parsley crop.
What Not To Grow With Parsley
Alliums- Alliums have been known to stunt the growth of parsley plants. Keep them at least a row away from your parsley crop. This being said, small chives are okay to plant close to parsley.
Lettuce-Parsley can cause lettuce to bolt prematurely (early in the growing season) when planted too closely.
Mint– Mint is very invasive and can take over your Parsley’s growing space. Give the two a wide berth.
Carrots- Carrots and parsley can be grown together in harmony… but it is important to note that because they come from the same family and will both attract the “carrot fly.” Just to be safe, place them at least a row apart to prevent mass infestations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Parsley
Parsley is renown for its use as a raw garnish for salads, sauce, and marinades. It can also be cooked in soups and casseroles.
This depends on where you live and how warm spring is for you. Soil temperatures should be around 70°F if parsley is being planted straight into the ground. If the starting parsley seeds indoors, start 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.
Parsley is a biennial. The first year, parsley will create leaves and grow substantially. The second year parsley plants focus their energy on flower and seed production, then die. It is best to replant parsley annually.
Parsley grows great both in pots and in the ground. If planting parsley in pots, make sure to plant them in at least an 8-12 inch pot to allow room for its large taproot to develop.
Parsley Recipes For Harvest Time
Parsley + Caper Dressing– blend and serve with lamb or your other favorite smoked entree including this Smoked Tri Tip recipe.
Cheese and Fresh Herb Quiche- Load this quiche with garden herbs including fresh parsley.
Parsley Chimichurri- Smother your smoked trout or salmon in this simple Chimichurri sauce.