Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea – and isn’t it just a divine place to visit? Full of clear blue waters and Italian architecture, we were lucky enough to travel to Sardinia last year.
It was like another world. The food, the people, the views – words cannot do them justice. If you can visit this wonderful island, we highly recommend it.
While we were out there, one of the things that intrigued us most was the food and how it was seasoned. Italian Parsley was everywhere and tasted much better than the parsley we have at home!
That got us thinking – is there a way we could grow Italian Parsley at home, but replicate how they grow it in Sardinia to make it taste better?
Let’s find out.
What’s The Climate Like In Sardinia?
Sardinia is a warm island with a Mediterranean climate. This means that they enjoy long summers with high temperatures – often ranging around 28.5 degrees Celsius (83.3 Fahrenheit).
Many tourists head to Sardinia to enjoy their 6-month long summers, where the sea is warm enough to swim in for most of the year.
This hot climate makes growing herbs and vegetables outside easy.
If you live in a warm climate much like Sardinia, then you will be able to grow your Italian Parsley outdoors, too (see more about the climate of Sardina, and how it’s changing, here). If you want to replicate how they grow it in Sardinia, this is the best way to do so.
Italian Parsley Background – What Is It?
Italian parsley is a vibrant green herb that offers dishes a light, peppery taste. There are many forms of parsley, but Italian parsley is stronger than its cousins when it comes to flavor. This is a popular garnish and tastes much better than its overused counterpart – curly-leaf parsley.
Italian parsley is originally from the Mediterranean region, including Cyprus, Southern Italy, Sardinia, and others.
The earthy flavor is desired by many. If you meet someone who says they don’t like parsley, they’re probably eating the wrong kind!
Italian parsley is ideal for many dishes, including meat, fish, and salad. However, when we went to Sardinia, we found that it was used on almost everything.
What To Look Out For When Growing Italian Parsley
When you’re replicating the growing conditions of parsley from Sardinia, you’ll want to keep an eye on your plants to make sure that you are following the directions correctly. These mainly concern the height of the plant and how long it takes to reach it.
Italian parsley plants should grow to around 30 to 50 centimeters high. This is when you know that the plant has reached maturity and is thriving under your conditions.
However, it should also not take longer than 3 months to get to this point. If your plant is growing too slowly, this is an indication that your plant is under subpar conditions and is struggling to get the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Head to our troubleshooting section if you’re currently experiencing this issue.
Italian parsley plants should also be thick and full, bursting with leaves that you can harvest and use. If your plant is bare or hardly offers any herb to yield, this is another indication that something needs to be changed.
Replicating Growing Parsley In Sardinia
The climate in Sardinia is so warm and dry that growing parsley outdoors is simple. Perhaps this is what gives it such an uplifting and warm taste. So, if you live in a good climate to replicate this, growing your Italian parsley outdoors is what we recommend.
You’ll need to sow it in the early spring months or right at the beginning of summer. We would recommend getting the seeds ready for springtime so that you can yield as much of the herb as possible.
Plant it in a pot with good drainage, and aerated soil, and position it somewhere that it can benefit from plenty of sun with partial shade.
If you are sowing into pots, spread the seeds thinly across a 25cm pot of soil, and cover it with 1cm of compost, and water. Make sure that your soil doesn’t dry out as you’re waiting for the seeds to germinate.
Once the seeds have sprouted, dig out the root systems and spread the plants out so that there is 2 cm between them. You can do this in pots or directly in the ground.
And that’s it! Make sure that your plants continue to get plenty of sunlight and water, and harvest the parsley whenever you need some more for cooking.
Can You Use The Aquaponic Of Hydroponic Parsley?
Many people enjoy using this type of parsley as it is like a parsley plug that can be planted directly into the ground. This is great for many people as it removes the waiting around for germination and root growth.
However, the issue with these plugs is that they often don’t disclose what kind of parsley they’re growing. The ones we have tried have always been French or Curly parsley instead of Italian, and many others have had this same issue, too (to see more about the difference between French and Italian crops, read here).
So, we always recommend growing your own parsley from seeds that are explicitly labeled Italian parsley.
Help, My Seeds Aren’t Growing!
While Italian parsley is a rather quick-growing plant once the roots and first leaves are established, the germination process is quite slow.
In fact, it can take up to 6 weeks for the seeds to sprout. So, be patient, keep watering the seeds, and wait for those first shoots to appear. Parsley plants need to take longer in the germination process to establish a strong root system that will hold its weight.
The Parsley Plants Aren’t Tall Enough
We mentioned earlier that if your plants don’t reach a certain height within three months, there is likely something wrong with their growing conditions. This could be a number of things, from lack of room to a too-cold climate.
Let’s begin with the space issue. Parsley plants need enough room between them so that their roots can spread out and gather nutrients from the soil. If the plants are too tightly compacted, they’ll struggle to do this.
Make sure that your plants are spaced out with 2cm between them.
Another issue is that your climate isn’t warm enough. Sardinia has an average summer temperature of 28.5 degrees C, so you’ll need a similar climate to replicate this growing method.
If your climate is not as warm as this, we suggest using a greenhouse to keep your plants nice and toasty. If your climate is warmer than this, make sure that your Italian parsley plants are positioned out of direct sunlight.
Thank you for reading! The most important thing to remember when replicating Sardinia-grown parsley is to use Italian parsley rather than any of its other cousins and to keep an eye on the temperature.
An ideal temperature for growing parsley is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but Sardinia is slightly warmer. We suggest using a greenhouse to make sure that your plants remain warm enough, and don’t forget to keep the soil moist at all times!
Good luck and enjoy your Italian parsley!