Chervil is a cold season annual plant that resembles parsley. It attains heights of between 12 and 24 inches and blooms in white flowers that look like umbels. The herb has many culinary and medicinal uses. In fact, it is one of the four main herbs preferred by French cuisine chefs to season seafood, young vegetables, and poultry. The other three are parsley, tarragon, and chives. The herb is easy to grow in greenhouse kits following this simple guideline.
- Start the seeds in a patch in the greenhouse about five weeks before the first frost. Alternatively, you can start the seeds inside growing containers.
- The seedlings are fragile so direct sowing works great. Plant them in groups; ideally, five seeds per group with the groups spaced 12 inches apart.
- Water the ground adequately. The preferred soil temperature for efficient germination should be 55 degrees Fahrenheit or thereabout.
Tips and tricks
The herb is beneficial to broccoli and lettuce because it repels aphids, so you may want to plant them close to these vegetables.
- Chervil will not tolerate dry conditions so water often and grow them under shades.
- It is susceptible to slugs and snails as well as small animals such as rabbits and groundhogs.
Chervil prefers grounds that are constantly moist. Apply about half an inch of water every morning or evening.
The herb prefers rich, loamy soil that has a high concentration of mature compost. While it tolerates a wide range of pH levels from 5.0, which is strongly acidic to 8.2, which is alkaline, the optimal pH range is between 5.5 and 7.0.
The herb prefers a modicum of shade though it can tolerate some sunlight during the cold months. It will thrive in conditions that most greenhouse kits easily provide.
The young and spicy leaves are ready for harvesting about ten weeks after sowing. Harvest by cutting these and use as required.