Herbs - Hamburg Parsley to Hyssop

Hamburg Parsley

This little grown plant has leaves that can be used like Parsley and roots that taste like a cross between Parsnips and Celery.

They are tolerant and will grow in any soil but will do better in an organic rich one with a pH of 6.5. They have long roots so if your soil is heavy or very stony; make holes 18" deep with a bar. Open it up by wiggling the bar in a circular motion until it is 3" -4" in diameter and fill it with a light sandy compost. Space these holes at 6" intervals.

Sow in April by placing 2 seeds in the centre of each hole. The seeds are very slow to germinate so make sure that you mark the rows well, so that you will not forget about them. Thin to the strongest seedling. A good way of marking them is to sow a couple of radish seeds at the same time; the radish will germinate quickly and mark where you have sown the Hamburg Parsley. As soon as it has germinated, remove the Radish plants. The seeds can also be sown in autumn to over -winter.

Keep the plants weed free and ensure that the watering is regular to prevent the roots from cracking and splitting.

If the winter is mild, the roots can be left in and dug up as needed but it is better to lift after the first frosts have killed of the top growth and stored in boxes of peat or Vermiculite. This also prevents damage by pests during the winter.

Hamburg Parsley is subject to all the usual Root crop pests and diseases such as slugs, Carrot Root Fly and Parsnip Canker. (See relevant Pests or Diseases sections)


(Marrubium vulgare)

A hardy perennial that grows to 2ft (60cm). It has round wrinkled leaves and white flowers along the stem. It will grow in any type of soil. Sow seeds or take root cuttings in spring.


The plant is now grown for its ornamental value but it was once used as a remedy for coughs.


(Cochlearia armoracia)

A hardy perennial that grows to 2ft (60cm). It is grown for its roots.

Note: The leaves and stems of this plant are poisonous if eaten.

It will grow in most types of soil but prefers a rich moist soil. The plant can be extremely invasive.
Plant crowns in spring.


Lift the roots in autumn. If not being used immediately, they can be stored in moist sand for later use or for replanting the next spring.


The plant is grown for its extremely hot roots, which are grated to make horseradish sauce.

Note: Avoid contact with eyes when grating the roots. Flush with plenty of clean water and consult a doctor if any irritation occurs.


(Hyssopus officianalis)

A perennial shrub that grows to 2ft (60cm). It is ideal as a low hedge around the herb border. It will grow in most types of soil but prefers a rich moist soil in a sunny position. Sow seeds in spring. Take cuttings or root divisions in spring or autumn.


Collect leaves as the flowers are beginning to bloom.


The leaves have a slightly bitter, minty flavour and are added to soups and meats, especially pork. They can also be added to salads. Use sparingly as the flavour is very strong.

© copyright 1999, P. A. Owen

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