Chervil o Garden chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), also called "French parsley", is an aromatic herb native to Central Asia. Long time ago, it was nicknamed "leaves of joy"" as it was appreciated for its delicate aroma.
It is a biennial herbaceous plant but grown as annual. It grows wild in many parts of the world. Chervil is very similar to parsley but has a slightly aniseed taste and a more distinctive smell.
This aromatic plant can be propagated by sowing directly into the soil or under cover. Directly, from April to September, and for winter consumption, under cover in nursery from November to February. The furrow should be about 2 cm deep and 1 cm should be left between each seed. A distance of 20-25 cm must be respected between each furrow. As soon as the first leaves appear on the seedlings, they have to be thinned out to about 10 cm apart. It is good to know that to have a longer harvest of leaves, it is better to sow the chervil in the middle of summer. Indeed if sown in the spring, the leafy growth gives way to flowers quickly and the plant tends to bolt faster to seed. It's also good to know that for being a self-sowing plant, if a few flowers are still there before dying, the plant will sow itself after flowering... nothing more simple!
Location / Exposure
This herb needs shade as well as a fresh, light, well-drained and rich soil (with a lot of compost). That way it will produce abundant foliage. In autumn and spring, do not hesitate to give it full sun exposure. On the other hand, in summer it needs a semi shaded spot or being completely in the shade, because excess of heat makes the plant going to seed.
Garden chervil is a very easy plant to cultivate and maintain. It just need to be watered regularly (especially in case of drought) because it likes wet soil. It is also important to weed after seedlings emergence, it is why sowing in rows is better than a broadcast seeding.
Another quality of chervil is that it is very fast to harvest! Barely 4 to 6 weeks after sowing, picking can start. But it is better to collect the leaves before flowering because they have better taste.
Very hardy plant, it resists frost, so nothing to do in winter!