STARTING FROM SEED
Because chervil grows with a long taproot, it doesn’t transplant very well.
You’re better sowing your seeds directly into the garden. Chervil seeds don’t
last very long though. After about a year, you’ll find a sizable reduction in
germination. So don’t bother with old seed.
Plant chervil in a lightly shaded area that won’t get the full sun during summer
months. Don’t bury the seeds, but rather just sprinkle them on the surface of
the soil and keep moist until they start to sprout. Once they start to grow, thin
down to one plant every 10 inches or so.
They do prefer cooler weather so plant your seeds early in spring, about 3
weeks before your last frost date. Or for a crop later in the season, plant
additional seeds after the hottest weather of summer is passed (at least a
month before your first frost date).
Or rather than 2 set crops, you can also sow additional seed every few weeks
for a more staggered harvest of chervil.
Keep it well-watered particularly in the heat of summer. If the plants get too
hot, they are likely to bolt to seed. Once that happens, you’ll find the leaves
have lost their taste and will quickly become bitter. Keeping the leaves welltrimmed can also help prevent early bolting.
Though they love water, don’t douse the plant at watering time. Overly wet
leaves can promote fungus growth (see Pests section).
If you want to have an ongoing crop of chervil each year, let 1 or 2 plants
develop their flowers and go to seed. They will easily repopulate your chervil
patch each season without any effort from you.
Chervil can be grown in a pot as long as it is deep enough to accommodate the
long roots. Containers should be 8 to 10 inches across and at least 12 inches
deep for each chervil plant.
While most herbs do better in very sunny windows when grown indoors,
chervil will do better in more indirect light. Outdoor pots can be kept on
shaded patios or decks.
Water potted chervil often, though indoor plants are not as bothered by
overheating as outdoor plants, meaning they can be watered a little less than
plants in the garden.
If you cut the flowers out before they bloom, you can keep your chervil
growing all through the winter. It won’t last forever though, and will
eventually die since it is just an annual. Plant a few extra seeds in the fall so you
have fresh chervil during the winter months too.
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