Fresh chervil is a favorite herb of many cooks, and for those who specialize in French cuisine, it's an absolute necessity. The subtle flavor brings out the best in many dishes, including fish, omelets, sauces and vegetables. Its lacy appearance, more delicate than parsley, makes an excellent garnish. Chervil is easy to grow and germinates very quickly, so for a steady crop of fresh chervil, plant a small patch every other week.
Choose a sunny spot. Chervil can grow in poor soil as long as it has good drainage.
Plant chervil seed in rows or blocks. Chervil should be planted in early spring for a crop that's ready in summer. If you want a winter crop, sow the seeds in late summer. Water the chervil regularly and don't allow it to dry out too much.
Thin the chervil seedlings to about six inches apart if they seem to be getting overcrowded. However, a denser crop will provide support for the plants and will discourage weeds.
Remove new, bright green chervil leaves as needed for use in the kitchen. Pinch off dead flowers, but leave a few if you want the plants to reseed themselves.
Harvest chervil seeds in August. Cut the chervil and hold the stems over a paper sack or a large bowl. Shake the blooms and rub them together to remove the seeds. Save the seeds for the next planting.