Growing Organic Cilantro & Harvesting Seeds
Posted August 01, 2014
There is nothing better than cilantro added to fresh garden salsa in the summer! You may here it called coriander as well. It is grown for both it's seed (coriander) and leaf (cilantro). Cilantro is widely used in Mexican cuisine.
Cilantro enjoys cooler weather and is best when grown from seed planted in the early spring or fall in a sunny location. The great thing about it is, it's not to fussy about soil conditions as long as the soil drains well. In milder climates it will overwinter, growing slower when the freeze hits, but once spring starts to show its head, it begins to take off in full force. Clip cilantro often to hasten the seeding process. Drying cilantro leaves isn't suggested because much of the flavor is lost during drying. Once it begins to flower, it's hard to stop it from going to seed. Its 2 foot tall, pretty pink, white or mauve flowers will be among the first to appear in the spring garden. Coriander seeds ripen quickly and can be harvested easily by cutting the 'almost' dry seed heads into a paper sack and allowing to dry in a cool dark place. These seeds can be used to replanted the following season or used whole or crushed in the soups, salads, sauces, and meat dishes.
Cooler climates can grow cilantro through the spring and summer months by planting in successions. Sow seeds every two to three weeks for prolonged harvest. Cilantro does not like hot weather and will bolt quickly. It can be grown in a shadier place in the garden, such as on the north side of tomato plants. But it is a sun lover and it get spindly reaching for the sun and not produce much in the way of leaves.
Cilantro has also been found to have great health benefits as well.