This herbaceous plant, also known as cilantro, is a popular ingredient in a wide range of cuisines from Indian to Greek, a ready supply of fresh coriander is essential for those looking to get creative in the kitchen. So, how can you grow your own?
Constantly having to buy large bunches of fresh coriander can be expensive.
Normally recipes only call for a few sprigs of this herb and as bunches of shop-bought coriander tend to be large, this can result in a lot of wastage.
But, coriander is easy to grow at home so you can have a plentiful supply at your fingertips and at the same time reduce your amount of wastage by cutting off fresh sprigs as and when you need to use them.
So, how can you grow your own coriander at home?
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How to grow coriander
Coriander can be grown from seeds sown directly in the soil in June and July, or you can keep a ready supply all year round in pots on a sunny windowsill.
If you choose to grow your coriander from seeds, you will need to leave 25cm between each seed and another 25cm between each row.
Coriander plants typically reach heights of 20cm and can spread out by 20cm so this will leave them with plenty of room to grow.
Pick a spot with full sun and deep soil as this plant has a long root, coriander can tolerate a little shade in the summer but try to pick sunny spots for the best results.
These seeds can be slow to germinate, if you crush them very gently before sowing this can speed up the process.
Coriander thrives in moist but well-drained soil or compost from spring to autumn.
If you want a successional harvest throughout summer, sow seeds every two weeks.
How to care for your plant
Once sown coriander plants are quite easy to look after.
Make sure the soil around your plants remains moist by watering them regularly, but, don’t overwater your coriander, the soil should not be sodden.
If you neglect to water your coriander this can cause problems as dry soil can cause plants to flower prematurely, otherwise known as “bolting”.
So, it is important to keep an eye on your soil’s moisture levels especially during dry spells.
Other than that coriander does not need much additional attention, you can add a liquid seaweed mix occasionally to the soil but generally speaking coriander doesn’t need additional nutrients.
Weed and cut back your coriander plants regularly to stop them from competing for space and sunlight.
Coriander is a fast-growing herb so it will need to be harvested regularly, if you grow more than you need it can be frozen to give you a year-round supply.
If you cut off too many sprigs at once don’t throw these away, to keep them fresher for longer simply wrap the leftover herbs in a dampened piece of kitchen roll and pop them in the fridge to use later.
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