Growing Cilantro – The Cut and Come Again Method. Growing cilantro from seed is the only way to frugally get the organic supply you want.
One of my favorite plants to grow in the early spring is Cilantro. I like to get that pungent taste and freshness into our diet as soon as possible. It takes awhile to sprout from seed, however, so I always buy a plant from my local nursery when they are first available.
Sow seeds every two weeks for a continuous crop
I also come home with several packages of seed and start growing my own cilantro. Growing cilantro from seed is the only way to frugally get the organic supply I want.
Cilantro is a cool weather crop, which means it will bolt and go to seed (which is called coriander) as soon as the weather turns hot. To keep leaves coming, I like to sow seeds every two weeks so I have a continuous crop.
Growing Cilantro – The Cut and Come Again Method
For growing cilantro choose a wide, shallow 6-inch container to sow your seeds. You can get a special bowl or just use a recycled plastic container. It just needs adequate drainage.
- Use potting soil for the bottom 5 inches, make sure it is moistened
- Put the seeds in pretty thickly, you will not be thinning them out as they grow
- Cover the seed with enough seedling mix to 1/4 an inch and water it all in
- Cover the entire container with plastic wrap, making a mini greenhouse
- Consider using a recycled milk jug planter instead, then cut off the top once your cilantro seeds sprout. No fashion statements here, but frugal gardening at its best!
- Once the seed sprouts, move the container outside and wait for the plants to get big enough to harvest
We’ve had about 10 days of niceness in the Pacific NW this spring! The rest of the time it’s been cold and rainy. It took my cilantro plants 60 days to reach the size of these pictures. If I would have grown my pot inside by a window, I’m sure the harvest would have been quicker. If you live in a warmer area, you will probably need to consider ways to keep the plants shaded and cool.
According to the Sunset magazine article, as soon as plants are 3 to 4 inches tall and sporting a couple of cuttable leaves, use scissors to cut off some foliage for cooking.
They also suggest that if you shear the plant from a different section of the container every time, rotating the pot as you go, it will never let the plants in any area mature. So, by the time you get back to the first section harvested, new leaves will have appeared.
So did it work? So far – so good! I’ve taken a few cutting from my cilantro bowl and the plants appear to be thriving.
What will I do with all that cilantro, you ask?
If I can’t use it in cooking or making salsa then I chop it up and freeze it in ice cube trays. The perfect way to have cilantro for hot summer days. I found a great Cilantro Chicken Recipe from Recipe Girl that I’m trying tonight and here is the original inspiration from Sunset Magazine if you want to take a look. Source.