Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a herb that is commonly used in cooking and has a distinctive aroma and flavour. It is a fast-growing annual plant that produces feathery green leaves and small white or pink flowers. Cilantro is popular in Mexican, Latin American, and Asian cuisines, and is often used to add a fresh and citrusy flavour to dishes such as salsa, guacamole, and curries. The seeds of the cilantro plant are also used as a spice, known as coriander, which has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. Cilantro is easy to grow in a sunny location with well-draining soil and regular watering, making it a great addition to any herb garden.
How to Grow Cilantro Organically
- Choose the right time: Cilantro is a cool-season herb that prefers cooler temperatures. It’s recommended to plant cilantro in early spring or in the fall when temperatures are cooler.
- Select a location: Cilantro prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.0. Choose a location with full sun or partial shade.
- Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches and remove any rocks or debris. Add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve soil fertility and drainage.
- Plant the seeds: Cilantro is usually grown from seeds. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 6-8 inches apart.
- Water the plants: Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather.
- Fertilize the plants: Cilantro does not need a lot of fertilizer. You can add a light application of organic fertilizer, such as compost or fish emulsion, once or twice during the growing season.
- Control pests and diseases: Cilantro is generally pest and disease-free, but it can attract aphids and spider mites. Use organic methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests.
- Harvest the leaves: Cilantro leaves can be harvested when the plant is 6-8 inches tall. Cut the leaves from the stem and use them fresh in your favourite dishes. You can also harvest the entire plant when it bolts and use the seeds, known as coriander, in cooking.
Following these steps will help you grow cilantro successfully and enjoy its bright, citrusy flavour in your culinary creations.