Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Grow Cilantro - Our Featured Herb of the Week

How to Grow Cilantro. Cilantro is very easy to grow from seed or transplants. It is a key ingredient in fresh salsa and makes a spicy pesto.

If starting with plants, plant in the garden at the same level as the plants were in the pot. Water well and fertilize with fish emulsion every two weeks. Cut the plants frequently and succession plant for production all season.

If starting with seeds you can plant as soon as the frost is out of the ground as cilantro is very hardy (but not quite perennial in Minnesota). Plant about 1/2 inch deep one inch apart. Re-seed when the plants bolt. Cut frequently to keep production at its peak.

We use fish emulsion to fertilize, but cilantro doesn't need a rich environment. We plant rows about 4 to 6 inches apart in a 2 inch layer of compost. For market we cut the cilantro at the baby leaf stage instead of letting it get large and bunching. We put the cut leaves in a quart bag and they keep 7-10 days. We can also cut many more times at this stage.

We grow a slow to bolt variety called "Leisure". You can get seed from Johnny's.

Summer time production is many pounds per week and works well for summer salsa needs.

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