Wednesday, 29 May 2013


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Coriander is an essential herb in many dishes.  Use it to liven up salads or in your favorite curry.  Both the seeds and the leaves can be used in cooking; the seeds have a lemony flavour, whilst the leaves have a fresh and slightly bitter taste.  The advantage of growing coriander at home is that the flavour is unsurpassed. You also get a continuous supply of fresh coriander when you need it.  

Growing Coriander from seed

Coriander is easily grown from seed and is an ideal plant to grow on a windowsill or conservatory. It is best sown directly into the soil or pots as it does not like disturbance to its roots.

You can sow coriander any time of the year as long as the temperature remains above 16 degrees Celsius. Coriander seed will not germinate in cold weather so you have to wait until the soil temperature has increased.  Sow your coriander seed directly in your bed outside from late April or early May onwards, or you can always start earlier and give them a head start by planting in cloches or a poly tunnel.

Choose a sunny, sheltered position that offers some shade during the hottest part of the day.  This will keep the foliage soft and flavorsome. However if you are growing coriander predominately for its seed then grow in a position in full sun as this will trigger flower production far earlier.

Dig in plenty of organic matter such as well rotted manure or garden compost to your soil. Rake over the bed to a fine tilth.  Sow your  coriander seed 1-2 cm deep spaced 5 cm apart in rows 30-45 cm apart.  Cover with soil and water well.  Your seeds will germinate in 5-20 days.

When the seedlings have reached a height of 5-7 cm thin the weaker plants until the plants are spaced 10-15 cm apart. Remove any flowering spikes if you are growing coriander for its foliage or else the plant will direct its energy into producing flowers and seeds, and not into producing leaves. Apply a liquid feed to the soil or compost every 2 – 3 weeks during the growing period.

Coriander can be harvested when they reach 10 cm high. Pick the older leaves first to encourage further plant growth.

Sow new batches of coriander seed every three weeks to ensure you have a continual supply during the summer.

Growing coriander in pots

Fill a medium sized pot (15 cm deep) with John Innes no 1 or 2 multipurpose compost.  Mix in a little horticultural grit to help improve drainage. Sow the seeds in holes 1-2 cm deep and 5 cm apart.  Cover lightly with compost and water well.  Your coriander will germinate in 5-20 days.

Water the pot regularly, ensuring that the soil does not dry out but do not water log your soil. Apply a liquid feed to the soil or compost every 2 – 3 weeks during the growing period and remove any flowering spikes if you are growing coriander for its foliage.

For related articles click onto:
Feeding plants
Growing Garlic in Containers
Growing herbs
Growing herbs on a windowsill
Growing herbs in pots
Herbaceous borders
How to grow garlic
How to grow lavender
How to build a cold frame
How to grow basil
How to grow coriander
How to grow garlic
How to Grow Ginger
How to grow lavender
How to grow mint
How to grow parsley
How to grow rosemary
How to grow thyme
How to make compost
How to propagate using division
How to propagate from seed
Plants for free
Preparing a seed bed
Watering plants

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