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Cilantro is a versatile herb that’s often used in Mexican, Latin American, and Asian cuisines.
With its fresh flavor and attractive texture, it’s a great addition to salads, soups, stir-fries, and more; plus it looks great in the garden!
In this guide we’ll explore the basics of planting, caring for, and harvesting your own cilantro.
Read on – explore everything you need to know before getting started with cultivating cilantro!
(Or, if you prefer, you can head over to our guide about cultivating mint, instead.)
Why You Should Cultivate Cilantro in Your Garden
Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, is a popular herb that can easily be grown in any home garden. It has a unique flavor and aroma, making it perfect for adding a zesty taste to various dishes.
Aside from its many uses in the kitchen, there are several other reasons why you should consider cultivating cilantro in your garden. Here are some of the benefits of this versatile herb.
Adds Flavor to Any Dish
One of the main reasons why people decide to grow cilantro is because of its flavor. This herb has an unmistakable tangy and slightly citrusy taste which adds a unique kick to salads, soups, sauces, and even desserts!
Plus, since it’s easy to grow and requires minimal effort for harvesting, you can always have a supply on hand in your outdoor space.
Natural Insect Repellent
Another great benefit of cultivating cilantro is that it serves as a natural insect repellent. The strong smell is often enough to deter pests like mosquitoes and flies from invading your garden or patio area.
As an added bonus, this plant doesn’t require any special ingredients or chemicals—just plant it in your outdoor space for an effective deterrent against pesky insects!
The unmistakable scent of cilantro is both refreshing and calming at the same time. Its leaves release their distinctive fragrance when disturbed, making them an ideal choice for containers and borders around patios or walkways where their pleasant aroma can be enjoyed daily.
In addition to its delightful scent being enjoyed by humans, cilantro also serves as a food source for beneficial pollinating insects like bees!
Easy To Grow
The best part about growing cilantro? It’s incredibly easy! All you need is some soil with good drainage capabilities, plenty of sun (a minimum of 6 hours per day), water regularly (but not too much), and that’s all—nothing else required!
It will start producing its aromatic leaves quickly; before long you can enjoy fresh cilantro throughout the summer months without much effort at all!
With so many benefits to growing this flavorful herb, there’s no better time than now to cultivate some cilantro in your garden!
Steps to Successfully Cultivating Cilantro
Cilantro prefers cool temperatures with either partial or full sun exposure.
When planting from seedlings, be sure to space them at least 6-12 inches apart to allow room for proper growth & maturation.
Alternatively, you may choose to direct sow seeds instead in spring or early summer; just be aware that germination can take up to two weeks in cooler soil temperatures so patience is key!
If you’d like to grow your own cilantro, here are the steps required:
- Choose a location with at least six hours of sunlight and good drainage capabilities.
- Prepare the soil by adding some compost or manure to help with nutrient absorption.
- Plant your seeds 1/4 inch deep in the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil or mulch.
- Water regularly, but not too much — cilantro likes moist soil but doesn’t do well when overly saturated or dry.
- After about 3 weeks, your cilantro should be ready to harvest!
With this guide, you’ll be able to easily cultivate your own amazing cilantro plants!
Caring for Growing Cilantro Plants
Once planted, water regularly throughout its growing season but be careful not to over-water as this can cause root rot & other diseases.
You don’t need any special fertilizers when growing cilantro; however, if you want larger leaves then light applications of organic fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks should do the trick.
Also, keep an eye out for weeds that may invade your plant’s space; they can compete for resources & cause harm to the health of your plant.
Harvesting and Storing Cilantro
When harvesting cilantro leaves, remember that their flavor is best when young so only cut off what you will use immediately.
1. Cut 1/2 inch above soil level with clean scissors or shears so the stem continues producing new growth.
2. For longer harvests, you may also choose to pick leaves one by one rather than cutting off large strips at once as this will help prevent bolting (rapid flowering & seeding).
3. To store fresh cilantro, wrap it lightly in damp paper towels; place it inside a plastic bag with air holes punched into it and refrigerate until ready to use.
A Final Word About Cultivating Cilantro Plants
Cultivating cilantro doesn’t have to be complicated! Occasionally watering and weeding is about all it takes for successful harvests – just remember that regular thinning of your plants helps promote better growth during its growing season.
Share your advice below on cultivating cilantro – we would love to hear how it went!
Suggested Reading: Cultating Sage: Guide to Planting, Caring, and Harvesting
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