How to grow/harvest cilantro
Cilantro has special needs to thrive in a garden. It is short
lived and Cilantro will develop a flower stalk, or “bolt”, prematurely
when the soil temperature exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cilantro should be grown in early spring or fall when the weather
is cool. It requires mostly full sun, although some have luck growing cilantro
in morning sun and shade in the hot afternoon. One way to help keep your Cilantro
plants from bolting is to grow cilantro it in the ground with plenty of mulch
on top of the roots, this helps keep the soil cooler longer into the day. One
other trick is to plant Cilantro very close together, shading the roots and
thus keeping them cool. Under the right conditions, cilantro will last about
8-10 weeks before flowering. Cilantro will reseed itself in your garden if you
allow the plants to flower and develop seeds. Harvest coriander seeds as soon
as they turn brown by shaking the seed heads over a paper bag. Allow the seeds
to dry and store them in airtight jars.
This is a good example of a cilantro plant that has started
to go to seed.
To harvest Cilantro, wait until the plant is about 6"e; tall.
Start harvesting cilantro leaves by removing the outer leaves and leaving the
inside where the new leaves grow from intact. You can usually expect to get
2-3 harvests like this before the flowering stage begins. After picking the
Cilantro leaves, clean and dry them thoroughly. Try storing them in the fridge
in a glass of water to help keep some shelf life. Some like to wait until the
Cilantro plant is full grown and then pull it up by the roots, using the whole
plant at once. The roots are edible as well as the leaves of Cilantro and many
enjoy adding the roots to favorite stir-fry dishes.