Category Archives: Herb Gardening

Growing Cilantro for Your Home

Coriander is a great herb to keep in your kitchen, and it has both medicinal and culinary uses. The spicy lemon coriander or cilantro adds flavor to your recipes that have lentils, fish and vegetables. Coriander is often used to flavor dishes, Asian and Mexican.

It is also used as medicine for high blood pressure, and reduces intestinal gas. To reduce blood pressure, coriander seeds in the right amounts should be taken regularly. To avoid trying to find coriander leaves and seeds in store, raising it from seed at home is an option.

Cilantro grows well in a garden at home if you have the right conditions for growth. Coriander is also strongly influenced by temperature changes such as heat, coldness and dryness. If you want the plant to have strong cilantro flavor, you must ensure that temperature is neither too hot nor cold. If the plant is grown under adverse conditions, the plant can bolt or get ready to flower prematurely. This also applies to growing cilantro indoors.

Coriander seeds can also be used in medicine and cuisine. Coriander plants need sunlight to produce seeds. A full sun is too hot for planting cilantro as this causes it to be under stress, producing flowers earlier than usual. The seeds are produced more quickly if the plant is put in the sun.

That is why temperature in summer is perfect for growing cilantro. The seeds can be harvested, and used to grow coriander in the following year. In the tropics, the ideal time to plant cilantro is winter. Self-seeded coriander grows well in areas where winters are mild, so there is little need to save seeds for replanting.

Cilantro grows best in rich soil with good drainage. The coriander (cilantro) plant grows to a height of two meters. You can add fertilizer to the soil as it must be enriched for growing cilantro. Cilantro grows a taproot deep, so it must be planted at a depth of about one centimeter. It takes about three weeks for the plant to sprout cilantro, and germinate seeds. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Add compost. (Compost also helps with growing cucumbers as well, a subject of another article.) Soon, you will have some great cilantro.

You should plant the seeds about 5 cm apart in rows. Plant them in rows to facilitate harvesting. It takes about 40 days to fully develop a cilantro plant grown in tropical climates. However, it may take several months to grow a fully developed cilantro in a cooler environment.

If your coriander is the seed for indoors or outdoors, you’ll need well-drained soil. When lifting coriander seeds to transplant outside, you will need many plants to produce large quantities of seeds to get the amount you need. As for growing cilantro in containers, you will need to line the base of the containers with broken stones or ceramic to ensure proper drainage, and when ready, it is simple enough to harvest coriander seeds.

Simply cut the stems of the coriander plant, tie with a string or rubber bands, and cover each flower head with a paper bag. Then, hang the plant in a cool, dry place with the head hanging. The seeds fall to the bottom of the bag when they are dry, and they are best stored in airtight containers.

Herb Garden Plants Are Popular and Easy to Grow

Herb Garden Plants

There is an avid interest in herb gardening today. In a world of ever increasing working hours together with  packaged and processed meals, and the ubiquitous TV dinner, it seems that we are desperately keen to cook meals “from scratch” with fresh ingredients.

We also want that connection with nature but are not about to relive the “punishment” and long working hours involved with the large back gardens of the past. So the ideal solution has arisen in the form of the very satisfying and practical herb garden.

The beauty of herbs is that they can be grown almost anywhere in a very small space, in containers or on a kitchen window sill.  A patio herb garden is also popular and can be enjoyed even in the smallest of apartments. But if you are interested in a bit more “outdoor therapy” and really getting your hands dirty then the traditional herb garden is the answer.

How to Make an Herb Garden in Your Backyard

The first consideration of course, is which herbs you would like to grow. There are such a wide variety of plants available that making a choice may not be easy. Fortunately most herbs are among the most tolerant and forgiving of garden plants and are easy to grow. In the main most do best in a light, well-drained soil and prefer plenty of sunlight.

A little research is needed to find which herbs will suit your area and requirements. You will need to be aware that there are -

annuals which last for a single growing season and include:

• basil, coriander, dill, summer savory, chervil, anise and parsley as well as

perennials which continue from season to season and include:

• marjoram, chives, tarragon, mint, rosemary, sage, fennel, thyme, oregano and winter savory

Garden Size

Your herb garden can be any size you decide on depending on the quantity and variety that you want. It is wise to plant annuals and perennials separately. The best colored and most often used herbs can be planted as attractive borders and purple basil for instance, makes a striking boundary.

Soil

Perhaps the most important factor for the soil is that it needs to have good drainage. Herbs do not tolerate soil that is too wet. If your soil is too damp and not well drained then a very good alternative is to use raised garden beds which can provide excellent drainage. If your soil is sandy then you should have no trouble growing herbs.

The richness of the soil is not such an issue as the quality can easily be improved with a good organic fertilizer and compost. However, don’t be tempted to overdo these additives as you will tend to get speedy growth but a lack of flavor. Actually certain herbs which originate from the Mediterranean like sage and rosemary prefer a poorer soil with a little more lime content.

Using Mulch

Use a layer of organic mulch such a straw or leaves to protect the soil and help in retaining moisture. It will also be beneficial and assist with weed control.

Buying Your Herb Plants

• Make sure to select healthy specimens which look strong and are at the correct development stage to suit the container they are in
• Carefully check leaves for any disease or insect problems
• Take a look at the roots which ought to be white and ideally fill the container but are not root bound
• Keep in mind that the biggest plant is not always the best one!

Caring for Your Herbs

Don’t kill your herbs with kindness by over watering and over fertilizing. This is the most common reason for the untimely demise of many innocent herbs. Using a slow release organic fertilizer is good way to help your herbs become established and will break down slowly in the soil. Watering to keep the moisture to a depth of around one foot is better than light overhead sprinkling on a daily basis.

Harvest Time

To maintain strong healthy plants you need to pinch off the ends of the new growth every so often. This will stop them from becoming spindly and weak. Harvest often and just take as much as you need each time.

The best time for picking is in the morning before the sun can wilt the plants. You will capture the oils in the leaves which provide all the flavors at their best in the cooler part of the day.

Enjoying Your Herbs

Finally the most important advice is to make sure that you enjoy your herb garden plants to the fullest and relish in the effect they offer your senses – the color, the touch, the scent and most of all the delicious, fresh and zesty taste.