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The art to cultivating coriander

The art to cultivating coriander

Coriander can be a tricky herb to grow. It has a tendency to bolt when it gets too warm and goes leggy and straggly when it gets damp. But if I had the choice between popping out to my garden for fresh coriander leaves every time I make a curry or Thai salad versus using limp, store-bought packet coriander or worse the dried version, there’s really no competition. Plus once you understand the art to cultivating this aromatic herb it’s really not so tricky to grow at all.

First of all you need to find the right spot to plant it. At this time of year coriander prefers to be in full sun (during summer it prefers partial shade).

You can give it a go, but I don’t recommend growing it in a small pot indoors – like on your kitchen window. For the best results try planting your coriander seedlings in a large, deep pot outside or a sunny, free-draining area in your garden. This will prevent your plants getting damp. For the same reason, when you water this herb it’s important to do it in the morning, not the evening, so it can dry off in the sun during the day.

Once your plant has got established remember to eat it quickly. If it’s not consumed fast enough it tends to go to seed.

Don’t eat a lot of coriander but still like to have it on hand? Never fear, simply stagger your planting of it. Instead of buying several coriander plants at once, buy a mixed herb Awapuni Traditional Value bundle or Pop’n’Grow pot, which includes a couple of coriander and other herb seedlings. Two to four weeks after you planted the first coriander, buy another mixed herb bundle or pot and do the same. This means as one plant goes to seed another will be ready for eating. Plus you get a wide variety of other herbs to choose from in your garden. Each coriander will take three to four weeks to grow.

See? Not so tricky after all.

Tod Palenski
Awapuni Nurseries
www.awapuni.co.nz

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