Words by: Family Farm Team
It's spring on the farm, but you don't have to own acres of land or even have a backyard garden to welcome the warmer weather. Cilantro, one of our favorite herbs, loves this time of year. It's versatile, adds a zesty flavor to omeletes, and couldn't be easier to grow—even indoors. So pick up some seeds, soil, and planters at your local market and get growing!
Before planting cilantro seeds, you need to prepare them by gently crushing the seed husk. This can be done by holding two seeds between your index finger and thumb and applying pressure until the outer "shell" cracks. Once you've prepared your seeds, soak them in water for 2 to 4 days. When you're about ready to plant, place the seeds on a paper towel overnight to dry.
If you’re starting indoors, drop the seeds in soil and cover them with about a 1/4-inch layer of soil. Let your seedlings grow until they're each about 2 inches tall. At this time, thin the cilantro to about 3 to 4 inches apart. Cilantro likes crowded conditions because the leaves will shade the roots and help to keep the plant from bolting in hot weather, so feel free to keep your seedlings all in one pot. If you’re transplanting the cilantro into your garden, dig holes 3 to 4 inches apart and plant away. Be sure to water your garden or pot thoroughly after the initial planting.
Cilantro is able to grow indoors and outdoors, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s not a fan of hot weather. Cilantro loves growing in soil that reaches up to 75F (24C), so ideal conditions are cool but sunny. Place your pot or dig your garden where the cilantro will get early morning or late afternoon sun, but also shade during the hottest part of the day, and don't forget to water daily to keep the soil moist. Once it makes a home for itself in your garden, cilantro reseeds on its own.
When your cilantro is ready for harvesting, simply cut stems from the plant as needed. Now that you’ve growing your own cilantro, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are some of our favorite egg recipes that call for freshly harvested cilantro:
April 18, 2021
April 19, 2019