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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harvesting & Growing Cilantro in 5 Gallon Containers: Over Plant It!

Harvesting & Growing Cilantro in 5 Gallon Containers: Over Plant It!

Cilantro is a great tasting herb that makes any salsa dish. It can be grown all season long and it is tolerant to frost. It grows best in cooler weather but it will still produce during the higher heat of summer. Just tuck a few plant or seeds in a shadier part of your garden. When the frost comes it stops growing but it will be there for an early spring harvest once the weather begins to warm. The leaves actually get darker with some red and purple coloration during their winter hibernation.

I grow herbs in my earth beds and containers. The above video highlights my container method for growing cilantro. Essentially, I over seed the heck out of the container, give it regularly drinks of a higher nitrogen liquid fertilizer which is about every 2 weeks. I've been going more organic lately for my fertilizers and have been using fish emulsion or a beet molasses fermentation for nitrogen.

The key to harvesting it is to cut the leaves off and leave the the roots in the soil. It should continue to grow leaves for a second harvest. Eventually cilantro will want to flower and seed. You can save the seed for replanting or culinary use. When you start harvesting cilantro leaves from the first planting, plant some more seeds in a new container and keep your supply coming all season long.

Below is another video of the same container of cilantro. I also planted a couple of pea seeds in there. You can train the peas up a trellis and let them occupy the high ground so to speak. The cilantro will do great occupying the low ground. Now you have two crops coming from one 5 gallon container.

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