Growing coriander is a delightfully simple task. Its tangy leaves and aromatic seeds are used to flavour curries and add a delicious flavour to many dishes. Young children will also enjoy this easy-to-grow herb, as it’s an annual herb that prefers a sunny or partially shaded spot in the ground or container. Let’s find out how to get your children growing coriander with ease!
Firstly, what is coriander? Coriander refers to two different parts of the plant: the leaves (also known as cilantro) and the seeds. The leaves are a herb that can be used fresh in salads or cooked in curries and soups. Coriander seeds are a mild, aromatic spice that can be used whole to season dishes or ground into a powder.
What can coriander be used for? The leaves and seeds can be used both together and separately in a variety of dishes. Freshly picked coriander is often used as a garnish or in salads, while the seeds are used to add an earthy flavour to curries, soups and stews.
How to Sow Coriander
To get your kids to grow coriander, you will need a few simple supplies. These include potting mix, fertilizer, terra cotta pots or Seedling trays, and – of course – coriander seeds.
Sow in the ground or in a container. Coriander seeds are quite small and can be scattered directly into the ground or in a container. Make sure it is a sunny or semi-shaded spot. Once planted, cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost or mulch and water lightly.
Sowing for a constant supply of leaves. Coriander is a fast-growing annual, so you can sow the seeds every few weeks to ensure you have a constant supply of fresh leaves.
Sowing for maturity and ripening. To grow the coriander for the seeds, you will need to plant the seeds more deeply in the soil, and water more consistently. It can take three months for the leaves to die off, at which point the seeds will be ripe and ready to harvest.
How to Grow Coriander
Once your kids have planted the seeds, it’s time to learn how to grow coriander. Keep the soil or compost moist. Coriander is quite a water-hungry herb, so make sure that you water it regularly.
Harvesting the leaves. The leaves can be harvested as soon as they are big enough to use. Be sure to cut the stems near the base of the plant and leave some of the small leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow.
Harvesting the seeds. After the leaves of the plant have died off and the stems have turned brown, you can harvest the coriander seeds. Shake the seed head over a paper or bowl and collect the seeds that fall.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the satisfaction of growing coriander in their own garden. Its tangy leaves and spicy seeds are always an enjoyable addition to your cooking, and harvesting these fresh ingredients is even more enjoyable when your kids have helped to grow them!