Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
This is strongly sweet, scented herb commonly used to flavor foods and salads.
Multiple sources point to an ancient archeological site in Israel place of its origin with evidence dating back as far as 8000 years ago.
The word coriander refers to its seeds while cilantro refers to the plant’s foliage.
Some cultures use the word dhania referring to the foliage while other use coriander for both.
This herb contains vitamins A, C, and K, and the foliage also have potassium, folate and manganese.
What are the benefits of cilantro?
Although it is rarely eaten in large enough quantities to contribute to significant nutritional needs Cilantro is known to have several benefits which include, lowering blood sugar, reducing anxiety, improving brain health and reducing chances of food poisoning.
Ecological requirements for Coriander
Temperature – 19-26 degrees Celsius
Soil- Fertile and well drained with ph 6-8 these are soils close to neutral acidity.
Sunlight duration – at least 6 hours at the time of leaf production
Depending on the scale in which you want to cultivate coriander you may need anywhere from a 5min decision after the though of having the seeds if it’s just for your garden to spending days maybe even weeks if you are planning on a large scale and consistent production .In this case you will need to know how to plan your venture with the mind of an entrepreneur.
Whichever the method of land preparation you use depending on the land size, resources you have among other factors it is important to make sure to end up with a fine soil tilth which is clean and free of pests which might cause losses.
Coriander is mainly propagated using seeds. Although it is Mostly viewed and cultivated as a kitchen garden herb there are farms that decide to produce it on large scale either to satisfy a large market in terms of leaf production or seeds both of which value can be added.
While planting it is very important to consider using quality and certified seeds.
Spacing – The seeds are often drilled into the ground and due to their size this is usually about 3 cm deep on average. The distance between the rows again depends on scale but 10 cm is the most common standard.
To ease operations in large pieces of land the soil can be raised into beds of desirable sizes, where one can reach all parts of the bed to work on the crop.
Coriander needs frequent watering. The herb cannot stand too much water or insufficient.
The scale of production will also help determine the type of irrigation.
To be used these may include
Pipe watering, watering can for small scale
Overhead and surface irrigation for large scales.
With well distributed rainfalls however coriander can do very well however too much rainfall may lead to lodging which may make it hard for routine farm operations especially weeding.
Manual weeding is often the most common practice in the production of coriander. This can be labor intensive but very necessary for the best quality of production in this herbs farming.
Coriander performs very well with organic manure organic and inorganic foliar fertilizers.
Fertilizers from Vermicompost also prove to work well on the crop.
Common coriander pests, signs and control measures
|Aphids||Yellow distorted leaves||pesticide spray|
|Army worms||They eat the leaves creating circular or irregular holes||pesticide pray|
|Cut worms||Stems cut down and destroyed||Soil drenching and pesticide spray|
|Root knot nematodes||Swellings on the roots||Soil drenching|
On average coriander will mature after an average of 30 days, Some varieties will mature a few days earlier or later .
The time of harvesting also depends on the part of the plant targeted. The leaves, which are normally harvested by uprooting are harvested and marketed earlier while the seeds need alittle longer time for the flowers to develop , pollinate and mature .
For the small scale kitchen garden consumption the amount of leaves needed can be plucked without uprooting the whole plant .This is Mainly to prolong the harvesting time