With the Covid-19 lockdowns, many people will be spending more time at home. This is, therefore, the perfect time to start your mobile garden venture and what better way to do so than with coriander? It will save you some coins, and trips to the market.
Coriander, locally known as ‘dania’, the bright green herb, is rich in Vitamins A and K. It is used to flavour stews, season food and is an important constituent of ‘kachumbari’. The herb retails at about Ksh5 per bunch. Nothing ever goes to waste with coriander, as its stem, leaves, and seeds are edible.
How to grow potted coriander
- Coriander plants have deep taproots, therefore, containers need to be at least 25cm deep with drainage holes at the bottom;
- Mix loam soil with good garden compost or manure. Break large lumps and remove stones;
- Sow the coriander seeds directly into the soil or five seeds per pot with a spacing of 3 to 4 inches;
- Weed after the fourth week;
- Germination takes two to three weeks. For a steady supply, plant small patches every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season;
- Pick a spot for your container that exposes the plant to the morning sun, as it enjoys a lot of light but not too much heat. The plant matures in 40-45 days and leaves are harvested at the height of 20-25 cm.
Buy certified seed from reputable outlets such as the Kenya Seed Company.
It is also important to note that there are various coriander varieties, including leaf and seed varieties.
ALSO READ ABOUT: how-to-grow-turmeric
Varieties grown in Kenya include:
- Culantro– has flat-toothed leaves, also known as spiny coriander. Can be used interchangeably with leaf cilantro in recipes;
- Seed Coriander– grown for its seeds;
- Leaf Cilantro-resembles parsley and has a strong and sharp smell.
- Vietnamese coriander– has narrow smooth-edged and darker leaves.
Health benefits of corriander
The following are the health benefits:
- Promoting healthy bowel movement;
- Reducing blood sugar levels;
- Maintaining menstrual flow;
- It has iron that is good for anemic persons;
- Promotes good memory and boosts the nervous system.
With potted coriander, you not only have a healthy supply of the herb to consume and sell to neighbours, but you also get to have an aesthetically pleasant balcony or window area, killing two birds with one stone.
ALSO READ ABOUT: How to grow corriander popularly known as dhania