Coriander is a versatile herb. It’s hugely popular in curries and many types of Asian, Chinese and Thai dishes. Both the seeds and the leaves of the plant can be used, each offering it’s own distinct distinct flavour. The seeds have a slight lemony flavour and they are often ground and used as a spice. The leaves (also known as cilantro) have a slightly bitter taste. They can be chopped up and added to dishes and breads or used as a garnish.
Coriander enjoys a sunny position in the garden. However, during the hottest part of the day, it does like a little shade. If stressed, coriander has a tendency to run to seed, where it flowers prematurely, developing seeds instead of growing lush foliage. This isn’t much of a problem if you are growing the plant for its seeds, but not if you are growing it for its leaves.
Being quite a sensitive plant, coriander is best grown from seed directly into the soil. Transplanting young plants can shock them and cause them to bolt (run to seed).
Prepare the soil thoroughly by digging it over, removing any weeds and incorporating organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost. Rake the soil level and the sow seeds 4cm apart in drills 1cm deep.