You might be wondering how to harvest coriander seeds after discovering that it is one of the key ingredients of curry powder. Let’s look at what you need to know about coriander seeds and how to harvest them.
1. What is Coriander?
Coriander is widely known to be referred to as Coriandrium sativum, or Chinese parsley. It is one of the key ingredients you can find in a curry powder that is mostly used by Asians. It is one of the easiest plants to grow as the leaves and seeds are very useful in the kitchen. Coriander comes from Coriandrum Sativum.
The leaves and stem are referred to as Cilantro while the dried seeds are called coriander in the United States of America.
It is very important to note that if you plant coriander in a garden during spring, it will germinate rapidly.
2. When to Plant Coriander
This is a kind of seed you should be careful when planting. There are so many of factors to consider in planting coriander. For instance, the seed thrives in cool weather with temperatures between the range of 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important that it is planted at a cool temperature because if planted at a temperature that is hot, it would produce bitter plants. You should plant coriander:
2.1. Cool Weather Climates
It is important that you plant coriander in areas with cold winters and mild summers. It would yield bountifully when planted immediately after the last frost date. This basically means that coriander seeds should be planted in early spring.
You should note that coriander seeds would germinate rapidly if the planting begins outdoors. This is because it grows as a taproot. The seed should also be planted during the spring season. It is important to track the timing of late planting so that the time for harvest would be before the first hard frost.
3. How to Plant Coriander Seeds
Planting Coriander Seeds in the perfect weather is important for a bountiful harvest.
3.1. Prepare the Soil Bed
Although coriander seeds can germinate in a light shade, they grow best when the sun is full and at its brightest. Picking the right spot that would supply the plant with about 5 hours of sunlight daily is very important. You should also be on the lookout for soil that has a lot of nutrients and organic matter. A healthy soil would guarantee a bountiful harvest and healthy plants.
3.2. Plant the Seeds
After the soil must have been prepared, the next step is to sow the seeds. It is crucial that the seeds be planted two inches apart in a row so that there will be enough space for the plants to grow.
3.3. Moisturize the Soil
For coriander seeds to germinate rapidly, it is important that the soil is kept moist and not wet. Water is essential for the plant to grow, so providing them with water regularly is important. Note the coriander seeds can be watered weekly.
4. How to Maintain Coriander Plant
It doesn’t require much to care for coriander. You just need to follow these instructions:
4.1. Water Regularly
For every plant to germinate, it needs water to survive. This applies to coriander seeds as the soil needs at least one inch of water every week to grow well. However, already-grown plants do not need so much water to grow well. You can also add the required nutrients to the soil as the plant grows. This would help boost healthy plants.
4.2. Clear the Weeds
When it comes to farming, the growing of weeds is inevitable. Weeds are unwelcomed plants that are known to contend with the actual plants. It is important that they are uprooted before they attack the growth of the coriander seeds. Another way you can eradicate weeds is by adding mulch to the soil. This would help disrupt the growth of weeds.
4.3. Companion Planting
This is one very important way to care for coriander plants. There are companion plants like tomatoes and potatoes that you can plant alongside coriander. This would help attract insects that are beneficial to the plants and also make the plants grow faster.
5. How to Harvest Coriander Seeds
It is not a complicated task to harvest coriander seeds. You just need to follow these procedures:
1. The first step is to allow the flowers to turn into seeds.
2. When you notice that the seeds have turned from green to brown, you can now cut the stem just a few inches beneath the head of the seeds.
3. Then you get a brown paper bag or a plastic bag and place the already cut stem in an upside-down position.
4. The next step is to tie the bag with a rope around the stem.
5. Look for a place that is well-ventilated and place the bag.
6. Lastly, you will notice that the seeds would begin to drop off in the bag once they mature.
6. How to Care for Coriander Seeds
It is important that the soil is kept moist all through the planting and growing season. Fertilization should be done discreetly. It is a bad idea to fertilize or add organic compost to the soil at the mid-season. Ensure the fertilizers are added at the right season.
6.1. Seed Selection
It is important that you go for coriander seeds that are of high quality because this would determine the germination rate. The plump and firm seeds are the ones to look out for.
Do you know that soaking the seeds before planting is important? Now you know. Soaking the seeds in the water for almost twenty-four hours will help to soften the seeds and aid rapid growth.
6.3. Temperature Control
To care for coriander seeds you can control the temperature. The temperature should be around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that extreme temperature is avoided.
6.4. Pest and Disease Management
One way to care for coriander seeds is to be on the lookout for pests and diseases like aphids. There are some organic pest controls you can employ to get rid of them.
7. Diseases that Affect Coriander Seeds
There are some diseases that are peculiar to coriander seeds and it is very important to take note of them:
7.1. Cercospora leaf spot
This is a type of disease that is usually caused by a fungus known as Cercospora carotae. It usually shows up as small round grayish spots on the leaves. This can spread really fast and can destroy the growth of the plant and rapidly decrease seed yield.
7.2. Powdery Mildew
This is caused by a fungus known as Erysiphe cichoracearum. It usually forms a white and powdery growth on the leaves. This affects photosynthesis, destroys the growth of the plant, and reduces the quality of the seeds.
7.3. Bacterial Leaf Spot
This is a type of disease caused by Xanthomonas campestris. It makes the leaves turn brown. This affects the germination of seeds in every way. To prevent the occurrence of this disease, it is important to practice crop rotation.
8. When to Harvest Coriander
To harvest coriander, you have to watch out for the right time.
This is a very important factor when it comes to harvesting coriander. The best time to harvest coriander is before it produces flowers. This is ideal around 50 days after planting.
There are specific tools and equipment you’ll need if you want to harvest coriander. They include the following:
- Gardening gloves
- Pruning shears
You can make use of the pruning shears to cut or trim the leaves. This can be done at a specific distance above the soil level. The oldest leaves should be the ones that should be harvested first. They are usually the outer leaves that are mature enough for consumption.
It is advisable to rinse the already harvested leaves with running water. This would help to remove all of the dirt and debris that might have stuck to the leaves. When you’re done washing, you can pat them dry using a paper towel.
9. How to Store Coriander Seeds
To be able to maintain the freshness and flavor of coriander seeds, they need to be stored and maintained properly.
The seeds are usually harvested from the plants. After the harvesting process, the seeds can now be dried. After drying, you can now cut out the seed heads and put them in a clean container.
The next step is to get rid of any dirt or debris. You should clean extensively and shake the dirt from the seeds.
It is time to dry out the already-cleaned seeds. This can be done by spreading the seeds on a dry surface and placing them in a well-ventilated area. Direct sunlight should be avoided or it may lead to loss of flavors. Make sure that the seeds are fully and evenly dried. It should take up to seven days to achieve well-dried coriander seeds.
This is the step that comes after drying the seed heads. In this stage, you have to gently smash the seed heads to give way for the coriander seeds. You can make use of a rolling pin or even your hands.
The husks should be trashed while the seeds should be kept. You will need to clean the seeds to remove remnants of husks. You can sieve and gently shake off the husks from the seeds.
After you have finished dehusking the seeds, it is time to store them in an airtight container. You can decide to use a plastic container that has a very tight lid. Always ensure that the containers you will use to store your seeds are clean and dry.
9.6. Storage Location
The location you decide to place your container can determine the longevity of your coriander seeds. For instance, if you store where there is direct sunlight, it can be affected by heat and start to form moulds. However, it is advisable to store it in a cool dry, and dark place like a pantry or cupboard.
It is very important that you label the containers used for storing your coriander seeds with the date of harvest. This would help you know when to check for freshness or when the seeds are going bad.
9.8. Avoid Grinding
It is important that you do not make the mistake of grinding the seeds before storing them. The best way is to grind the seeds just before use so that the freshness and flavor will still be intact. It can also help to prevent the loss of essential oils.
9.9. Check Freshness
It is crucial that you keep track of the freshness of your coriander seeds. To be able to achieve this, you just have to gently smash a few seeds and smell them. If the scent is weak, it has begun to lose its freshness. You’ll need to get rid of them and substitute them with new ones.
10. How to Make Coriander Oil
It is not a difficult task to make coriander oil. You just need to follow these steps:
10.1. Gather the Ingredients
To make coriander oil, you’ll need some ingredients and supplies.
- Carrier oil: This can be any oil that is neutral like almond oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Strainer: This would be used to strain the oil
- Coriander Seeds: This is the number one ingredient. It is important that they maintain their freshness and are free from dirt and debris.
- Glass bottle: This would be used to store the finished product; the coriander oil.
10.2. Crush the Seeds
Once you’re done gathering the necessary supplies and ingredients, you can now crush the coriander seeds. This should be done gently with the use of a mortar and pestle. You can also crush them by simply putting them in a bag. A rolling pin can also be used in this process. Crushing coriander seeds is done to let out the aromatics and oils.
10.3. Soak the Seeds
After you have crushed the seeds, you can now steep them. You should place the already crushed coriander seeds in a jar that is airtight. Then, you pour the carrier oil into the glass and make sure that they are immersed in the oil. You’ll have to tightly seal the glass and shake it for an even distribution of the oil.
This step involves keeping the jar in a dark and cool place for about 7 to 14 days. This is done so that the oil can absorb the aromatic compounds found in the coriander seeds.
The infusion process goes hand in hand with the agitation process. In this stage, you have to regularly shake the jar to make sure that the oil and seeds are well mixed. This helps a great deal as it improves the flavor. It also improves aroma extraction.
Once the infusion period is over, you can now strain the oil using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to strain the oil and remove the seeds. Ensure that you release as much oil as possible by gently squeezing the strainer.
This is the point where you pour the strained oil into a glass bottle. It is preferable to use dark glass because it can help to shield the oil from exposure to sunlight or any form of light that can lead to degradation.
It is important that the bottles are labeled. You can write out the dates of preparation and even the content of the oil for posterity reference. Then you can now store the oil in a cool and dry place.
You can use coriander oil for a variety of things. It can be added to dishes and also be used as a last touch on salads, soups, and marinades. The important thing is that you get to savor the flavor of the coriander oil in your dish.
11. Uses of Coriander Seeds
Apart from the health benefits of coriander seeds, you might be wondering what they can be used for. These are some of the uses of coriander seeds.
When you grind coriander seeds, the powder can be used as spices that add a sweet flavor to your dish. They are also used to season meats and vegetables when cooking.
You can add coriander seeds to your pastries, bread, and even cookies. This would give out a unique and sophisticated taste. You can also add them to sauces and marinades.
You can soak coriander seeds and use the water to make a herbal tea that can help with relaxation and digestion. You can also add coriander seeds to your water as this gives a unique taste to the water. It’s also refreshing to consume with a lot of health benefits.
11.4. Hair Care
The oil obtained from coriander seeds can be used to promote hair growth. It is used to repair damaged hair. If you are struggling with hair loss or any form of hair condition, you should try using coriander oil.
11.5. Cough and Cold
You can take coriander seed tea to help lessen the symptoms of cough and cold. You can also chew coriander seeds as they serve as a natural breath freshener.
12. In the End
You’ll have to follow the right procedures to harvest your coriander seeds so that they do not lose their flavor and freshness. Always remember to grind them just before you use them to cook so you can enjoy their taste and aroma in full.[amazon_auto_links id="280559"]