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Growing Coriander in The Northern Territory

Introducing Coriander

Grown for their leaves and seeds, these annual herbs are a multipurpose addition to the veggie garden. Time them right, and they’ll be easy to grow and ready to harvest in no time.

Classic Mistakes

Too much water will kill your coriander. It’s best to plant your coriander early in the dry season, so that you can control how much water it’s getting. The rainfall of the wet season is not kind to a coriander seedling.

Sunlight

Grow in: Full Sun - Partial Shade

Soil Preparation

Work in some compost and well-rotted manure. Coriander likes a rich, moist soil.

Sowing Seed

Sow seed: April-July
Sowing depth: Twice the height of the seed.

If you want to make the most of the short growing season; sow indoors or in a protected spot towards the end of the wet-season, so that your seedlings will be ready to plant out once the dry season starts. Alternatively, wait until the rains are over and plant seeds directly into garden beds.

Coriander is easy to germinate if the temperatures right. If you’re starting them during winter or summer, then they’ll need to be started indoors or in a greenhouse, but during the more temperate seasons, they’ll easily germinate in garden. Simply plant them and then keep them well watered. Coriander bolts easily if it feels stressed. If the young seedlings dry out, they don’t usually develop into vigorous plants and will bolt to seed.

Planting

Plant seedlings: April-July

Plant out as soon as the weather cools and the worst of the rains are over.

Coriander grows much better from seed, because it doesn’t like to have its roots disturbed. If you decide to plant seedlings, be careful not to disturb their roots too much when you plant them out. Try to plant bought seedlings as soon as possible after you get them home and remember to give them a good, deep watering to help them settle in. When you plant your seedlings out, add a small amount organic bone-meal to each hole. Bone-meal gives seedlings a great start and helps them to develop strong root systems to support a healthy plant.

Care

Harvest regularly from your plants to encourage more bushy, vigorous growth and pick off seeds if they start to develop if it’s the leaves you’re after.

Watering

Coriander plants need to be kept moist when first planted. Once the plants are established, don’t keep the soil too damp. They need regular watering, but don’t like to sit in wet soil.

Feeding

Feed with a balanced organic fertilizer, compost tea, or a fish-emulsion every 4 weeks

Mulching

Mulch coriander well to keep moisture in the soil and protect it from the sweltering heat. An organic mulch like straw, shredded leaves or coconut husk will work well.

Harvesting

Harvest: 4 to 6 Weeks After Planting

Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant first. Use scissors, or your fingers to pick or cut the leaves away. Always be sure to leave enough leaves growing on the plant, so that your plant will remain strong and healthy.

The seeds can be harvested and eaten at any stage, but wait until they’re brown if you want to store them.

What to do about Aphids?

Spray with soap spray weekly until the problem is under control. It may be necessary to reapply more often during particularly during the wet season.

What to do about Powdery Mildew?

Milk spray or baking soda solution work well and can be sprayed on affected plants.
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