Grow Cilantro the Better Way—We Call It Mesclun-Style
The essential summer herb is fast-growing and versatile, but wilts in hot weather. With this growing guide, though, you’ll have it any time you want!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have fresh cilantro growing right outside your kitchen door? Whenever you wanted to fix Mexican salsa or guacamole, or a Middle Eastern yogurt sauce for your lamb kabobs, there the lacy, sweetly pungent leaves would be, ready to harvest.
But if you’ve ever tried to grow it, you’ve probably noticed that cilantro yields a fast crop; plants are barely up before they try to flower and set seeds. So those tasty leaves aren’t around long, especially in warm weather.
To keep leaves coming, you can sow seeds every two weeks for a continuous cilantro crop. Or, even better, try the method we perfected in Sunset’s test garden last year: Grow cilantro as you would mesclun.
Sow seeds thickly in a wide, shallow container; then, as soon as plants are 3 to 4 inches tall and sporting a couple of cuttable leaves, use scissors to cut off some foliage for cooking as shown.
Shear from a different section of the container every time, rotating the pot as you go and never letting plants in any area mature. By the time you get back to the first section harvested, new leaves will have appeared.