live-micro-cilantro-in-pot

Growing Cilantro Microgreens with No Seed Hulls

Hey there, fellow plant enthusiast! Ever wondered how to grow your own cilantro microgreens? These tiny, flavor-packed greens can take any dish from “meh” to “wow!” in no time. And guess what? You don’t need to be a gardening guru to make it happen. Picture this: a mini garden right on your kitchen counter, bursting with fresh, vibrant cilantro microgreens. Sounds amazing, right? Let’s dive in together and learn how to grow these little green wonders at home. It’s easier than you think, and trust me, the results are worth the wait!

 

What You’ll Need

To successfully grow cilantro microgreens, you’ll need a few essential items. Let’s break down each one in detail.

Seeds

The first and most important component for growing cilantro microgreens is high-quality seeds. Cilantro seeds are readily available at most garden stores and online retailers. Look for organic, untreated seeds to ensure the best growth and health of your microgreens. A good tip is to buy in bulk if you plan to grow microgreens regularly, as it can be more cost-effective.

 

Containers

For growing cilantro microgreens, you’ll need three growing trays. Here’s the setup you should follow:

  • One tray with holes at the bottom: This will serve as the main growing tray, allowing for proper drainage.
  • Two trays without holes: One will act as a water reservoir to catch the drainage from the main tray, and the other can be used as a cover to create a dark, moist environment essential for seed germination.

You can pick these trays up at your local garden store or order them from online retailers like Amazon. Make sure the trays are sturdy and reusable, as this will make your microgreen growing process more sustainable and efficient.

 

Growing Medium

The growing medium is where your cilantro microgreens will develop their roots. There are a few options you can choose from:

  • Coconut coir: This is a popular choice due to its excellent water retention and air circulation properties.
  • Potting soil: A high-quality, organic potting soil can also work well.
  • Seed-starting mix: Specifically designed for growing microgreens, this mix ensures good drainage and nutrient availability.

Whichever medium you choose, make sure it’s free of any chemicals or additives that could harm your microgreens.

 

Grow Lights

 

Cilantro microgreens need ample light to grow healthy and strong. While they can be grown in natural sunlight, using grow lights can provide a more controlled and consistent light source, especially during the shorter days of winter or in areas with limited sunlight. Here are a few options:

  • LED grow lights: These are energy-efficient and provide the full spectrum of light that plants need.
  • Fluorescent grow lights: Another good option, though they use more energy compared to LEDs.

Place the grow lights about 12-18 inches above the trays and keep them on for about 12-16 hours a day to mimic natural sunlight.

 

Why Grow Cilantro Microgreens?

First things first, why bother with cilantro microgreens? Let me tell you, these little guys are packed with perks:

  • Flavor Explosion: They deliver an intense, vibrant taste that beats mature cilantro hands down.
  • Nutrient Powerhouse: Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Year-Round Harvest: Grow them indoors and enjoy fresh cilantro all year long.
  • Eco-Friendly: Say goodbye to plastic-packaged store-bought herbs.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Cilantro Microgreens

Step 1: Preparing Your Tray and Soil

Think of this as building a solid foundation for your dream home.

  • Select Your Tray: Use one planting tray with small holes at the bottom and two without holes. You can easily find these at your local garden center or on Amazon. The tray with holes is crucial for bottom watering, which keeps your greens happy and healthy.
  • Fill with Soil: Add a premium potting mix to your tray. Compact the soil firmly and ensure it’s level, just below the top of the tray. This gives the seeds a cozy bed to germinate in.

Step 2: Get Your Cilantro Seeds Ready

planted-cilantro-seed-in-tray

Here’s where the magic begins.

  • Seed Preparation: Cilantro seeds can be planted dry or soaked for 8 to 12 hours. Either way works, but soaking them can speed up the process.
  • Spread the Seeds: Gently spread the seeds across the surface of your prepared tray. Aim for an even spread. If they bunch up, use your fingers to space them out.
  • Moisture is Key: Think of water as the seeds’ morning coffee – essential! Use a spray bottle to mist the seeds until the soil surface is evenly moist.

Step 3: Preparing for Germination

Time for a little darkness!

  • Cover Up: Place another planting tray (no holes) on top of your seeded tray. This keeps them in the dark, which they love for germination. Add some weight to the top tray to help the seeds stay in contact with the soil and shed their hulls.

Step 4: The Initial Waiting Period

Patience is a virtue here.

  • Leave Them Be: Let the seeds germinate undisturbed for the first four days. The cover helps create a perfect microclimate for your seeds to sprout.

Step 5: Checking and Moistening Seeds

cilantro-microgreens-germinating

Time for a check-in!

  • Peek and Spray: On day four, lift the cover and see how things are going. You should see some signs of life. If the soil looks dry, give it a light spritz. Replace the cover and check again daily for the next three days.

Step 6: Shedding the Seed Hulls

This is the secret sauce for clean microgreens.

  • Extra Day in the Dark: Around days 4 to 6, most of your seeds should be germinated. Keep the lid on with the weight for an extra day to help the stems detach from the seed hulls.

Step 7: Light Exposure

Let there be light!

  • Find the Light: Place the tray under a bright light source – sunlight, an LED light, or a special grow light. Don’t stress too much about the type, just ensure they get plenty of light.
  • Final Spritz: If the soil surface looks dry, give it a final spray. Add water to the bottom tray (1 cup for a 10×10 tray, 2 cups for a 10×20 tray). This keeps the soil evenly moist without overwetting the leaves.

Step 8: Growth Stages and Harvesting

Watching your microgreens grow is like watching a great movie – it gets more exciting as it progresses.

  • Monitor Growth: Watch your microgreens grow, watering them daily with 1 to 2 cups depending on the tray size and room humidity. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Harvest Time: Once the first true leaves have formed (usually around 14 to 20 days), it’s harvest time! Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut your cilantro microgreens just above the soil surface. Only cut what you need and let the rest continue to grow.

Tips for a Hull-Free Harvest

 

The trick to hull-free cilantro microgreens is keeping them covered with weights for up to seven days. This extra time helps the tiny sprouts detach from their hulls, giving you a clean, easy-to-harvest batch.

Do Cilantro Microgreens Regrow 

Coriander

Ah, the dream of endless cilantro microgreens—snip a bit here, a bit there, and watch them spring back like a magical herb fountain. Sadly, the reality is a tad less enchanting. Cilantro microgreens don’t regrow once harvested because all the growth nodules are removed during the process. Let’s break it down.

When you harvest cilantro microgreens, you’re cutting them just above the soil level. This method ensures you get the freshest, most flavorful part of the plant. However, unlike some other plants, cilantro doesn’t have the ability to regrow from its roots or stems after cutting. The growth nodules—the plant’s powerhouses that drive new growth—are located at the base of the plant. When you harvest, those nodules are removed along with the stems.

Think of it this way: imagine your microgreens are like a one-time-use battery. Once you’ve used up the energy (or in this case, harvested the greens), there’s nothing left to power new growth. So, unfortunately, you won’t see a second wave of cilantro microgreens sprouting up from the same seeds.

But don’t let this discourage you! Growing cilantro microgreens is still incredibly rewarding. Each new batch can be a fresh start, and the process is so quick and easy that you can enjoy a continuous supply with just a little planning. Simply replant new seeds after each harvest, and you’ll always have a steady stream of these delicious, nutrient-packed greens ready to brighten up your meals.

So, while cilantro microgreens don’t have the ability to regrow, their intense flavor and quick growth cycle make them a delightful addition to any kitchen garden.

 

What do cilantro microgreens taste like?

Cilantro microgreens have a distinctive flavor that can be described as bright, clean, and crisp, with a hint of citrus. They bring a grassy and vibrant note to dishes, adding not only a fresh, citrusy taste but also a visual appeal and a slight crunch. These microgreens act as a flavor enhancer, imparting a refreshing and clean quality that elevates the overall flavor profile of the food they accompany.