Winter Sowing Cilantro in Zone 6/7

When it comes to cilantro, most people seem to have strong options. They either love it or hate it. I, for one, am someone who happens to love it. Seriously, just throw it into a salad, and I’m there to chow down. Luckily, for even the most inexperienced gardeners, winter sowing cilantro is totally easy.

In the past, online and in some gardening forums, I’ve seen cilantro get a bad wrap for being a little tricky to germinate. Many people suggest giving the seeds a quick soak in warm water before planting, but I’ve personally never done this. Instead, I’ve either direct sowed or winter sowed.

In general, direct sowing cilantro seeds in the garden is successful when the temperatures are still a little cool. Here in my zone, that means I can plant in early spring or in fall around the same time that I plant hardy annual flowers. Cilantro is surprisingly cold tolerant. In fact, the cilantro that I planted this past fall is still alive out in the garden – and we’ve had snow and some pretty intense temperatures.

While I wouldn’t count on cilantro to over winter, it is nice to have some options for the garden late into the fall and into early winter – even without a hoop house or low tunnel. Winter sowing cilantro is no different. Planting the seeds into containers is insanely simple. Seeds will germinate in plenty of time for transplant, and produce a great harvest before everything begins to bolt when the weather heats up.

Though I’ve had people tell me that cilantro doesn’t transplant well, I’ve been growing it this way for three years now. I’ve personally never had a problem, but it is something to consider. Have you ever winter sown cilantro? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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