Parsley and Cilantro

Introduction

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) both belong to the Umbelliferae (Apiaceae) family, along with several other crops including carrot, celery, fennel, dill, and parsnip. Curly leaf parsley is most often used as a garnish, whereas flat leaf parsley is more often used as an ingredient. The fresh leaves of cilantro are commonly used in Mexican, South Asian, Indian and other cuisines; the dried seeds of the same plant are known as coriander. 

Types and Varieties

Cilantro and Parsley Varieties
Cilantro Parley - Flat Leaf
Calypso Peione
Caribe Dark Green
Cruiser Giant of Italy
Leisure  
Marino Parley - Curly Leaf
Santo Forest Green
  Krausa
  Wega

Soil Fertility

Maintain soil pH near 6.5, and maintain P and K in the high/optimum range.

Planting 

Seed is sown 1/3" deep in a well-prepared seedbed. Spacing between rows is 15" to 18". Usual seeding rate is 20 to 40 pounds per acre (1 to 2 oz per 100 feet of row). Seed is slow to germinate and seedlings may take 2 to 3 weeks to emerge. Check older seed for germination percentage and adjust seeding rate accordingly.

Culture and Harvest

Rotate parsley and cilantro plantings each year to avoid soil-borne diseases. Multiple harvests within a year are possible with parsley. A well-maintained planting can be cut from three to five times in a season. Parsley will not overwinter. Cut leaves approximately 1" above the soil line to avoid damaging the growing point. Harvesting should begin in early July with a mid- to late April seeding date.  Cilantro should be harvested before it begins to bolt, and only one harvest is possible. Sequential seedings should be made to ensure steady supply.