Thread: cilantro
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Old June 14, 2014   #27
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Abingdon, Va
Posts: 184

Originally Posted by enchant View Post
Last summer, I discovered a recipe that made the best salsa I've had since I did a lot of traveling in the southwest. It calls for a LOT of cilantro, which really makes it. I decided that this year, I'd try growing my own cilantro.

I'd never done it before, so I *knew* there was limited chance for success. I bought some seeds from Johnnyseeds and planted a few back in March. By time most of my tomatoes a other veggies were starting to see some serious height, these were still only a single spindly stalk with one leaf that couldn't even support its own weight. Ok, live and learn. I'd do better next year.

I still wanted to grow some cilantro, so at the beginning of May, I bought some from a local nursery - a 4" pot with a healthy bunch growing. In mid-may, I planted both the nursery-bought and my original seedlings.

The seedlings are now growing like gangbusters with very healthy leaves, some over an inch across. The nursery plant looked good for a couple weeks, but now, I think it's bolting. I have what I believe others have called the lacy leaves.

Is there something I could have done to prevent this? Should I pick off this lacy stuff? Will normal leaves grow back in their place? On that nursery plant, I pinched some of the wide leaves at the lower level, and they smell as I'd expect. The lacy stuff smells similar, but definitely not the same. I don't know if I want to ruin a batch of salsa with it.

Next year, I'll definitely plant more seeds, because these are looking great - better than anything I've found in a supermarket.

I think cilantro stresses more easily in a pot than nurseries care for you to consider, and stress leads to bolting. But I've had some success, or luck, with it transplanted from a pot.

We had several 0° nights last winter and my direct sow and self-seed plants made it through with just a light Agribon cover. It came on strong in early spring. At this point it is flowering and setting seeds. I don't mind the lacy foliage so much, so maybe I'll have something when tomato season rolls in. I did freeze some in olive oil -makes a great salad dressing.
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