Friday, June 11, 2010

Hard to Grow Cilantro

I have adopted my friend Sally’s rule that if something comes into your consciousness or life three times, you must pay attention. That happened last night with Cilantro. Yep. The herb. A few weeks ago, I read a post in The Garden Buzz about how persnickety cilantro is to grow. My friend, Jen, came for dinner earlier in the week (black bean nachos). She brought cilantro for the nachos and we talked about it as we wandered around the gardens. She, too, mentioned that she’d heard cilantro was hard to grow!

Last year, I helped plan and plant a salsa garden at the church. It was a community effort of planning, planting, watering, and harvesting. We planted tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro and we had bumper crops of everything—including cilantro. In August, we made salsa from our harvest and people brought their favorite salsa recipes. (We had a salsa band, too.) It was SUPER fun! Later in the year, I harvested the cilantro seeds (coriander), sat on the front step, and packaged them for the church’s fall plant swap. They went like hot-cakes!

And, that brings us to last night. Dayna and I were hanging out by the grill and I noticed a parsley like leaf in the fragrant garden. So, I picked it and popped it in my mouth. It wasn’t parsley – it was cilantro! Growing where I hadn’t planted it! Looking around, we saw two or three other little cilantro plants coming up! We concluded that some seeds from last fall’s sorting adventure must have gotten loose and sown themselves in two of my gardens!

I’m not sure, yet, what I am supposed to take away from this trio of cilantro conversations. Maybe I’m supposed to add cilantro to my list of favorite volunteers. Maybe it’s that cilantro isn’t that hard to grow after all. Maybe it’s an omen that my lupine seed sorting from the other night will yield a bumper crop of lupines next year. I’m going to keep my eyes, mind, and heart open to the possibilities.


Annie said...

Bryan can't stop the cilantro from growing in his garden. It comes up all over the place, and I have actually started "weeding" it, in hopes of containing it in one spot.

Auntie K said...

WOW! That's cool! Are you making good use of your cilantro "weeds" in some yummy food concoction?!

JenK said...

I've always gotten a bumper crop of cilantro from a few seeds and without much care.

The seed packets I buy say to sow directly as it won't tolerate being transplanted, but I usually start it early indoors and transplant without any issues. I don't know where people get the idea that it is so difficult.

Super cool that you have a volunteer! Was it anywhere near last year's herb garden? Maybe you were bombed by a guerrilla herb gardener (wink)...

Auntie K said...

JenK, Very cool about the easy grow cilantro. It's yummy, so I don't mind if it self sows. I had the herbs in the back last year in the raised beds. These volunteers are coming up in the front! I did sort some cilantro seeds there last fall, so I'm guessing the plants are from that. (Don't I wish someone would seed bomb me with herbs?!)

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