Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Cilantro!

…and some happy Dill over there on the left

It almost sounds like a greeting, doesn’t it?  “Cilantro, Signora!”

Apparently people fall into one of two camps when it comes to cilantro: “Love It”or “Makes Me Want to Barf.”  And I’ve read that’s genetic, the same way some people’s pee gets a funny smell when they eat asparagus. (My discovery that I was in that particular genetic group occurred when I was pregnant, and my hormonally heightened She-Wolf sense of smell at the time put me off asparagus forever.) When it comes to cilantro though, I could pretty much eat it by the handful. I put it in green salads, eggs, turkey burgers, chicken salad, vegetable dishes.

A few of you asked last week about growing cilantro, and I’m still sticking to my story that it’s probably more dumb luck than anything. I’ve never been able to get it to “take” in the past. But the weather these last few weeks has been on the cool and damp side, with “marine layer” (e.g. fog, overcast) most mornings and evenings. I planted this time in an area that gets a few hours of mid-day sun, and water only from the sprinklers that keep the grass driveway green. This part of the yard also gets a bit of afternoon breeze. I haven’t fertilized yet, probably will today. And yes, am going to snip those flowering tops.

Do you have any tricks for growing cilantro or other finicky plants?
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20 thoughts on “Cilantro!

  1. Lisa

    I have no luck growing anything! We have a heavy content to clay in our soil…so most delicate plants don’t do well. Add that to the fact that I don’t always give the proper attention to my plants and we have a non nurturing environment for them. We do have lilies…everywhere; they are the hardiest plant ever, I think!

    Reply
  2. materfamilias

    We’ve got some in a pot right now, and so far, so good, but it’s early days. Also so far, the deer haven’t chomped it, although they’ve destroyed tomato plants nearby. I suppose they’re in the genetic camp whose members barf at its taste . . .

    Reply
  3. kathy peck

    As I said before – I can never get cilantro to grow, and it should thrive in LA, right? I’m in the lover of cilantro camp for sure. I have deep theories about lovers and haters of cilantro as well ;) Oh well, I can buy huge bunches of it at the farmer’s markets and it’s so fresh and tasty. Luckily my husband is a lover of it as well. I think it might be the secret to our successful marriage.

    Reply
  4. K.Line

    I’m in the loathe camp. It tastes just like soap! As does rosemary, for what it’s worth. I like rosemary in face cream, not on lamb.

    Reply
  5. hostess of the humble bungalow

    Love cilantro but I have never grown any in the garden. Yours looks very happy nestled in between the marigolds…
    BTW have you seen the film with Judy Dench something like the best exotic marigold hotel? It’s very entertaining.
    Asparagus affects me that way too but I still enjoy eating it!

    Reply
  6. Neats

    Love Cilantro! It needs lots of sun and regular watering. For many years I grew it and struggled to have enough that I could use it regularly in cooking. Finally I realized that 6 or 8 plants at $32.9 each was waaaaaaaaaay more than I would pay if I just bought Cilantro at a local Mexican market (the cilantro in my local supermarket seems more like “Cilantro Lite”) and spent my time growing basil, rosemary and chives.

    To me it’s just not one of those things worth growing. Much happier now!

    Reply
  7. BigLittleWolf

    I like Susan’s comment! :-)

    Actually, I’ve never tried growing cilantro, but I had a potager for a few years in which basil, parsley, and dill thrived…

    Maybe it’s time to dig around in the dirt and give it another go… Nothing quite so wonderful as fresh herbs from the garden!

    Reply
  8. J.W.

    When it flowers and develops seeds, pick the seeds while they are still fresh and green. They are delicious in salads, with cold Asian noodles, etc.

    Reply
  9. yoga teacher

    Sadly, here in Houston both cilantro and dill are winter herbs, and they seem to love our gumbo soil. I like them and grow them, but they seem so much more useful in “summer food.” We like to let our dill bolt, though, because it’s a food plant for swallowtail butterflies :)

    Reply
  10. Carolyn from Oregon (master gardener)

    LA gardeners may want to check this out:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/oct/02/home/hm-17679

    I’m in Oregon where it’s easier to grow but it’s a “bad boy” herb for me.It bolts in just a few weeks and needs to be resown every few weeks – which is too much trouble for me. I usually just plant it 2 or 3 times in spring and then buy it for the rest of the summer.

    Reply

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