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Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:24 am
by pepperhead212
I realized that since my temp outside is going to fall below freezing tonight, I may end up losing my cilantro that I have in my Earthbox (something planted about 4 weeks ago, as another experiment, and it has been a success, as cilantro has previously always bolted on me!). So late tonight I went outside and dug up 4 plants, shook as much soil off as I could, then soaked them in some cloning solution, to rinse off the rest of the soil, and placed them in the hydroponics pots, carefully piling the hydroton around the roots. Here they are, before and after planting:
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I'll let you know if any of them survive.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:36 pm
by ElizabethB
My best result with cilantro has been to plant just after the last frost then again in late September. I plant my cilantro in pots. In the spring I can move them to a shadier location as the temperatures rise. Only slightly delaying bolting. In the deep south cilantro does much better in the fall.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:05 pm
by imafan26
Ditto, I can only grow cilantro in the cooler months. Even leisure and slow bolt, will bolt just as fast in summer.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:32 pm
by pepperhead212
It has always seemed strange to me that cilantro seems to prefer cooler weather (though even then, it bolts quickly for me), yet the cuisines where it is used the most are more or less in the tropics! I even ordered seeds from a seed source in Thailand, thinking that it must be hotter there than in NJ, but the same thing happened.

The best success I have had growing cilantro was indoors, under 16 hr/day lighting. When I experimented, and reduced the lighting by 2 hrs, all the way down to 10 hrs a day, it bolted faster and faster; at 10 hrs of light, it bolted like it does in my garden, with just a few sets of leaves. At 16 hrs of light, I could harvest it like parsley, removing the perimeter leaves, for about a month, before it started bolting.

Basil grows well for me outside, and eventually bolts, but I just have to keep picking the flower buds to keep it growing. In the hydroponics, however, it just keeps growing and growing, not bolting for months, even the Thai basil, which is one of the quickest to bolt (though the purple flower heads are a delicious ingredient in many Thai dishes!). So maybe the cilantro will behave the same way.

It is still in very good shape 2 days later, and I even see some new growth in the center of a couple plants. I'm hoping!

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:17 pm
by imafan26
If you find just the right spot cilantro can grow most of the year in the tropics. It can be out in the sun in the cooler months but it is best in a higher and cooler elevation in the shade in summer. Even then July-September are usually a bust.

If you do find the right spot, then cilantro will reseed readily and it is in nearly constant supply.

Hydroponically seems a good way to go, you can always cool the water the keep the plants comfortable.

A temperature controlled greenhouse would be even better, but for most of us it would be cheaper to buy cilantro than to grow it.

I grow culantro too. It has a flavor and aroma very close to cilantro. It is used in recaito in Mexican cooking and in Pho.
If it is pureed into a paste, it can be used as a seasoning in soups, just not too great on salads.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:36 am
by pepperhead212
I've also tried culantro, with little luck, though with that it just doesn't grow very fast at all. It is good in things that are cooked, as it seems that the flavor stays in the dish better than cilantro.

Funny thing about culantro - I actually rooted some one time! It never grew a crown, so it never could actually produce anything, but I did it when I was rooting just about every herb I could find in the Asian market.
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I had sort of given up on cilantro, since it is available just about everywhere now, but the problem with that is storage. I'm sure just about everyone has pulled out a bag of cilantro that has turned to black slime in just a day or two, while another time it seems to store very well. As with all of the herbs, there is nothing better than snipping off what you need, right when you need it! I used to harvest all of my basil and Thai basil, and grind it up with just enough oil to make a paste, and froze this in popsicle forms, and pulled the little things out when I needed them in the winter. This was good, but not like fresh.

Speaking of climate control, my hydro systems are in my basement, at about 65º in the winter, and there is a very low wattage heater in each of them that keeps them at about 72-75º at all times. The plants seem to do well in this, and not as much water evaporates as in higher temps.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:39 am
by imafan26
I got that. I just threw out a half frozen and thawed remnant of a bunch of cilantro.

I grow culantro from seeds. They are tiny and stay small forever, or I just dig up the strays from the garden. Culantro is a strange creature, it likes to be wet, and it does not like the sun. I usually leave the crown of thorny flowers on the plant because the shade they give helps the plants. Plants growing out in full sun will have stunted small leaves. Only the ones planted in the shade or under the seed heads have a chance to grow a good sized leaf. At least they are more or less perennial plants for me.

I am trying to grow cilantro again now. Hopefully, the snails will leave them alone this time. I caught 3 more African snails yesterday.

Re: Attempt with cilantro

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:58 am
by pepperhead212
Two of those cilantro in the hydro are doing great, one is somewhat wilted, the other just sitting there. We'll see that happens...

One thing I have also looked for with cilantro, or rather, coriander, is some varieties I see in the spice market - the oval, yellowish seed I see in Indian markets, and the small, round, reddish seed I get from a Thai market. I have never seen these in any seed packs, even the one I got from Thailand. Next order from seedsofindia.com I'll order some, and see if they have that one.