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Anthony Minot
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Location: Rockledge, FL
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I started out some cilantro (some from the walmart veggie section some from seeds) and I'm wondering how to keep the roots cool since about half of them have already bolted and have or are about to bloom, specifically speaking what would be a good low ground cover. Should I use some moss that I cultivated or a small bush with far spreading leaves? Any ideas would be great. For the moment though I moved them around and under a small jalapeno plant for leaf cover but the pot is too big for the windowsill.
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Cilantro under jalapeno
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Bolted and bloomed cilantro
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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We grow our coriander (cilantro plants) in the shade of the house and under one of the sumac trees we kept for shade loving plants. 

Cilantro will grow to around 18 inches tall, so most vegetable plants that grow taller will work but you have the trade off of root competition in some instances.

I am a big believer in use what you have that works. If you don't have a spot that gets shade from around noon on, then create one with plants.
Peppers are a good substitute since they will grow taller than the herb and they sport larger leaves and plenty of them so that should work out well in a garden setting.

To keep any herb from bolting to seed heads, keep them pruned back (you should be using the herbs anyway so that is a normal way to keep them both under control and from going to seed)
We pluck ours about every three days, by taking the parts that look like they may bolt, we have kept 30 Coriander plants from seeding out until the end of the season, when we want them to make seeds.

Redhawk
 
Marco Banks
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Even planting cilantro in a shady spot (which I do) in rich, loose, moist soil and with a host of companion plants around it, it still bolts after about  8 weeks.  That's just how things are.  At best, you'll get a little more than 2 - 3 months out of cilantro (in the cool of the winter) and often no more than 6 weeks in the heat of summer.

So I plant a dozen cilantro seeds every weekend.  And once those plants bolt, I pull most of them out of the ground and only keep the healthiest of them for seed.  That way I've always got plenty of cilantro to use and there is always a bunch of seed for next year.  Thus, there is always fresh herbs, extra biomass for the compost pile, and while it grows, extra life being pumped into the soil.

In general, herbs tend to do well in a warm and sunny location (thyme, rosemary, chives, oregano , mint, etc.).  Cilantro, basal and dill are three that I plant weekly under the shade of my plum and pluot trees.  But all of them grow 12 months of the year for me, so it's a small hassle to keep planting in order to always have fresh herbs.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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And once those plants bolt, I pull most of them out of the ground and only keep the healthiest of them for seed. 
 

hau Marco, I'm curious, why you would pull them instead of just cutting them off and letting them feed that soil back the nutrients the old plants gathered up?

Redhawk
 
Anthony Minot
Posts: 22
Location: Rockledge, FL
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Ok so my windowsill gets sun all day. My apartment has windows on only one side, so my thought is I should set the cilantro off the sill by itself in its own pot to the side of the window so the wall cuts the sun cycle in half then I should start to get normal bolt times. So ill try that cuz yes my jalapeno saved my cilantro but 1. Its roots are invasive and 2. It has looked sad not getting full sun. Also on the note of pulling them I wouldn't just pull and toss I tend to pull,dry then mix into my soil bag unless it's a fruit or full grown plant which I would toss into my compost tin.
 
Mary Christine Nestor
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I wouldn't pull out the bolted plants. The flowers attract beneficial insects and seeds can be harvested from the mature plants. Planting in succession should keep you in supply.
 
Anthony Minot
Posts: 22
Location: Rockledge, FL
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Mary Christine Nestor wrote:I wouldn't pull out the bolted plants. The flowers attract beneficial insects and seeds can be harvested from the mature plants. Planting in succession should keep you in supply.


I separate my bolted into a seperate pot and then when they are done process them. Also I unfortunately don't get the beneficial insects due to it being an inside garden but I do harvest seed before I pull and dry/compost.
 
John Elliott
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Marco Banks wrote:  That's just how things are. 


Marco is right, cilantro is the quintessential weed: it comes up where it wants, lives its short life, and then bolts to spread some seed.  You need to adapt to it, not the other way around.  I have found that by deliberately scattering it all throughout the year, there is always something green at the right stage to clip, except for maybe in the hottest days of the summer (July & August). 
 
Daron Williams
Posts: 138
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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How good is cilantro at self seeding? If the seeds fall in late summer will it come up in the following spring? I want to grow some in my herb garden and I would like it to come back each year on its own. Thanks!
 
Casie Becker
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In my experience, it is extraordinarily good at coming back from seed. My mother used to be regularly called to weed it out of the flower bed of a neighbor who wasn't fond of it. I don't know how far the seeds were traveling to end up in her garden, though.

I planted it one year in our hugelbed and haven't had to plant it since. It didn't just come back in the garden, it's scattered from one end to the other of our back yard in the grass. It is very, very seasonal here, though. Ours is in full bloom right now and I won't expect to see it again after it spreads seed until it comes up next fall. In my climate it grows through the winter. If my mother (who is the person who really loves it) were better about reaching for it when she cooks, I might be willing to try succession planting to extend the harvests further into the warm season.
 
Anthony Minot
Posts: 22
Location: Rockledge, FL
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I grow it for when I make guacamole. I need it a lot though cuz I eat about 1 of my helpings of guacamole (4 avacados worth)in a week or so. So that's why I want the cilantro to be a constant for me, it's why I have jalapeno growing as well. I also make a snack out of the oyster mushrooms, cilantro, garlic, onions, and light amount of steak seasoning.
I'm growing till I can self sustain, my friend raises the chicks I buy for eggs and meat. I start my plants in the window then move them to his place for safe keeping till I get the house. I keep with me what I use all the time though.
 
Daron Williams
Posts: 138
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Casie Becker wrote:In my experience, it is extraordinarily good at coming back from seed. My mother used to be regularly called to weed it out of the flower bed of a neighbor who wasn't fond of it. I don't know how far the seeds were traveling to end up in her garden, though.

I planted it one year in our hugelbed and haven't had to plant it since. It didn't just come back in the garden, it's scattered from one end to the other of our back yard in the grass. It is very, very seasonal here, though. Ours is in full bloom right now and I won't expect to see it again after it spreads seed until it comes up next fall. In my climate it grows through the winter. If my mother (who is the person who really loves it) were better about reaching for it when she cooks, I might be willing to try succession planting to extend the harvests further into the warm season.


Thanks for the info! It should work well for the area I want it to grow. Having it reseed itself will be great. I purchased some seed for this year to get me started.
 
Anthony Minot
Posts: 22
Location: Rockledge, FL
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I'm completely new to this site and it's turning out to be a great place to be.
 
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