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Old September 5, 2007   #1
Puregoodtomatoes
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Default Cilantro help???

I never have Cilantro when I need it. What is the secret? When I plant it early it bolts by the time I need it, then when I plant it late it doesn't germinate good, then grows slow if it does.
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Old September 5, 2007   #2
Zana
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May I suggest 2 things? First, plant successively over a few weeks. That way you've always got some 'coming along'. Second, unless you want it to go to seed, trim them before they get that far, you may prolong the life of the herb by a few weeks....and get a bushier plant.
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Old September 6, 2007   #3
Granny
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We use cilantro by the ton, so I would have a tough time having as much as I need all the time. I do as Zana suggests and pinch out the growing tips of the cilantro when it is about 6 inches high. I also plant the seed pretty thickly - a new bit every week or so, then use the thinnnings. That which goes to seed I just let make seed - gives me new cilantro and plenty of coriander seed too.
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Old September 6, 2007   #4
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One thing you can do when you have an overabundance is to freeze it. I get lazy because my first big early summer crop is from volunteer seeds and I tend to ignore them until they are starting to get ferny seed stems then have to rush to do something.

I pull the whole plants up by the roots to make a big bundle, rinse it really well, flip it around to dry off most of the water, then put it in a clean new kitchen trash bag to freeze. When it is stiff and solid, I mash the plastic bag with my hands to pulverize the leaves then just discard the larger stems and roots (some use roots in soup) and repackage it into a freezer ziplock bag. It's so handy to just take out the right amount when I need it without having to chop leaves. I use the frozen leaves in fresh salsa as well as soups.
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Old September 7, 2007   #5
Zana
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Great idea, ddsack. Mind if I borrow it?
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Old September 7, 2007   #6
ddsack
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Please do, Zana! I save the finer stuff for salsa, and the coarser stemmy stuff for soups or pozole, it's easy to fish out the big pieces just before serving and the flavor is still there.

Dee
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Old September 8, 2007   #7
Puregoodtomatoes
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Wow, wonderful advice. Thank you. I'll just plant often(although it's hard to germinate when its hot.)
I'll freeze and collect seeds too, never thought about these two ideas.
Thank you.
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Old September 12, 2007   #8
douglasls
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Can you do this with other herbs? My basil plants are growing more than I can use, but when winter comes I know I am going to wish I had some.
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Old September 12, 2007   #9
Granny
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You can certainly just harvest the entire basil plant low on the stem, tie a few stems together and hang them to dry. Crumble the leaves after they are dried - a couple of weeks in an airy but not brightly lit place. Or you can strip off all of the fresh leaves, chop it all up, then freeze it. I usually freeze herbs in 1 tablespoon sized blobs on a cookie sheet, then after they have solidified pack the blobs in baggies for storage.
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