Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: Cilantro and basil ? When do you plant ?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 9, 2014 2:47 PM CST
I have had a difficult time with both of these. I've tried direct sowing and buying transplants. I think cilantro would be better direct sown but perhaps I wait too long, as it always bolts on me before I get any significant picking. If I buy starts, they are all smushed together and same thing - soon after planting them out, they bolt. Basil I always buy starts and perhaps plant them too early, as they first sit and sulk, then bolt. Has anyone had success with either of these herbs?

It's nice and sunny today but the air is only about 50 so my soil is nowhere near 60, the recommended temp for planting summer crops (beans, corn, etc.).

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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Apr 9, 2014 4:00 PM CST
Deb, I grow basil from starts bought usually from Christenson's. Buy them late, say about 1st of June, they like it warm like tomatoes. What I have experienced is if they get cold boom goners. Nights need to be consistently about 50 ish. I did grow some from seed and had good luck but sowed them in late June. No Idea on Cilantro but maybe the same thing, warm nights is the key.
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Seattle WA. Zone 7
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Sherri
Apr 10, 2014 8:12 PM CST
I have cilantro seeds, I have never been brave enough. I just keep buying that one, starting now and through the summer, I love how it bolts.
Have you tried shiso? Another beautiful dark purple bolted.
What was your mexican one????....... I must find him this year
Name: Stephanie
Salem, OR (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas: Level 1
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kosk0025
Apr 13, 2014 9:40 PM CST
Cilantro bolts no matter what---direct sown, started indoors, store bought. Planted early. Planted late. Planted in shade. Planted in full sun. It bolts. I no longer grow it. And it honestly tastes better store bought grown in Mexico.

Basil--I will be starting those seeds indoors next week. I do not plant out until mid June. It needs ultra warm. I've done lots of varieties. They all go to flower/seed earlier than I'd like. And I can't keep up with the pinching off because I plant about 60 plants. I harvest it all at once in September. Make pesto with all of the ingredients except Parmesan and freeze them it in about 3/4 cup amounts. I add Parmesan when I use it later. Parmesan freezes fine, but it's easier to get the job done when you leave it out.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Apr 14, 2014 10:12 AM CST
Ha ha Kosk -- that has been my exact experience with cilantro. Yet my non-gardening friend had it growing all around her house foundation up in Sedro Woolley. They mowed it regularly but it just kept coming back. She just thought it was some sort of weed.

And I think basil may also need extra watering. I really don't do any regular watering, although the past couple summers have rather forced me to revisit that. We have a couple outdoor faucets that leak and need some replumbing and my husband is actually talking about running an irrigation line out to the herb garden. I'm afraid once we start that, there will be no going back and we'll soon have a fully irrigated yard. (Not a bad thing.)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Stephanie
Salem, OR (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas: Level 1
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kosk0025
Apr 15, 2014 7:54 AM CST
Lucky her. Parsley and oregano go nuts in my yard like that, but never cilantro. I have a packet of seeds--I might just dump them en masse along my herb bed and see what happens.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Apr 15, 2014 9:09 AM CST
Funny, now much difference one gets in a micro-climate. I have to be diligent about oregano spreading out and reseeding, but parsley I have to plant fresh every year. I usually do let it go to seed once it bolts but don't ever get any volunteers the next season.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Apr 16, 2014 4:16 PM CST
OK, I'm giving the cilantro a tiered approach. I planted nursery starts today with seeds between them. The theory is once the larger ones bolt, the smaller ones should just be coming on. Maybe I'll plant some more starts later in the season as well. The woman at the nursery told me they will bolt when their roots get too warm. Which made not a lot of sense to me since this is a plant from Mexico... But, I'll give that some credence and let some calendula grow among them (these pop up everywhere in my garden, especially in the herbs where I let them colonize). In nothing else, I think it will be a nice look.

The basil I will just wait and buy nursery starts once it really warms up and I think then they need lots of water (something I tend to forget about).
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Stephanie
Salem, OR (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas: Level 1
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kosk0025
May 23, 2014 8:25 PM CST
I didn't start basil this year. I ran out of time. Thumbs down
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
May 29, 2014 6:05 PM CST
I planted cilantro in my garden once. Now I don't have to. Little rascals crop up everywhere now. Yeah, they bolt, but they're so pretty I really don't care! Hilarious! Although I haven't seen any volunteers yet this year. We'll see.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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