Having had a craving for Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls today, I stopped at my local supermarket on the way home to pick up some fresh cilantro. A fresh batch was just set out and I was delighted to see healthy, crisp roots still attached. Then my green fingers thought - these are perfect planting specimens!
Not only did I get the cilantro I needed for my dinner, but I now have an edge on getting a batch started for the summer.
I never start plants by seed, since I only have one full sunny window. Sniff, sniff, as I wish I could.
I just end up buying plant-lets at the garden centre which can be costly. Since this spring season has been so unusual temperature wise, I've been hastily waiting. I'm glad I didn't buy any cilantro. Instead, now I have plants and herb bliss in the making today!
First I took a good look at the bundle and separated the good bunches from the not so good ones. Then I rinsed them with cold water.
I then took each plant and took off the outer bulky stalks that are perfect for my recipe but too much bulk for my starter idea. I left 2 to 3 stems of the new growth in the middle (having to remove the outer stalks sometimes by scissors, if the centre was thin).
I found one of my herb pots and filled it with 1 part compost and 1 part potting soil (leaving 2 inches from the rim). I poked holes with my finger and then gently wedged the cilantro roots down.
Any leafy bits that looked wilted or that looked weak, I cut back. This reduces stress on the planted roots. You've got to remember, this cilantro had a lengthy travel from the where it was grown to my kitchen. Many leaves and stems would of been bruised or damaged.
I didn't firmly pack down the soil, I watered it well until I found the soil settled nicely, making each stalk stand rigid.
I managed to get about 12 stalks in this 8 inch pot. Not bad for having paid $1.49 for the entire bundle. Hopefully in a few weeks, I can pick more fresh Cilantro!