Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Two Lessons from Growing Herbs
I was out in the herb garden this weekend and I learned two valuable lessons.
Lesson 1: Allow your herbs to reseed themselves
I was upset because I lost all my herb starts (namely, cilantro). I planned to start more after my walk around the garden. However, while surveying the herb garden I noticed that cilantro was already growing there. A pluck and sniff of a leaf confirmed my suspicion. I was elated; I didn’t have to reseed any cilantro and it was growing in the perfect spot.
Lesson 2: Don’t allow your herbs to reseed themselves
My excitement about the ‘free’ cilantro subsided some when I realized that there were actually lots and lots of reseeded cilantro seedlings growing in my herb garden. They covered quite a bit of space. I allowed the cilantro to go to seed because I wanted the coriander seed for seasoning, but now I may have a problem on my hands. Mind you, just above the cilantro seedlings (not pictured) are borage seedlings. Borage hasn’t been planted in my herb garden for nearly a year, but it keeps popping up.
So I am not sure which lesson to abide by. I will allow the ‘extra’ cilantro to get larger before I decide which ones to pull. My herb garden is 100% herbs, so herbs reseeding is a good thing. I could see this being a problem in a garden where you wanted to plant other crops. I would guess that my biggest concern is spacing; which is easily corrected.
So I guess the real lesson here is to know that herbs – allowed to flower and go to seed – will reseed themselves. They probably won’t seed exactly where you want them to; there will be more of them than you need; and you may be pulling unwanted seedlings for a year. So as long as you are aware of this, you can decide if you want to allow your herbs to flower or not.