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Growing Corriander


Sunshine

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I have tried to grow corriander in 3 different country's and each time it is has very thin leaves and thats about it.  I have tried in the ground and in a grow bag with decent compost.  I was speaking to a friend today and she has the same problem.

What am I doing wrong.  I love Corriander leaves!..

 

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Sunshine, I will be very interested in an answer too. Only once have I successfully grown coriander, from a plant I'd bought in the market. Since then, every year I bought a pot, and every year it just bolted and made flowers very quickly - not much in the way of leaves. OK you can still get the seeds that way - but even growing it from seed, it's never really worked out. You are near Cahors, so maybe the climate is roughly the same as here (although mine is more Med, and you more Atlantic, i.e. more damp?). But that shouldn't make a difference.

Maybe we are feeding the soil with the wrong compost.[:(]

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Same problem here until last year.  For some very minor cost bought some plants from a specialist who has a nursery towards Tain Hermitage in the Rhone.  He posted them to me and they thrived even here in Normandie.  I will see if I can dig out his address and web site address.  He does a whole range of specialist herbs.  Also the bio people Ferme de Ste Merthe (is that correct) also supply corriander plants and post throughout France.

rdgs

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I have always just bought the little pots from the nursery.  I put two or three in a long window box type trough and when they bolt I just let them go to seed and continue to pick the leaves as I want them.  The seeds germinate in the trough and around about it and life goes on and on.  As it gets towards the cold weather I collect  seed and sow it in another trough end of February-ish and by April-ish I am using some and letting some do the self-seed thing.  I do the same thing with chervil and after this mild winter I already have some self-seeded chervil  growing in the sheltered cracks and crevices on the hard standing around the original troughs. This year I am really hoping to start a little potager in our rented house and coriander will have a definite place because it is one of my absolute favourite flavours mmnnnyum[:D].
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I have always had success with coriander both in uk and here in region 87.    Any old compost  (not earth though), and planted ina window box.   sorry cant be more technical than that but it always seems to work.    I have to confess it did bolt a little in france last year (first year grown here), but i thought it might be down to over-heating, as it was pretty hot in july.   oh sorry i just grow bog standard seeds.
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The key to successful growing is to keep the coriander well watered.  During 2004 we had a great crop which just kept going.  This was in the herb patch on clay soil.  It was a very damp year here.  2005 was dreadful - as they were in the herb patch again and we had little rain (I didn't water frequently) we ended up with one plant.  I re-sowed but it was too hot by then, so what did grow, bolted.

As it is a chore to visit the herb patch to water frequently, last year I tried growing from seed in pots at the front of the house.  Despite reasonably frequent watering, it was too hot, so the plants bolted. 

I'd suggest that either you should grow coriander inside, on a window ledge, or if you want industrial quantities, find a shady area, sow there and water every day during hot weather.

An acquaintance in Bretagne has no trouble growing coriander, even through winter, so if you live there, you should be fine.  It is a fairly hardy plant, so you could even try sowing outside now; given the current weather, it is unlikely that the plants will dry out!

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[quote user="Tay"]The key to successful growing is to keep the coriander well watered. [/quote]

 

Well, that figures. It gets so hot and dry here with the canicule, and I can barely keep up with watering the tomatoes as it is! Thank you Tay for that crucial piece of info - I will try again, and put it in the shade - but I had always associated coriander with hot climates, so I thought it should be happy here in the Midi!

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That's the mistake I made, thinking hot weather would be perfect, automatically thinking both hot AND dry.  If you don't have many shady patches in your garden, you could try planting the seeds or plants underneath a reasonably well established courgette or pumpkin plant.  I have found that our lettuces tend to bolt/wither/die in hot weather when just growing in their rows; last year I planted some beneath the leaves of courgette plants, and these lettuces survived while the ones in the traditional rows bolted. 

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Yes you're right, Tay - I have totally given up on lettuces - rocket does well, though, and ruby chard and other chard OK too. In the summer I have to water every evening - and frankly, it's not worth the water bill. This, in spite of recycling every drop of grey water - including from the shower!!!

Last summer, even the tomatoes seemed to get fed up with too much sunshine... but what grew really well was pumpkins (triffids, more like!) and some round courgettes... I had tried several clumps of coriander, each in a different location etc. and they all did badly. Even my red onions set did badly - but perhaps it is because I put horse manure on the ground in the spring instead of the previous autumn?

Sorry original poster, this is getting away from coriander... I have to say that green coriander seeds are very yummy though. As for the leaves, picking them once the plant has bolted is supposed to give them a soapy flavour. I like to use whole bunches of coriander in one go, so I can't rely on the one I try to grow.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. 

 I wont give up, I will just try to grow it around the garden and perhaps in some shade.  Watering is not a problem as I have a huge citern. 

Last year was my first attempt in france and it was in a make shift dustbin bag inside a house moving packing case.  It did dry out a lot too and I did not have the time to water properly.  I also didn't put any holes in the bag as I thought it would retain moisture becuase of the heat.  Second time round I shall take on board all the comments and try again.

I shall not be beaten!.

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That's funny, I've just got back from a visit to the new (nearly finished now) house, and my soon-to-be potager, and found all the packets of herb and veg seeds that I've been looking for for the last week.

I was reading the packs to see when I could start to sow, and distinctly remember reading that I should pinch off all the coriander flowers as they start to appear.

Also just found this http://www.plantcultures.org.uk/activities/handson_coriander.html  which has some useful advice.

 

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I grew coriander in Wiltshire very successfully in the greenhouse. The first year I grew it I planted the seeds in seed trays and planned to pot them on or plant them out when they were big enough. Other things took over my spare time and they remained in the trays - I just kept the compost moist (wet) in the seedtrays. They grew really well, loads of leaves and the only ones that bolted were the ones in the bigger pots. I seem to remember I was pinching off some of the flowers but I wasn't very persistent. So loads of warmth, sunshine... and water... seems to suit them. In my experience anyway. I grow basil the same way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Corriander hates clay soil seedlings MUST be kept  moist otherwise they bolt and the type of seed used is also important the seed  has to be the correct type for the area I use eagle for general,  Moroccan for seed, Cilantro for leaf,  Leisure for late season and Santo has good resistance to running to seed. You can also sow in a sheltered spot in Oct I have a herb Farm and dont have too much of a problem. Well drained soil but keep moist.

Best of luck

Mel

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Thank you Mel, this is useful extra info... I will persevere with coriander, great to get expert advice. The soil here is very hard (vine-growing area), full of stones, and also heavy clay-ish... maybe I should add sand to it, as well as (horse) manure and/orour own compost?

I am not a great gardener and always lose seedlings, have trouble in keeping them moist enough without drowning them, they always get quite leggy. Same with tomato plantlets....

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