Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Saving Seeds: Coriander

I tried to harvest all my spring-crop cilantro before the weather got really warm this summer, but some of it managed to send up seed stalks before I could get to it. No worries, when a crop goes to seed before you can harvest it, there's an opportunity for seed saving. In general, I try to save some seeds from non-hybrid varieties that I especially like and/or do well in my garden. In this case, I wasn't planning on saving seeds, but got some anyway.

Dried seed stalks:

When the seeds were fully formed and beginning to dry, I pulled out the stalks and let them dry in our sun room...they've been drying in there for the past week or so.

In British English, the fresh herb and the seed are both called coriander... but here in the US, we tend to call the fresh herb cilantro, while the dried seed is called coriander. I can't remember whether this particular crop was a hybrid variety or not, so I'll just use the seeds in cooking.

I'm not sure why, but it seems like I always have several packets of cilantro, basil, and carrot seeds in my seed box, even though I never remember buying them. Anyway, I've planted more cilantro for an autumn harvest....these little guys will probably be ready to harvest sometime in October:

Coriandrum sativum

And finally, here's my cat, Cheeky. She is really funny, and can always make me laugh. She's in the neighbor's tree that looks right into our sun room. She looks kind of crazed, but she's really ok. She is in the middle of a "meow" in this photo, calling out a little "hello" when she saw me through the sun room window.

Cheekiandrum Funnivum


  1. Rose,

    Cheeky is a beautiful calico. How old is she? Is she your only cat?

    I never thought of saving cilantro seed. I have been saving my fennel and dill so I don't know why I ignored the cilantro. It makes sense though.

    Do you save any vegetable seeds? I have been doing that this year since you have convinced me to try vegetable gardening again. I didn't know what I was doing when I started saving the seeds. Since I let them dry thoroughly before I bagged them I think it should work. I will let you know in the spring if things start to sprout.


  2. Hi Alicia,

    Cheeky is our only cat...she's six. It's a bit long-winded, but I did a blog post about how we got together.

    This year, the only seeds I've saved so far have been arugula and the cilantro. I may save some from my delicata squash.

  3. Rose,

    I will look back for your post on Cheeky. When I was growing up I had a calico that I rescued so I have a soft spot for them.

    Is arugula easy to grow? It is my favorite green so I would like to give it a try next year.


  4. Arugula is very easy to grow, and it grows back after you cut it down, so you can harvest 2 or 3 times from the same plants.

    I think the Cheeky post is back in early July.

    I love calicos too, they say that they're supposed to be bad-tempered cats, but that hasn't been my experience at all.

  5. Rose,

    I have a gardening question for you. When we were at the farmers market today we got into a conversation with the farmer that runs our CSA and she mentioned that ginger is very easy to grow. Well, maybe for her. My question is have you grown it and do you think it is simple enought I can? Dan and I are going through a half pound of the stuff every two weeks since we put it in our green tea all day long. If it is easy to grow I thought I might give it a go. Please let me know what you think.


  6. I've never grown ginger, but that's a great idea. From what I've read, it doesn't seem like it's too difficult to grow.

    It seems that it does well in containers too, so would be fun to try if you have a nice sunny, warm place indoors. Or wait until next spring, because it likes warm temperatures.

    I'm sure the CSA farmer knows a lot more than me about it...sounds like something fun to try.

  7. Rose,

    Thanks for your input. I was hoping you had grown it, but I think I am going to give it a try. The West side of my house has a sunroom filled with houseplants where I overwinter my meyer lemon tree. I think it is going to get a little ginger plant friend. I will let you know how easy it is. If I can grow it anyone can, I am not a gardener as I have mentioned before.

    thanks again,

  8. That sounds like a perfect location...definitely keep me posted.
    BTW, you could probably grow a fall.winter crop of arugula and lettuce there too.

  9. Rose,

    I could grow arugula in the house? Really? That never would have occured to me. Is that because it is a more cool tolerant plant that it would grow inside? This could be interesting. I may have to try this too.

    Thanks for the idea,

  10. I think you could do it over the winter. They should germinate really well in the nice warm room, and then providing that they get plenty of sun, air circulation, and it's not super hot in there all the time, I think it could work.

    My sun room is really just a big porch with windows, so it's not heated and stays cooler than the rest of the house...except when it's sunny. I'm actually trying to grow an autumn crop of tomatoes there right now...I don't think it will work though, because by the time they set fruit, the sun won't be intense enough to ripen them.

    Not sure what winters are like in Baltimore...if you don't get really cold temperatures, you could grow these outside during the autumn/winter.

  11. Rose,

    Winter is Baltimore is not predictable. Sometimes we don't get below 40 during the day and other years we will not get above 20 for weeks.

    My sunroom is heated, but doesn't get hot like the rest of the house. It is probably 60ish in there during the day in the winter. Ours was also a porch that was enclosed 60 years ago. I assume if it warm enough for the lemon tree that should also work for the lettuce. Does that make sense to you?

    Good luck with the tomatoes inside. I can't wait to hear how that works.


  12. The sun room situation sounds perfect...think the leaf crops will do well there over the winter.


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