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What techniques can be used to discourage cilantro from bolting too quickly? I plant them and it seems that they almost immediately go to seed after they've reached maturity.

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source for "slow bolt cilantro":… – bstpierre Jun 8 '11 at 23:27
I hope you're letting your cilantro go to seed! Coriander (the seed) is a fantastic and versatile spice. – Shanna Jun 10 '11 at 9:36
@Shanna has a great point on the seeds, though I have to admit that I've only ever gathered seeds for planting again next year.... – rsgoheen Jun 15 '11 at 21:10
up vote 13 down vote accepted

I've found cilantro to be a tough one for avoiding bolting (at least in the Seattle area). I've never seen any different varieties that claim to have more or less bolting tendencies. The only thing I've every really been able to do is to work around the bolting by continuous planting, so you have plants that are at different points in their growth. You could also see if it helps to move to an area with less sun, though that will also slow their growth in general. You could try starting them indoors, getting a fair amount of growth, then moving them outside to a slightly cooler, shadier spot in the garden.

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Another way to get around this is to do successive plantings if you have the space. Start with a few plants in the Spring and when they start to bolt, you can pick up a few more at the garden center to replant or start some from seed indoors. Doing this, you can still have cilantro in the Fall when you usually have said goodbye to it several months ago.

This is really frustrating if you are gardening for salsa. By the time your peppers, tomatoes, and onions are ready, your cilantro is long gone.

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