Thursday, July 14, 2011

Growing in Chicago: Garden Update

My little plants have come a long way since I planted them back in May, so I thought now would be a good time to share their growth with you!

Let's start with the most unusual little guy, the cilantro:


"Uhh...Katie... that doesn't look like cilantro..."

You're right, it doesn't.

It just so happens that when you plant cilantro, you get a ton of cilantro right away, then suddenly this happens:


It grows a foot and a half straight up, and starts producing flowers and ultimately coriander seeds. Yes, I said coriander. Did you know coriander and cilantro are the same thing? We often associate coriander as the ground seed and cilantro as the leaves, but in reality they're from the same plant. And this unusual sprouting-straight-up process is called bolting. The plant is getting ready to seed and create a new generation, and the old cilantro leaves are done. You can still eat the frilly leaves that come with the bolting, but they won't have quite as strong a cilantro flavor. Once it's bolted, it's in a new stage in life and won't be going back. You can read more about cilantro bolting here.

Now, time to check out the basil!


Happy and full of life, it's also flowering and creating more delicious leaves.


The tomato plant is also doing well, trying to fill out all areas of the pot and budding like mad.


Those little buds will soon die and leave behind little green orbs, the beginning of plump, juicy tomatoes!


And finally, the best for last: the bell pepper plant. I'm just thrilled with my little producer here!



It's already got one pretty sizable pepper sitting at the bottom, as well as three more well on their way.


Hopefully my next garden post has a beautiful red bell pepper and juicy red tomatoes to go with my basil!


  1. Wow! I can't believe how great everything looks!

  2. I'm so glad you posted this because I thought that I had killed my cilantro! I had no idea that there was such a short lifespan for getting the leaves. I missed my salsa window... but did get some taquitos in!

  3. So THAT'S what happened to my cilantro! Is there a way to prevent it from doing that?