Califonia Bountiful

Gardening Q&A

July/August 2019 California Bountiful magazine

As a California Bountiful reader, you have the opportunity to get your seasonal gardening questions answered by gardening expert Pat Rubin. Here are a few questions from our readers.

I keep trying to grow cilantro every summer so I can use it in salsa, but no luck. It just dies.

If you live in the hotter parts of California, you'll be disappointed to know that cilantro will grow only in the cooler spring and early summer months. I've been in the same boat. Cilantro grows, matures and dies before the fresh tomatoes are ready, so I can't make salsa using both tomatoes and cilantro from my garden. It's an annual herb, so it has a short life, anyway. Bottom line: Cilantro doesn't like the heat. Sorry.

I love growing yarrow, but don't like the way the flower stems suddenly fall over and sprawl. How do I keep them upright?

It's another tricky question. If you give them plenty of water so you get bigger flowers and stalks, they will still fall apart from the middle and try to fall down. Grow them with very little water and eventually they will still fall over. The best thing to do is to put one of those small tomato cages nurseries sell around the plant when it's young and make sure the flowering stalks stay inside the cage. Problem solved, and you won't have straight stalks with flowers growing sideways!

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