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Old 10-20-2009, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Two questions about basil/cilantro (pruning and care)

So I have an Aerogarden 6 currently about 3 weeks + 1 day into growing basil, chives, cilantro, thyme, sage, and parsley.

My basil has really shot up compared to the other plants. The manual says to prune down the basil and let the other plants have a chance to grow closer to the light, to "count up the stem to the third set of leaves, and cut the stem just above the third set." Now, here's the problem: http://img12.imageshack.us/i/dscn1844w.jpg/

My third set of leaves on the biggest stem are essentially at the very top near the lights. How can I go about pruning this? It seems to have a large gap of ~ 2 inches between the first set of leaves and the second set of leaves. Can I just cut half of it off? Again, the manual says cut no more than a third off at a time but the big stem on my basil seems to have grown a large amount without any leaves...

And my second question is regarding cilantro. For whatever reason one day my cilantro decided to tip over and stay there, and only now is it starting to perk back up, growing toward the light (even though it's leaning over on the pod). Here's a picture: http://img32.imageshack.us/i/dscn1846ep.jpg/ Should I do anything to correct this, or leave it alone? Will it eventually pick itself back up and not have to lean on the seed pod?
Old 10-20-2009, 10:27 AM
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You can pretty much whack the crap out of basil and it will grow back.
Old 10-20-2009, 10:59 AM
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cut the basil above the lowest node if you can't have it higher, it will be OK.
Old 10-20-2009, 04:29 PM
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Piggyback:

I grew some cilantro in the garden this year. It was nice and bushy for a couple weeks and then all the leaves changed as it went to seed. I tried nipping off the flower heads but that didn't help. How can I keep my cilantro yummy all season?
Old 10-20-2009, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
Piggyback:

I grew some cilantro in the garden this year. It was nice and bushy for a couple weeks and then all the leaves changed as it went to seed. I tried nipping off the flower heads but that didn't help. How can I keep my cilantro yummy all season?
You can't. It's like lettuce. When it gets to a certain point, it "bolts" and goes to seed (unlike basil, which merely blooms -- it doesn't bolt). You can try succession planting -- plant some, wait a week or two, plant some more, etc. -- so you have newer plants that are still nice and leafy when the older plants start to bolt.
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