Not long ago, my husband brought home a packet of coriander (cilantro) seeds from the store. They are great in soups, stews and many other dishes. Then, by a stroke of inspiration, he said, “hey, why don’t we try to make them grow?”
I wasn’t sure the seeds were viable, but we had nothing to lose, right? I tried to plant a few and, while only about 30% germinated, it was alright by me as we had so many and bought them so cheaply. A tiny packet of planting seeds would have cost us a lot more (yes, even taking into account the low germination rate).
Below, you can see one of the new coriander plants grown from these seeds. The other plants in the photos – cherry tomatoes, peppers, melons and beans – were likewise grown from supermarket produce.
All these wonderful plants were grown from scraps most people toss into the garbage without a second thought.
There’s no doubt it’s always better to purchase high-quality seeds from a reputable company. This way you know exactly what you’re getting and the germination rate, with proper handling, is high. Supermarket vegetables are often hybrids, so saving and planting seeds from them can have unpredictable results. But I still think supermarket-produce seeds deserve a chance. They are very cheap, readily available, and most likely you already have some on hand. There’s certainly no loss (except for a little work and some garden space) in trying, and it can be a fun experiment.
I haven’t actually collected a harvest from these supermarket-originated plants yet, but when I do, I plan to write a follow-up post and tell you whether the produce was any good and how much it resembled the mother plant.