Growing herbs and veggies - seeking feedback


I’m very new to this, please be kind :slight_smile:
Attached are some photos of herbs / veggies I planted very recently (about 4 weeks ago) in my small backyard. Obviously as you can see some are doing better than others. Here are some of the issues as far as I can tell:

  1. The cilantro is turning into a flower, not sure why that is.
  2. Not seeing any signs of tomatoes coming.
  3. Bugs bugs bugs…I have white flies on the cucumber leaves and something is definitely very interested in my basil.

Some more detail:

  1. I’ve been using this product for insect control, seems to help some but doesn’t completely mitigate the issue. Perhaps I should be using something stronger? What do you guys recommend?
  2. My home is in Southern California.
  3. I’m feeding them Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition
  4. The area is getting a good amount of sunlight. Haven’t measured but I estimate it to be around 7-8 hours a day.
  5. I’m using Rachio automatic scheduling for watering. Rachio’s schedule is a bit out of the ordinary as it only waters roughly once per week. When I asked, the founder actually responded directly and explained “deep, infrequent watering promotes healthier roots”. Link.
  6. Soil type is “Sandy loam”.

Images here:

(I was going to upload to the site but it’s limited to 1 photo for new users)


You need to be patient. Four weeks isn’t enough time for most vegetables to grow and produce.

Your summer weather is probably too warm for cilantro. In cooler weather it produces more leaves and doesn’t flower so fast. Try again when the weather cools down.

Your tomatoes are still pretty small, though I don’t know what type they are. Unless it’s too hot, some of those flowers will produce fruit. Be patient.

Most insects are not harmful. I have never applied an insecticide to any of my fruits or vegetables and always have plenty to eat. Don’t worry about every leaf with a hole in it. Plants have evolved with insects constantly eating them and have adapted to it.

When to water depends on the weather and soil. It’s something you learn with experience. Observe the plants. Are they wilting? Put your fingers under the mulch into the soil. Does it feel moist or dry? My guess is that summer vegetables growing in a sandy loam soil in Southern California might need to be watered more than once a week. Let your senses determine how often/much.

Your garden looks pretty good to me. Gardening is a journey and you’ve only just begun. Have fun!


While that is generally true for landscape plants, it’s a different story for vegetable gardening. Most vegetables don’t have deep roots (which is why you can plant them successfully in an 8" deep raised bed). I live on the California Central Coast, which I’m guessing is a cooler climate than where you are. I water my vegetable garden every other day. The plants in your pictures look like they are suffering from insufficient water, particularly the cucumber.

@BerryGuy is spot-on about the cilantro. Producing the flower like that is called “bolting.” You can delay bolting by planting your cilantro and parsley in a cooler, partly shady area. There is also a slow-bolting variety of cilantro.


Cilantro also tends to bolt to flower due to shock. Transplant shock often makes them flower, I sow seeds direct and give them protection from heat. I never plant them as seedlings as they are too inclined to flower within a few weeks.

I say allow them to flower and drop seed, seedlings will pop up when they are ready. You will get hundreds of seedlings by allowing it to self seed, chances are that a few will be in the right spot. The flowers are good for native pollinators.


White fly are a pain. What i do is spray the plant with water every morning to knock them off. The stronger the spray the better. Whatever the plant can take.


I grow basil in pots. They are very clean. I happened to put too many seeds in the pots.


Hi dannydan,
I did not see if anyone said this but mature and dried cilantro seeds are the spice named coriander.
I learned this (as an adult ) from my Grandfather.


In Australia we use the word coriander for the leaf and the seed. Mostly when people talk about adding coriander in a recipe here they mean the leaves, if they mean the seeds or the roots then they specify this. We only hear the word cilantro when talking to Americans.