Among the pleasure of the early spring garden is the hunt for the wanted volunteers: dill pokes its elongated slim first leaves among the sowed arugula while cilantro is coming up now in the pea bed – both bright green, brightly flavored, their unmistakable pungency released when you crush or brush them. Both are volunteers that I strongly encourage by scattering the ripe seeds in the fall: I find the plants are much stronger when they come up when they want and not when I want.
And if you think dill and cilantro look similar now, you are right, and they should: they both belong to the carrot (Umbelliferae) family. And if there is a question of what they are, touching them and then smelling my fingers would, without a doubt, tell me. Or I can wait and, then, the true leaves would announce their name as true dill leaves and cilantro leaves look not at all the same… except for dill-leafed cilantro that looks like dill and tastes like cilantro (yep there is such a beast ! – you know there must be an exception that confirms the rule…)
Do you encourage volunteers in your kitchen garden?
Note: the photos were taken mid-march, 10 days ago. True leaves are now showing.