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Bolting Plants
Learn the basics of bolting plants from gardening experts.
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Bolting, and how to postpone it
Photo: Justin Russell
In the spring vegie garden, bolting is par for the course. One week winter vegies such as broccoli, mustard and rocket are looking superb and fresh, the next week they're sending up flower stalks and have made a sudden effort to reproduce.

Bolting in cole crops
Bolting occurs when flowers develop too quickly. For seeds planted in the spring, flower stalk initiation in cabbage is stimulated by prolonged cold temperatures below 50 F.

The premature and usually unwelcome flowering of a vegetable or leafy herb, often as a result of drought, starvation or high temperatures.

Stop Lettuce Bolting
You can not wait to pick your first lettuce and suddenly you have too many to eat and they are not so tasty if you try to store them. So what can you do?

When the spinach starts to grow tall and the leaves start getting smaller, harvest quick. This is called bolting (going to seed). That plant will quickly continue to deteriorate in quality. It is best to remove it.
After June 1st you are done planting spinach for the summer.

The period of a plant's development when it begins trying to make flowers. This term is usually used when referring to a vegetable plant whose flowers or fruit are not the edible crop, such as lettuce or carrots. As such bolting refers to the end of a plant's usefulness as a crop.

Bolting - Vegetables that quickly go to flower rather than producing the food crop. Usually caused by late planting and temperatures that are too warm.
Bonsai - An ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot and artificially prevented from reaching its normal size.

Bolting: Producing flowers and seeds prematurely.
Chelation: The formation of bonds between organic compounds and metals, some of which are insoluble, as in humus.

bolting Producing seeds or flowering prematurely, usually due to heat. For example, cool-weather crops such as lettuce bolt during the summer. Leaf crops are discouraged from bolting by removal of flower heads. See deadhead.

Bolting Cilantro - Why Does Cilantro Bolt And How To Stop It
Cilantro bolting is one of the most frustrating things about this popular herb. Many gardeners ask 'why does cilantro bolt?' and 'how can I keep cilantro from flowering?

Bolting refers to when weather gets hot, lettuce will bolt. This means that it sprouts a flower and will go to seed. When lettuce bolts, the leaves will become bitter. If you live in hot climate, look for lettuce varieties that are heat resistant. Lettuce is a cold weather crop.
Botanical Name ...

Bolting tends to happen when the temperature heats up, but researchers say that it is actually the longer hours of daylight that cause bolting.

Bolting may occur under cold weather stress. If onions bolt, the bulb rapidly deteriorates. Harvest and use as soon as possible.
For winter storage, harvest the onion crops after the tops have dried up.
Storage and Preservation Methods ...

When a plant goes to seed, often earlier than expected, causing the plant to become less edible. For example brocooli will bolt if the weather turns hot. At this point, the plant's energy goes into reproducing.
Compost ...

Bolting happens when certain plants get over-excited by the heat of summer. Brings out their inner teenager. You can thwart this by snipping off the part shooting upward, but your best bet is to find a bolt-resistant variety, do successive plantings, or just eat something else for a while.
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Bolting: A stage of rapid growth in a plant's life cycle where flowers are created and seeds are dropped. Bolting often causes vegetables and herbs to lose flavor, and the process is usually kick-started by high temperatures. Basil and cilantro are two plants that bolt.

Bolting a picnic table to a hard ground surface can prevent theft, increase the table's stability and anchor the table in case of high winds, thunderstorms, hurricanes or other inclement… Read More
How to Protect an Outdoor Picnic Table ...

Bolting is a term that refers to plants rapidly flowering or producing seed stalks, often prematurely.

bolting This term, and also the term "run to seed" means to prematurely produce flowers and seeds. Usually applied to a leaf crop such as lettuce, spinach etc.

BoltingPremature flower and seedstalk formation, usually in biennial crops during their first year of growth.BotanyThe scientific study of all facets of plant structure and behavior.BractA modified leaflike structure closely associated with a flower, sometimes petal-like.

Grow it in moist, rich soil, shaded from full sun, and keep it well watered at all times to prevent bolting. Sow seed direct outside, 3/4-inch deep, spaced 1 inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to 3-6 inches.

The search for varieties resistant to mildews and viruses, as well as to bolting, continued through the 20th century. Such varieties as 'Viking' in 1935 and 'America' in 1952 were successful enough to win All-America Selections awards, although they are seldom grown today.

Lack of water or irregular watering will make them bolt so to help avoid the bolting push the soil firmly around their roots to get really good contact. John plants them about twenty centimetres apart.

The secret to growing succulent, tasty leaves and preventing premature bolting is to keep lettuce growing fast. Bitterness naturally occurs in older plants.

Do you crave the unmistakable flavor of cilantro but dislike the plant's penchant for bolting-- Culantro (Eryngium foetidium), an easy-to-grow tender perennial, tastes like cilantro but doesn't easily bolt.

When a plant goes to seed, usually a plant cultivated for its leaves, where bolting is an unwanted action. Such plants are often bred into "slow bolting" cultivars.
Definition as written by mikepiper:
A term used when a flower seed is ready to burst open and scatter seeds.

Intense sunlight and hot temperatures can make it challenging to germinate new seeds, establish tender seedlings and keep cool-weather crops, such as salad greens, from bolting and becoming bitter.

When living down South pick a heat-resistant variety. There are cultivars that are resistant to bolting also. Bolting means that it goes to seed. You have a very large variety to choose from, wrinkled leaves and smooth and a few different colors from green to purple.

Care for Spinach and Bolting

Spinach is easy to grow if you keep them well-watered when conditions are dry. Any mulch around the plants will be appreciated because this will cool the rots and help to retain moisture.

Pac choi is prone to bolting (going to seed prematurely) if it doesn't like the weather conditions. Some varieties, such as Joi Choi and Mei Qing Choi are bolt-resistant or slow-bolting.

You really can't physically keep the greens from bolting during the hot part of the year, aside from some shading. The best strategy is to use heat tolerant varieties, such as our spinach substitutes and practice succession planting vigorously.

Cool season vegetables are always difficult to grow here because of temperature fluctuations in the spring. Many respond to high temperatures by bolting, or producing a flower stalk. Some varieties may resist bolting and are better bets for planting in the Front Range area.

How to grow: Thin seedlings to 8 inches apart. Keep well watered. This plant is prone to early "bolting" to seed if weather becomes unseasonably warm. Coriander is not usually grown indoors.

In general, crisphead lettuce is intolerant of hot weather, readily bolting or sending up a flower stalk under hot summer conditions. For this reason, plus the long growing period required, it is the most difficult of the lettuces to grow in the home garden.

A phenomenon known as bolting is when a biennial passes through both its growing seasons in one season due to climatic conditions, drought or temperature changes. Lettuce is a good example. It requires cooler temperatures but if it is unseasonably hot, it will bolt.

Radish varieties will cross-pollinate and must be separated by .5 miles (2,600 feet) from other radish. Radish seed stalks will grow up to 3' tall. Discard early bolting as this is undesirable. The seed stalk is harvested when the stalk and pods are dry. Seeds can then be separated by hand.
Spinach ...

'Imperator' - stores well
'Gold Pak'
'Orlando Gold' - resists bolting
'A-plus' ...

Swiss chard
Light: Low
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: Water well to keep from bolting to seed ...

From the leaking roof to two fender benders in one day to the exploding gingerbread (trust me - the oven will never be the same), life's lesson plan this season seems stuck on 'disaster' of the sort that's only comical after bolting back a few cups of eggnog.

This means that the plant has gone to seed and will decline in terms of flavor. We generally use this term in relation to vegetable gardening, where plants such as lettuce and spinach are notorious for bolting once the weather gets hot.

Plant them in the desert as soon as the last frost date in the spring and again about eight weeks before the first frost date in the fall. The days getting shorter as fall approaches means less bolting and cooler temperatures at night. Two crops are possible with cool-season veggies.

See also: See also: What is the meaning of Plant, Growing, Vegetable, Flower, Planting?

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