|Love-to-bolt bok choy|
- Bolting describes the process of a plant sending up a flower/seed stalk prematurely.
- Plants have a genetically controlled internal clock that tallies the number of daylight hours required for a plant to bolt. In addition...
- Anything that puts a plan under stress will cause it to bolt. This includes conditions that are: too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too crowded. Many Asian greens are particularly fussy!
- Cold-bolting basically looks like - you sow your seeds in February, the plants face some cold snaps (which sets the bolting process in motion), once the plants face a warm April, the plants will bolt.
- More evidence that nature is cool: the bolting process is the plant's survival mechanism. When the plant faces adverse circumstances, it will try to produce seeds to guarantee the next generation as quickly as possible.
- When a plant prematurely bolts, the leaves usually become bitter and inedible. Sometimes it's possible to delay this process by pinching off the top of the seed stalk, but this strategy will not stop the process. Once it's on it's way, there's no stopping the bolting process.
- Once a plant bolts, the bitter compounds in greens such as lettuce provide insect resistance. Mother Nature has thought ahead again!
|Easy to grow sweet potato greens|
- Don't wait to harvest. When your greens are ready to harvest, get to it.
- Plant early and consider trying some sort of row cover or hoop house to start your season even earlier.
- Or, save your favorite cold-weather greens for fall.
- Plant in small amounts, and plant successively.
- Choose a spot in the garden that gets some shade during the day.
- Try slow-bolting varieties of your favorite greens (mizuna is a mild and tasty option and is not too fussy. Garland chrysanthemum is unique and fragrant and does well in spring/fall gardens).
- Water consistently during periods of drought.
- Try heat loving Asian greens (such as vegetable amaranth, malabar spinach, or sweet potato greens).