Bolting in vegetables occur when the decided to “go to seed” earlier than expected. This can happen prior to being able to harvest. Now let’s not confuse this with the normal life cycle of a plant. Flowering and creating seeds is normal and happens naturally given a long enough growing season. Bolting is when a plant flowers early due to some unforeseen circumstance which is usually heat. Once your plant begins to Bolt the flavor becomes bitter and the texture of the foliage changes. There are a few options that you can take once your crops begin to bolt.
- You can remove the plant and compost it
- Cut the plant back to the ground and let it resprout. This will not work with all plants but some lettuces and herbs will come back
- If caught early you can cut off the flower stalk and the plant will begin focusing on foliage and not flower production
- Leave the plant to flower then collect seeds
- If its early enough you can reseed and try again
When your vegetables bolt it can be devastating but if you act fast you can salvage or reseed your crop and still get a decent harvest.