Let’s Bolt!



*Rolling my eyes*

During my short vacation, most of my cool weather plants decided to bolt. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower…

Bolting, if you don’t know the term, means that your plant is stressed and has reverted to it’s orginal programming. Reproduce and die. So your plant never grows fully, it shoots up some flower stalks, and seeds. This process is SO ANNOYING if you garden. The weather this year has been crazy, I have never had so many plants bolt. It has been a steady 75 – 80 degrees here.

A couple of things cause this. Stress, weather, not enough water (stress).. you get the idea. Mine bolted because for one day while I was gone it was almost 90, and the soil temp of my pallet garden got too warm. So the cooler weather plants decided they were done. I don’t mulch my pallet because it isn’t a garden bed. I’m sure you could, but it is only half a foot or so deep, and surrounded by wood. If it gets hot out, no amount of mulch will keep the soil cool, only moist.

Soooo, I will replant those in the fall.

That being said, my little heirloom starts (my babies) are doing well, and should get transplanted soon!


My other tomato plants bolted in their own way (tomato plants don’t really bolt) they began to flower. They always do this at this size for me. I don’t let my tomatoes have flowers.. aka “make tomatoes” until they are much bigger and have a big enough stalk to hold the fruit.

See? Too small still.

See? Too small still.

I mentioned before that I prune my tomatoes, and here is no exception. I cut/pinch the leaves off at the fork of the branch. The “sucker leaves” misdirect the plants energy. This will eventually turn into another branch or a flower bunch. I cut the flowers off, too.
I’ve been a massage therapist for 13 years, so I have man hands. Don’t be jealous.

Pinch or cut the sucker leaves off.

Pinch or cut the sucker leaves off.

Cut the flower stem off at the fork

Cut the flower stem off at the fork


Today I will pruning and weeding, trimming and transplanting. I have to pull 8 pepper plants out and put them all in pots, to try and maintain SOME control over the weather and the temps.

Am I the only one feeling frustrated gardening lately?



4 responses to “Let’s Bolt!

  1. It’s that way every year…I’ve given up on spinach because the temperature fluxuations cause it to bolt early…2 90-degree days, and the first planting of arugula had to come out, the leaf lettuces look to last for one more cutting…
    But, their replacements are up and coming…won’t be without greens for long!

  2. Bolting… so is that what’s happening to my pumpkins plants? They’ve flowered already and haven’t grown much since I transplanted them into the garden. They did great indoors.

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