Why Are My Veggies Bolting?
Bolting happens in almost every vegetable. You may have seen it with your lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower these past seasons!
Bolting happens naturally at the end of the plants life and the reason bolting occurs is because that is how the plant spreads it's seed before it dies!
Some people may have noticed bolting in their lettuce before they had a chance to harvest, in this case, the lettuce felt like it was in danger of dying and wanted a chance to spread it's seed before it died. Many times, the reason for the lettuce sensing it's "impending death" is a lack of sun. It starts to grow upwards in search of the sun since plants know that the sun is in the sky above them. To avoid this bolting, plant lettuce in an area where they get direct sunlight for at least half the day. If it's in a place that is mostly shady, it won't produce leafy greens to eat and bolt prematurely.
Once lettuce does bolt, the lettuce that comes from it turns bitter as a defense mechanism so eat at your own risk!
Broccoli and cauliflower bulbs are a collection of flowers. Once they come to the end of their life if not harvested, they begin to bolt. That is why harvesting before the separation starts is so important. If you wait, the flowers in the bulbs will start to bloom and you won't be able to harvest your cauliflower or broccoli!