Throughout its life, a plant goes through a sequence of stages from seed germination to seed production as a mature plant. Plants, (and mostly vegetables and herbs), are said to bolt when their growth rapidly changes from being mostly leaf-based to being mostly flower- and seed-based.
Why do plants bolt?
Most plants bolt due to hot weather, length of time spent growing, or light cycles. When these triggers happen it flips a switch in the plant to produce flowers and seeds very rapidly while abandoning leaf growth almost entirely.
Bolting can be considered a survival mechanism in a plant where it initiates hormone production and focuses its entire energy reserve on producing seeds.
What do bolting plants look like?
Typically, when the bolting process begins, the plant tends to become tough and woody as well as a bit more bitter in taste. Please note it is perfectly normal to notice plants bolting in your Gardyn, as no plant can grow forever.
Bolting lettuces with elongated stems and flower buds forming
How do I delay bolting?
Gardyn's light cycle is set to create an ideal growing environment for plants, lowering the chances of bolting due to temperature changes and light cycles. Since bolting can be triggered by temperature changes, it is important to recognize which plants are cool- or warm-tolerant. Most fruiting crops, like tomatoes or peppers, prefer warmer temperatures, while leafy greens and herbs like lettuce or parsley prefer cooler temperatures. You can use our yCubes Placement Guide to pick the best spot for each of your plants.
What about my herbs?
You can delay the bolting of your herbs by conducting regular pruning to encourage more vigorous and robust growth. When you delay flowering by preventing and removing bud development, it allows the herbs to keep growing and continue producing tasty leaves.
Snip flowers off of herbs like Thai Basil
When pruning back the flower buds on your herbs snip right above your plant’s growth node. A growth node is a new shoot coming out of the stalk.
What should I do with my bolting leafy greens?
You can often help delay bolting by altering the temperature, but once leafy greens start to bolt, you need to prepare a replacement yCube. Remember, this process is natural, so no need to worry!
When we take what we know about plants, and alter their environment to ensure they last longer, we can optimize plant health and growth! Happy Gardyning!
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