Bolting, One of the Mysteries of Planting Lettuce

It’s that time of year in zone 6a when the lettuce begins to do some strange things. Lettuce is a cool weather crop and, when the temperatures rise, it begins to turn bitter and bolt (revolt?) from the heat. Bolting simply means the plant is maturing and preparing to create seeds. It’s one of the weird mysteries of planting lettuce (and growing a garden in general) that you don’t get to see when you buy a nice, boring head of iceberg at the grocery store.

The first time I grew lettuce, I had no idea it was coming. I went away for a week or so, and came back to find some alien life forms growing in my garden. What’s more fun is that each variety of lettuce, or any green, really, will bolt in its own weird way. The arugula grows long and spindly, with its green tentacles reaching every which way.

lettuce getting tall

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RIP x Three

It’s true, death does come in threes. My beloved slider keyboard phone finally bit the dust on the heels of a couple of my long-time plants.

I thank you for your seeds, Adolescent Parsley. It was not always an easy relationship for us as we navigated your growing pains, but you will always be my Teen Angel.

saving seeds

Indoor Lettuce was  a good friend that got me through the winter. I was hoping it would flower and I could collect the seeds. Alas, my heart will go on, but the Indoor Lettuce will not. Ashes to ashes, compost to compost. This one’s a closed casket, because, well, I don’t have a phone to take pictures, so let’s keep the memory of the lettuce in its prime.

Ah, well. Chin up, cheer up, friends. As we say goodbye to a few of our old friends (and an outdated phone with behavioral issues), it means we have room to welcome new ones. This weekend, I sowed some spinach, beet, broccoli, kale and collard seeds under the indoor grow lights.  I’ve also been starting TP tube carrots every other week or so, with carrot seedlings getting tucked in here and there.  I’m also eager to try the parsley seeds out to see how if they germinate, so there’s at least some kind of garden reincarnation in the works.

Let Daikons Be Daikons

Such a nice holiday weekend, yous guys. Hope you had a good holiday, toos, if you are in the United States (or maybe just a lovely weekend if you are elsewheres). My heart was warm this weekend enjoying those around me (Chefie! Hot Dot! D! C! P! EG! J! G! G! Big G! J! T!  L! M! N! O! P!).

But, speaking of heart-warming, it’s not even June and temperatures are in the high 80s and low 90s here in zone 6a. That’s hot for this time of year. I’m not a political sort, but I do believe 106% in global warming, and the fact that it is not even June and my radishes are revolting is proof.

See, I planted some Daikon radishes in the early spring. Ideally, Daikons (and all radishes) are early season crops that prefer cooler weather (70s and below), and even do fine with a little frost and light snow. “Spring” technically runs until June 21 when summer starts, but you wouldn’t know that judging by my flowering Daikons.

radish flowers

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