Garden Essentials

What Happens When a Plant Bolts?

White cilantro flowers mixing with colorful annuals in the summer garden.

In most gardening climates there’s a transition period when the cool temperatures of spring start to give way to the warmer days of summer. For those of us who love summer, it’s a time to rejoice – our favorite season of the year has finally arrived. We revel in the heat and sun! But, for those of us who prefer cooler temperatures, we might start to get a little cranky with the arrival of hotter days.

Did you know the vegetables in our gardens have weather preferences just like us gardeners? Some vegetables grow best in the mild temperatures of the early season – lettuces, cilantro, radishes, and spinach. And others seem to sit and sulk in the garden until the thermometer starts creeping over 80 degrees F – eggplant, peppers, basil, summer squash.

You may notice that when your particular garden hits this change from spring to summer some of your cool weather vegetables start to bolt.

How to Choose Which Tomatoes to Grow

Whether you grow your own tomato plants at home or shop for seedlings at your local farmers’ markets, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed when trying to decide which tomato varieties to grow in your garden. Don’t feel bad about that! There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes in cultivation and reading the plant descriptions doesn’t help much – they all sound like the best variety ever!

Each of us gardeners have our own top five list of favorite tomato varieties. You can ask ten gardeners for their picks and not hear the same tomato twice. So, in an effort to help you make the best decision for you, I’m going to have you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Instead of trying to make your decisions on the fly when you’re standing in front of a table of plants in the hot sun, here are some things to think about before you buy.

How Long Do You Have to Wait for Each Vegetable to Grow?

basket of garden harvest vegetables

To a certain extent gardening feels like a waiting game. Once we get our plants and seeds into the ground, we immediately start looking forward to the day when we can harvest the food. But vegetables vary widely in the number of days they need to grow until we can harvest them for dinner.

Radishes are ready to eat in as little as 21 days, while Brussels Sprouts can take up to 110 days. That’s a huge difference! Part of strategically deciding what you want to grow in your garden is knowing the time investment for each vegetable.

If you want to extend your harvest into as many months of the garden season as possible, you’ll want to plant vegetables that take various lengths of time to deliver their harvest. In this blog post, you’ll learn the three different categories that most vegetables fall into.

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