Last night a member asked me to identify a beautiful yellow flower in her garden. It was her Pak Choi, bolting! Quick! Catch it!
Ok, that is a bad gardening joke, but really, it means that the growth is running away on the plant and happening way faster than usual. In a space like ours, this happens quickly. You can water and weed on a Friday and come back to a plot full of yellow and white flowers on Sunday! Your plant just got too hot and sensed the end was near – so put out flowers in an attempt to rapidly create a new generation before its demise.
What was odd about her situation, was that she didn’t actually plant a pak choi in her garden… and this is the other side of bolting. If you do not take care of those flowers, they will send out their seeds to take root in other plots.
In some plants, especially herbs, you can often reverse the bolting by cutting off the flowers and trimming back the leaves. However, if your pak choi, lettuce, spinach and broccoli are going, there isn’t much hope for them. You can still harvest the leaves – so don’t just throw them out.
In the greenhouse, this means we are seeing a lot of yellow flowers in the trash. Please remember to compost your green matter, and in the case of bolting flowers, either eat them (cilantro flowers = coriander if you dry them) or put them in the weed bin.