My Tat Soi seems to be the only leafy green in the garden that is bolting right now (January).
What’s weird is they were fairly young seedlings and hadn’t grown much. It’s almost like they were dormant and then went straight into bolting. Do you know why this happened and what I can do to avoid this?
What’s happening with your tatsoi is very common as we enter the beginning of spring, which is often accompanied by unpredictable weather which can be chilly one day and warm the next!
In nature, there are several things that can trigger bolting. The primary causes, though, are usually: stress, root disruption and temperature change. As you mentioned, it seems as though it came out of dormancy during the cooler temps and immediately bolted.
This actually is very common! In fact, I have some tiny seedlings that hardly grew at all during our cold temps and now they are starting to form tiny little flowers!
Plants are very sensitive to these temperature changes and start bolting in order to “complete their evolutionary life’s mission” by producing seeds that will keep the plant species alive for another generation. Nature is truly incredible and the change in the weather (even slight increases after a cold spell!) can trigger a plant to bolt.
The leaves may become more bitter as the plant bolts, but it’s still completely edible! So I would suggest harvesting the whole plant now, before it continues flowering. It can still be enjoyed – especially blended into a smoothie or wilted down by sauteing it along with some other veggies and herbs.
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