Those out of the loop might think one of the best things that can happen to your garden is when your plants reproduce. It’s like getting more of them for free.
Surprisingly, though, this can be a huge inconvenience if you’re growing edible plants like arugula. Flowering makes arugula leaves taste bitter and tough, turning them into an undesirable food.
Stopping this from occurring requires an understanding of why your arugula is bolting in the first place. We’ll be talking about the reasons why arugula bolts in this article.
Quick Answer: Why is My Arugula Bolting?
What conditions cause your arugula to bolt? Well, as unfortunate as it is, arugula is naturally a quickly bolting plant. That’s due to the fact its life cycle is much shorter than that of other vegetables.
When it gets exposed to warm enough conditions, it sends up shoots to flower. Planting it at a specific times, such as in the spring, can also cause it to bolt quickly.
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What Does Bolting Mean?
New to gardening? You might not know what the term “bolting” means, so we’ll take a little time to explain.
When a plant bolts, it sends up shoots to flower and drop seeds. You can choose to leave it at this point to let it naturally reproduce.
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While this may sound beneficial, there’s one major problem with bolting: it causes the leaves of the plant in question to turn extra bitter and tough. If you’re growing a vegetable that you’re planning on eating, this is clearly a downside.
Some people might still be willing to eat the leaves after the arugula has bolted. That depends on your personal preferences.
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Can You Stop Your Arugula From Bolting?
After learning a little bit about what bolting is, you might be wondering now if there’s a way to stop it from happening. The answer to that is simple: not completely.
Bolting is a natural part of arugula’s life cycle. It has to happen at some point, provided you don’t completely harvest the plant before it reaches that stage.
However, you can delay bolting in your arugula. That’s the trick for keeping it edible for longer.
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The easiest way is to look for varieties of arugula that are slow to bolt. There are some types of slow bolt arugula that, as their name implies, will not bolt as quickly as the average veggie.
Another thing you can do is prevent the conditions that make arugula bolt from occurring. Arugula likes to bolt when it gets warm sometimes, so you can grow plants around it that might cast it into shade, for instance.
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In conclusion, your arugula bolts simply because that’s a natural part of its life cycle. You can’t completely stop bolting from ever happening, but you can delay it a little. By buying a slow bolting variety of arugula, or by keeping it cool, you can ensure that it’s edible for as long as possible.
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