At Least There’s Tons of Zucchini…

Sunday was a busy one for me. I had a lot of house chores and errands to run in between going for a swim and then meeting a friend for a walk. The swim felt good. After biking almost 40 miles on Saturday I just wanted to stretch my muscles in the water. When I finished my swim I lounged in the hot tub and two gentleman commented on how fast I was swimming. It was nice to hear the encouragement. One guy asked me if I was training to be like Diana Nyad. I think the feat she attempted is pretty amazing, even if she had to quit 53 miles short of her goal.

Sunday afternoon I met up with my friend Erika to go for a walk on the Springwater Corridor. It was weird to be on the trail and NOT be on a bike! We got to chatting and before I knew it we’d walked about three miles! We turned around and headed back.

It was great to see my friend and spend some time together. It’s been such a busy summer that I haven’t had a lot of time for much of anything besides training, traveling and working. It was nice to go for a walk too. When we hang out we usually get happy hour or meet for drinks. After eating out so much in July I just don’t feel like eating out for awhile! Also, after an entire summer of being diligent about using sunscreen I forgot to put sunscreen on before my walk and got a little burned.

After my walk and an expensive trip to Trader Joe’s, I worked in the garden a bit. My tomatoes are doing great and I even saw a few starting to turn red!

Some of the tomato plants we got have gotten huge, but still green:

Plus I have one pepper that will hopefully turn orange soon…

I do have bad news about my lettuce plants though and I am really bummed about it. Lately my full, vibrant, tasty lettuce has turned wilted and weird looking. After lots of Google searches for what the heck happened, I realized my lettuce became “bolted.”

“Bolting is a condition which occurs in lettuce plants when an elongated stalk with flowers grows from within the main stem of the lettuce plant. Bolting is a condition that occurs not only in lettuce plants, but in many plants in the vegetable garden including the variety of plants in the cabbage family. Those cabbage family plants include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi and of course the common cabbage.”

Dammit!!! What I read said there was no fixing it and if the plants did manage to grow any lettuce leaves they’ll be bitter. That means I just to need to pull them out. 🙁 I am so bummed about that. We were producing so much lettuce we could barely eat it all and then seemingly overnight we lost almost all of the plants. There are a few lettuce plants remaining that might be okay to harvest but I don’t have high hopes.

So sad!! My lettuce! My glorious lettuce! 🙁 At least my acorn squash and zucchini are flourishing. We used the last of the good lettuce for dinner because we had some guests over. No more lettuce from our garden after that:

I topped the salad with some croutons, sliced tomato, shredded cheese, black olive and black beans. I added a dollop of light sour cream, some salsa and a small piece of skinless chicken breast grilled.

I also had some homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. There wasn’t enough good avocado to make guacamole for everyone unfortunately, there wasn’t even enough for one serving really. Michael kindly gave it to me to snack on before dinner. I love fresh guacamole!

QUESTION: Should I pull out the lettuce and replant new lettuce? Any tips/advice to prevent “bolting”?

12 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, bolting lettuce can’t really be avoided. You didn’t do anything wrong. You should definitely pull the plants and replant. The good news is that lettuce is pretty cold hardy, so you should have time to grow new plants. Lettuce usually bolts after producing for 3 or 4 months or if the weather gets too hot. Since I live in Missouri and the summers regularly reach over 100 degrees, I only grow lettuce in the spring and fall when it is cooler. All of the lettuce I have tried to grow in the summer always bolts really fast. Unlike tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers, lettuce really does best in cool weather below 80 degrees. I know a lot of pro gardeners that plant new lettuce every 2 or 3 weeks so that they always have a constant supply. If one group of lettuce bolts, there is always more that they planted later that is still good to go. Keep up the garden posts! Growing your own veggies is so much fun. 🙂
    Lisa recently posted..The Real Food "Rules"

    1. Thank you Lisa! I am so new to this gardening stuff and most of it is a mystery. The fact that I’ve managed to grow ANYTHING is a miracle. I plan on planting some more lettuce plants in the next week or two. I want more lettuce!

  2. I grow basil every summer and it always wants to bolt. when it gets hot (like it FINALLY did!) you have to watch-once it’s bolted once you know what it looks like (I thought my basil was just growing extra well the first time it happened! it was so tall and healthy!) and on basil at least you can pull off the parts that are bolting. it does it when it’s really hot, so when the temperature goes up is when you’ve gotta watch it. it’ll go from fine to crazy pretty quick!
    kalin recently posted..No Excuse.

      1. the white flowers are the bolting. if you watch you can see the start of the bolt before the flowers. i pinch them off by going down to the first set of leaves right below where they wanna bolt-most of the time that keeps the bolting in check (because if the plants are bolting they’re focusing on growing flowers, and i want them to focus on growing ME more delicious basil! stopping it earlier = more basil!)
        kalin recently posted..Shufflin’

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