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My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

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My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  Wicky on 7/14/2012, 9:24 am

All my lettuce plants went to seed when I wasn't looking! I have Romaine and butter crunch. Can the plants be saved or should they just be pulled up at this point.

Thank you!
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  Cincinnati on 7/14/2012, 2:25 pm

M
@Wicky wrote:... Can the plants be saved or should they just be pulled up at this point.

Thank you!

Add them to your compost pile. Start over from seed or plugs.

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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  happycamper on 7/14/2012, 2:57 pm

Good question! I think it really depends on whether you want to save seed from the plants. I am a seed saver. If I find that I really like a certain item I will let a few of the plants bolt, they will grow tall, flower and then produce seed which I save to plant the next season. It also depends on if I have the square to dedicate to long term use.
By doing this, it basically means I don't need to buy "that" seed ever again, it grows well in my area and will be eaten by my family.
Lettuce takes a long time to go to seed so it really depends on what you want to do with it. Good luck!
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  Kelejan on 7/14/2012, 4:20 pm

glad you\'re here wicky: just noticed your first post. happy hi
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  floyd1440 on 7/14/2012, 8:13 pm



I think you can get the seeds and save them for the fall but I have never grown lettuce. My spinache went to seed about 10 days ago and I think I will pull them and try to save the seeds for this fall and next spring.

Had the same proplems as I didn't pay close attention to my spinach for a couple of days and the bolted. Spring crops and this hot weather... Shocked
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 5:36 pm

I must ask, how would 'paying attention' cause spinach and lettuce not to bolt? Because you would pick the outer leaves? Or do you mean that you would have noticed some kind of 'sign' that the bolting was imminent and pulled the entire head for consumption?

Thanks much!
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 5:28 am

@Wicky wrote:All my lettuce plants went to seed when I wasn't looking! I have Romaine and butter crunch. Can the plants be saved or should they just be pulled up at this point.

Thank you!

Welcome to the site Wicky.

Perhaps cut the plants down to leave two sets of leaves, this will usually allow the plants to make new leaves just like cut and come again lettuce . Once the new leaves are established cut off the old leaves and compost them
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 9:06 am

@cpl100 wrote:I must ask, how would 'paying attention' cause spinach and lettuce not to bolt? Because you would pick the outer leaves? Or do you mean that you would have noticed some kind of 'sign' that the bolting was imminent and pulled the entire head for consumption?

Thanks much!
This is a good question!!! Very Happy
Paying attention will allow the grower to pick the spinach before it begins to bolt so the plant can be harvested. The flavor is increasingly bitter if allowed to make flowers.

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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 9:36 am

Along the lines of what camprn says .. sometimes it's better to continually pick leaves off a plant to keep it growing and compost them if you are not due to eat them , this keep the plant in production and not running to seed.

This 19 inch across salad bowl lettuce has been continually harvested a few leaves at a time . It was over 8 months old and has given a family of three " Plantoids " around 40 salads in that time and many many leaves to put into the compost heap . I only put the lettuce to the compost because we have numerous other ones well developed . There are now carrots in the square it came from .
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:05 am

I think it would give me a severe 'pause' to put that beautiful head of lettuce in the compost bin. I don't think I could do it!
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:07 am

@camprn wrote:
@cpl100 wrote:I must ask, how would 'paying attention' cause spinach and lettuce not to bolt? Because you would pick the outer leaves? Or do you mean that you would have noticed some kind of 'sign' that the bolting was imminent and pulled the entire head for consumption?

Thanks much!
This is a good question!!! Very Happy
Paying attention will allow the grower to pick the spinach before it begins to bolt so the plant can be harvested. The flavor is increasingly bitter if allowed to make flowers.

I had planned to pick the outer leaves of my spinach and lettuce (if I get some to grow!). But what are the signs that it is about to bolt? Or does the actual act of picking the outer leaves prevent or prolong that? Thanks, as always.
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 10:12 am

@cpl100 wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@cpl100 wrote:I must ask, how would 'paying attention' cause spinach and lettuce not to bolt? Because you would pick the outer leaves? Or do you mean that you would have noticed some kind of 'sign' that the bolting was imminent and pulled the entire head for consumption?

Thanks much!
This is a good question!!! Very Happy
Paying attention will allow the grower to pick the spinach before it begins to bolt so the plant can be harvested. The flavor is increasingly bitter if allowed to make flowers.

I had planned to pick the outer leaves of my spinach and lettuce (if I get some to grow!). But what are the signs that it is about to bolt? Or does the actual act of picking the outer leaves prevent or prolong that? Thanks, as always.
When spinach is young the leaf is rounded at the tip. As the plant matures and is beginning to get ready to make a flower stalk, the leaf becomes pointy at the tip. Then you will see the leaves growing closer together and ultimately it will send up a spike that produces flowers. If you see the beginning of the stalk forming, pinch this off, it may give you a few more days of the plant, but quite quickly the taste will turn bitter.

http://www.photos-public-domain.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/bolting_spinach.jpg

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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 10:13 am

@cpl100 wrote:I think it would give me a severe 'pause' to put that beautiful head of lettuce in the compost bin. I don't think I could do it!

Ah the emotional gardener .. Laughing " Sometimes a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do , be it a man or a woe man " Wink .

The square is better used for 16 autumn carrots as the lettuce was just starting to taste very slightly bitter .
Notice in the crown ....how the leaves are small and tight .. that is the start of the seed head and as I'm happy to buy a pack of 800 lettuce seeds once every four years or so I didn't want to give up several square of bed needed whilst I let it run to seed .
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:35 am

It's true, it is true! A (well described) picture is worth a thousand words! I could see what both of you meant. So, when my spinach leaves get pointy, I will pick them all and move on to the next thing. I hope I have that right. And when my lettuce leaves start to get small in the center and the leaves start to turn bitter, I will yank that baby out and not cry!

A hundred thank yous!

BTW, I am clicking the thumbs up button for all the posts people have made to assist me. I hope that is the correct 'thank you' on this board.
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  floyd1440 on 7/17/2012, 8:17 pm

@cpl100 wrote:It's true, it is true! A (well described) picture is worth a thousand words! I could see what both of you meant. So, when my spinach leaves get pointy, I will pick them all and move on to the next thing. I hope I have that right. And when my lettuce leaves start to get small in the center and the leaves start to turn bitter, I will yank that baby out and not cry!

A hundred thank yous!

BTW, I am clicking the thumbs up button for all the posts people have made to assist me. I hope that is the correct 'thank you' on this board.

On my spinach I quit picking leaves and it bolted as in the above picture and if I continue picking leaves I would have extended my growing season. Basil is the same; I just let it grow last year and picked leaves when needed and then it started flowering and going to seed. Now I cut it back every 2 weeks along with oregano.
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Re: My Lettuce Has Gone To Seed

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/18/2012, 1:19 am

Good posts, I learned so much from all the questions and answers! Cpl100 as you put plants in your compost pile you can think of the plant giving future plants great nutrients, like the circle of life!
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