By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As summer gets going, the ‘cool weather crops’ you might have planted in the spring start to go to seed. That includes lettuces, which thrive in cooler months giving you a constant supply of fresh leaves for sandwiches all spring. Then, when the temperatures soar, they suddenly shoot up tall flowers that will soon become seedpods.
Plants do this because they can’t survive the summer heat to come, so they go to seed to ensure that a new generation will survive them, and the plant shifts its energy to making babies. That behavior also makes the leaves left on your lettuce plant taste bitter, so once you see flowers, you can pretty much forget eating the lettuce and plan to save the seeds to plant later or let them drop on the ground in your garden bed or container to reseed themselves.
Last year, my arugula growing in a pot bolted to seed just about this time, as it’s doing now, and then resprouted in August, so we were able to enjoy it in salads again from September until frost.