Some plants are more prone to bolting (producing flowers/seeds early) than others. These include wild rocket, mizuna, frills mustard, as well as other salad leaves. It is wise to plant them in partial shade and mulch them to keep them cool.
We’ve split these plants into 2 groups along with some top tips for each group.
- Wild Rocket/Mizuna/Frills Mustard
Plant these in light shade or partial shade if you can. This will stop them from getting too hot and they will produce leaves for longer.
Keep them well-watered as this will help to keep the soil cool. A period of drought (or perceived drought) can stress these plants quite quickly and they will rapidly produce flowers if this is the case.
Add a mulch after planting – a 5cm layer of compost or leaf mould around the base of the plants will prevent the soil underneath from drying out or getting too hot.
Harvest regularly – cutting the leaves often will keep them in leaf for longer. Even if you don’t want to eat the leaves, it is better to harvest and add to the compost than to wait until you fancy a salad for lunch!
They will need plenty of sun, but you still need to try and keep these plants cool. They may tolerate a little light shade in the afternoon to protect them from the hotter sun.
Firm them in well when you plant them – tread the soil down around the base of the plants once you plant them. The firm soil will help them get their root structure sorted, and with a good root structure they will be able to access water and nutrients more easily. You’ll find you grow better crops, with firm hearts and well formed cauliflowers etc, and they will be much less likely to bolt.
Keep them well-watered to keep the soil cool. These plants will do much better in consistently moist (but not waterlogged!) soil, rather than letting the soil dry out in between waterings.
Add a mulch after planting – again, a 5cm layer of compost or leaf mould around the base of the plants will prevent the soil underneath from drying out or getting too hot.