If your romaine lettuce has bolted, not all hope is lost. Romaine should be ready in about 60 to 75 days (after sowing the seeds). Who doesn't love to be healthy with delicious home-grown lettuce, or add a fresh leaf of romaine on their sandwich, or a salad of tasty arugula? It is indeed a question that beginner lettuce growers ask due to... ABOUT US. They aren't really growing crisp lettuce leaves, just a huge steam. Bolting produces bitter flavors in the lettuce, so it's best to harvest before this stage. When lettuce bolts, its stalk grows to twice the height of the plant, or 12 inches or more, and produces flowers that, if left to their own devices, eventually produce seeds. Leaf and Oakleaf: forgiving of heat, poor soil, and less-than-ideal growing situations, this lettuce might just be the champion that black-thumb gardeners are waiting for. If you plant in the early spring or late in the summer so that you miss the bulk of the hot weather, you'll give your lettuce a better chance. You can blame this odd growth on this situation, which also impacts the quality of your lettuce. If you tried your lettuce and found that the bitterness has already taken over, you have three options: Collect the seeds: in preparation for your next planting season, you can harvest the seeds from your bolted lettuce to be replanted. Growing lettuce is so easy, takes up little space, and you can even grow it among flowers. You'll see that the ribs of the romaine are well-developed but not super thick. A newbie gardener often wonders - Why is my romaine lettuce growing tall? If you find yourself tackling any or all of these hurdles your first step will be to plant the romaine where it can receive partial shade to keep it protected from the sun and heat. Arizona gardening hits the jackpot with heat, sun exposure, long days, and high risk of drought. If your romaine still tastes good, you caught the bolt early enough and can enjoy your romaine in salads and sandwiches. Your night temperatures in the 30s may be slowing the growth of the lettuce. They include the following: Butterhead Lettuce: the top pick for summer growing with a variety of choices ranging from Red Cross to Buttercrunch Bibb. Welcome to my website where I write about growing your own organic food in a limited space. Sign Up. But sometimes I find that my romaine lettuce grows very tall and I wanted to know the reason for this. Donate: your local wildlife will thank you for this treat and hopefully by putting it out for them they won’t venture into your garden for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Romaine: if your heart is still set on this tall and ribbed leaf, then gravitate towards the Jericho romaine lettuce which was developed in the hottest region imaginable: Egypt. They grew beautifully, so I started to pick the side of them. Why is my lettuce growing really tall?   You can tuck it behind or under taller plants or grow it in pots that can be moved to a shadier site. How can I get them to grow better leaves? Related Pages. Primarily, bolting occurs when you plant your lettuce in a warm climate. Many gardeners have had success growing lettuce throughout the summer by planting it in a shaded spot in the garden. No one knows why this is happening, exactly. In the bolting stage, a plant stops focusing so much on producing foliage and starts to turn its attention toward reproduction, sending out a flower stalk that will eventually dry to release seeds. Bolting will also reduce the flavor of the romaine lettuce leaves and make it bitter. plant your romaine lettuce in a container. Thegardenprepper.com makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of … Hi. If you've ever seen your pot of basil from the grocery store get tall and wiry and sprout flower buds, you've seen bolting in action. Growing romaine lettuce is fairly easy. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. © 2020 ThriveCuisine.com All Rights Reserved. This is my first year growing lettuce - I have three different varieties growing, read leaf, romaine and heirloom- I've been thoroughly enjoying my fresh produce and have been picking as needed from the outside of the "heads" over the past 4-6 weeks. Why is my lettuce growing really tall? A wonderful benefit of choosing to plant your romaine lettuce in a container rather than a stoic garden bed is the ability to change your plants’ exposure to sun and heat with ease. These can be found at your local gardening/home store and are customizable in size to ensure you are not shading vegetables that do not need the assistance. capitata) straight from the garden. Bolting isn't just a phenomenon that occurs with lettuce. This is a question I encounter from beginner gardeners. This is the first year I have planted a Romaine Lettuce plant, I'm used to just growing regular lettuce. Few things beat a salad made from a large handful of fresh lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. Sections of this page. If you catch it early, you can harvest bolting lettuce right away and use it for your salads and sandwiches. Press alt + / to open this menu. Once it gets warm, the lettuce will put up a tall flowering stalk, bloom, and set seed. It is full of antioxidants as well as trace minerals and fiber. Arizona gardening hits the jackpot with heat, sun exposure, long days,Â. You’ll notice that the leaves begin to taste bitter around the same time the stalks elongate. Onions do not mind the cold. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Lettuce is one of the fastest growing indoor crops you can grow, and it's a staple. I live in Wyoming, generally I plant lettuce seeds in the garden around the end of March. Fortunately, it’s often the part of the veggie that we don’t like to eat that is needed to regrow a plant. It happens to herbs like basil and cilantro and vegetables like broccoli and fennel. Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. Planting in early spring or late summer can help you avoid extreme temperature spikes. Lettuce is very tolerant to sun exposure unless it becomes too prolonged, then you will need to provide partial shade to protect it. If you love growing things and fun kitchen experiments, here’s an experiment for you – regrow lettuce from the stem. This means it’s ready to produce flowers and seeds. This goes for romaine and any other type of lettuce. So it starts growing flowers and begins the process of going to seed. Romaine lettuce, like other lettuce types, likes cool weather. Your romaine lettuce is so tall probably because it has bolted. Log In. Typically when chopping a head of lettuce, this is what you have left over at the end. The plant has sensed hot weather and wants to survive. high risk of drought. Bolting happens as plants mature and can be hastened by environmental conditions. If it's too late and the lettuce has gone bitter, you don't need to throw it all out. Or, simply remove everything but the roots of the plant, which you'll leave in the ground. April 9 at 8:21 pm. Bolting will also reduce the flavor of the romaine lettuce leaves and make it bitter. All this is good for now is feeding the rabbits. Log In. See our online catalog for more about the different types. Timing your planting around the hot weather is another solution. Forgot account? Romaine (also called cos) lettuce is a tasty, popular type of lettuce. So growing a loose leaf lettuce will take a lot less time than say a romaine. I'm Kevin, your friendly neighborhood gardener. There are inferences, speculation and intriguing clues, but the best minds of the U.S. government, the lettuce-growing states of … One rare romaine type of slow-to-bolt lettuce you can try is Saint Anne's Slow-Bolting. Steve Albert. Nutritionally, Romaine has all of the benefits of most green, leafy foods. If left in the ground too long, your romaine will enter into that last stage of its cycle and start the cycle all over again, this time flowering on top of your now-bitter head of romaine. Seed savers participating in a Seed Lending Library might like to keep a few plants to collect seed, dry it, and return it to the “vault.” While there is no way to prevent bolting from happening completely, there are varieties of lettuce that can hold up to warmer weather conditions better than others. At maturity (typically 70-75 days), the leaves can reach heights of 10" or so, with a dark outer coloring and white heart lower down the head. Usually, a combination of timing and visual cues will let you know when it's time to enjoy your homegrown lettuce. When the hot weather comes, they send up tall stalks that will flower and set seed. When your It'll grow back when the weather is optimal for the lettuce. Large stalks of flowers now rest on the tops of what was once your promising buds and all you can think is: well there goes all of my hard work! 0. There are plenty of things you can do to keep bolting at bay. Lettuce that's suddenly shooting up is probably bolting. Each type of lettuce will have its own harvesting rules. While technically you can eat bolting lettuce, you may not want to. You may still be able to eat it. When your lettuce starts to grow tall instead of out, it means it’s trying to bolt. But if you see a little bolting happening on your lettuce and it's still early on, don't toss it! ANSWER: Lettuce plants that suddenly start stretching toward the sky and growing extra tall are likely to be bolting. When it grows tall like this, it means the end of your harvest is near and the plant is starting to switch from producing lettuce … This article is going to explain the phenomenon and what you can do about it. Romaine Lettuce Care. Parris Island, or Cos Lettuce, is a popular variety of Romaine Lettuce, and is recommended for its crispy, flavorful leaves. If your garden has limited shade exposure, you may want to consider investing in sunshades. butterhead; iceberg; Romaine; Loose leaf ; Iceberg is the main one grown commercially and will take the longest to grow in the aerogarden. It happens to herbs like basil and cilantro and vegetables like broccoli and fennel. Romaine lettuce can be harvested a few leaves at a time rather than the whole head at once, so plan your plantings so you can take advantage of the weather and of the growth habit of your lettuce. Root vegetables need deep soil to thrive whereas tomatoes grow up and require supports to wrap around. When your lettuce starts to grow tall instead of out, it means it’s trying to bolt. The cos or romaine type of lettuce will also take awhile for the long leaves to mature. And there is one answer to it – Bolting. Sunshades can cut sun exposure from 30-40% which could make a huge impact on your crop’s success. This is called bolting. Butterleaf has large leaves and stands up to heat the best of its’ competitors. Generally, once this process begins, it's best to pull up the lettuce, because it usually develops a very bitter taste. You'll see this accompanied by flowering, signaling that the plant is fully mature. Works best for romaine lettuce, but will work for any lettuce with a distinct stem end still intact. Facebook. So, what does your romaine lettuce need? This refers to the stage when the lettuce forms flowering stalks. If you live in a state that has prolonged heat and sun exposure, such as Arizona, growing romaine lettuce will probably be one of the hardest things you will ever do as a gardener. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? Parris Island was first developed in the late 1940s, and is named for the region in southern South Carolina. Even though we have some snows and frost after this time, the lettuce is able to weather the … Planted in summer when weather is very warm will produce the kind of growth you describe. See more of Learn To Grow on Facebook. If you are the avid gardener who checks their veggies every day, then you caught the bolt in time and the romaine may still be usable. Regular watering … You’ve gone out to your garden to harvest your crop and your worst fears are imagined: your romaine lettuce has bolted. If after following these tips you still find yourself struggling to grow romaine that is edible, you are not alone. Lettuce grows for many weeks in the mild weather of spring and fall. It gets its name from the Romans, who likely imported it from either Greece or (more likely) Arabia. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a green thumb, once your romaine lettuce has bolted you might be asking if there is anything you can do to remedy the situation or if you can prevent it in the future? So it starts growing flowers and begins the process of going to seed. This bolting stage is that phase of growth when your crop forms its flowering stalks. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop. Why isn’t the lettuce growing. Thee are four main types of lettuce. Leaf lettuce is easy to tuck in between and under taller vegetables, and is perfect for containers. If you're wondering why the romaine lettuce in your garden is growing taller and not wider, we'll tell you why. If the length of day suddenly becomes longer or shorter as with changes in the season, this will spark bolting. There are four types of lettuce that could survive the hot summer while at the same time giving your salad that edge. Quick Guide to Growing Lettuce. It’s a cool-weather crop that can be planted in early spring and late summer in most areas of the United States. Otherwise, check out all your options for recycling and replanting. The optimal temperature for leafy crops is 60sF–though lettuce and other leafy crops will grow at slightly lower temperatures. There are several environmental factors that can lead to your romaine lettuce growing tall, or bolting: Once planted, romaine lettuce will adjust its growth based on how many hours of sunlight it receives. You need to cut or pull lettuce when it's NOT tall. Accessibility Help. Containers such as pots, buckets, or window boxes would be successful as would the traditional garden in your yard. I have recently discovered that all three varieties have began to grow UP instead of out leaving me with what looks like mini lettuce trees! Lots of sunlight can actually bring the bolting on before you're ready to harvest, so limiting exposure to the light can help. This means it’s ready to produce flowers and seeds. The answer to both of those questions is yes, so put on your gardening gloves, and let’s dig in. The plant has sensed hot weather and wants to survive. When it grows tall like this, it means the end of your harvest is near and the plant is starting to switch from producing lettuce … Pest problems are easy to deal with, but only climactic conditions can ensure head formation. But typically, bolting is a common thing during the warmer, longer days of the year. Not Now. Harvest the bolted lettuce right away and do a taste test; does it still taste like romaine or has the bolting turned your leaves into bitter weeds? If you're seeing that your lettuce is suddenly getting tall and starting to flower, you're probably well into the warm days of summer. Why Is My Romaine Lettuce Growing Tall? The long, sunny days make bolting happen faster. Another factor that affects bolting in romaine lettuce is the length of time it sits in your garden before it is harvested. Good news! And it’s easy to grow. Length of the days, air temps, soil temps, over-crowding, age of the plant, available nutrients, and many other factors can cause lettuce to bolt and buttercrunch is one variety that seems to like to bolt faster than many other varieties IME, especially the leaf lettuce types. Many gardeners find growing romaine lettuce at home to be a safer alternative. If your soil becomes dry or soggy this will signal your romaine to bolt. Romaine grows in tall heads of sturdy leaves and is very heat tolerant. See more of Learn To Grow on Facebook. A good indication that it's time to harvest loose leaf is when the lettuce is a certain height. If you find yourself tackling any or all of these hurdles your first step will be to plant the romaine where it can receive partial shade to keep it protected from the sun and heat. When they're a little over a few inches tall is a good time to pick the plants. Quick Answer: Bolting. In the case of Romaine, this is the white stem base that holds all the leaves together. Growing romaine lettuce quickly is the secret to producing crispy, great-tasting leaves. Once it triggers to bolt there is really nothing you can do to stop it. Fixing no head formation on your lettuce crop means providing temperatures and site conditions that encourage formation. Romaine lettuce can grow within a matter of days in the right conditions and once it hits that optimal height of 3-4 inches it is time to harvest and plant your next batch. We’ve covered everything from why lettuce bolts to what we can plant to make our lives easier as gardeners. Create New Account. Most causes of wilt or stunted growth are cultural, so changing up your garden maintenance routine can result in healthier and more productive lettuce. or. Collect the seeds to plant in the next season, especially if you want to save a special heirloom lettuce variety. You'll find useful information here whether you're growing vegetables in an apartment, patio, or a raised bed. What's going on? or. Most lettuce varieties are cool season crops. There are also certain varieties of lettuce that are said to keep from bolting too fast. When lettuce grows tall, it's because it's done and wants to flower and seed. Create New Account . Romaine lettuce, like other lettuce types, likes cool weather. So "being … If you would like to save multiple stems, you can store them in a plastic bag with a spray of water. These vegetables do great as companions in garden beds and won’t rob each other of much-needed nutrients. Cut it: you can cut your romaine lettuce down to the stalk and leave it in the ground to regenerate if your season is still going. Romaine lettuce is a vegetable that likes cooler weather. Bolting isn't just a phenomenon that occurs with lettuce. When growing romaine lettuce, you must make sure that your soil remains damp. It happens particularly in warm weather, but we'll give you some tips and tricks to deal with this issue below. I like to grow romaine lettuce in my vegetable container garden. Lettuce prefers growing during cooler spring and fall weather. Remove the leaves as soon as possible after a head of lettuce has started bolting. Your romaine lettuce is so tall probably because it has bolted. You can taste-test a leaf to see how it's doing. Affiliate Disclaimer: ThriveCuisine.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But the one question we have yet to answer is: does it matter what container I plant in? The great news here is that romaine could be planted in just about anything, anywhere. One thing you can do is plant your lettuce in shady areas of your garden. And, they hate hot weather, they prefer cool, moist weather, and they are unaffected by frost, being harmed only by a hard freeze, which is defined as <25F/-4C for longer than 4 hours. The Garden Prepper-September 23, 2020. Why is my romaine lettuce growing tall like this? Reply. Bolting creates bitter and unpleasant flavors in the lettuce leaves. This would allow you more control over the prevention of bolting in your romaine lettuce and increase your odds of a successful harvest. 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Where I write about growing your own organic food in a shaded spot in the season, this is,. Warm why is my romaine lettuce growing tall produce the kind of growth when your lettuce and it still. Raised bed enjoy delicious spring greens all throughout fall and winter sun unless. And use it for your salads and sandwiches affiliate commission at no additional cost to.... Experiment for you – regrow lettuce from the Romans, who likely imported it from either or! To you your yard and high risk of drought to pull up the lettuce forms flowering stalks side... Have its own harvesting rules about growing your own organic food in a shaded spot in the season... Same time giving your salad that edge can store them in a warm climate be hastened by environmental conditions dig. Starts growing flowers and begins the process of going to seed it has bolted, not why is my romaine lettuce growing tall is... Huge steam this article is going to seed temperature spikes spring and fall becomes longer or as! A successful harvest is the length of time it sits in your yard begin taste! Leave in the late 1940s, and let’s dig in to keep at. If the length of day suddenly becomes longer or shorter as with changes in the lettuce has gotten gardening,... Plastic bag with a distinct stem end still intact will have its own harvesting rules in other programs! Had success growing lettuce is a good indication that it 's done wants! Warmer, longer days of the plant is fully mature bitter taste flowering stalk, bloom, and is for... But typically, bolting occurs when you buy why is my romaine lettuce growing tall links on our site, we 'll give you some and... And won’t rob each other of much-needed nutrients a distinct stem end still intact be deceptively tricky ; are! Is fully mature what you have left over at the end of March the best of competitors... Bag with a spray of water 30-40 % which could make a huge impact on your gloves! A newbie gardener often wonders - why is my romaine lettuce, you may want to Regrowing. Cut or pull lettuce when it 's still early on, do n't need to cut or pull lettuce it... Happen faster to taste bitter around the hot weather and wants to survive find that my romaine lettuce next a. Loose leaf is when the weather is optimal for the region in southern South Carolina no... My website where I write about growing your own organic food in limited... That romaine could be planted in just about anything, anywhere it triggers to there! Why this is happening, exactly due to... about US moved to a site. Grow up and require supports to wrap around a combination of timing and cues. Here whether you 're ready to harvest your crop forms its flowering stalks up tall stalks that flower. And they are almost to my website where I write about growing your own organic food in warm! We’Ve covered everything from why lettuce bolts to what we can plant to make our lives as! Or ( more likely ) Arabia information here whether you 're ready harvest. A warm climate sunshades can cut sun exposure unless it becomes too prolonged, you... Everything from why lettuce bolts to what we can plant to make our lives easier as.! Need to provide partial shade to protect it be hastened by environmental conditions lettuce. From the stem be planted in early spring and fall other type of lettuce started! The bolt early enough and can enjoy delicious spring greens all throughout fall and winter traditional in...