Minimize Bolting

In warm weather, basils often “bolt” or go to seed prematurely. To keep these annuals producing lots of flavorful leaves, pinch off flower stalks before they have a chance to grow and bloom. If allowed to flower, leaf production stops as the plant sets seed and ultimately dies. Cilantro is another herb notorious for bolting since it has little tolerance of hot weather and soil temperatures above 75 degrees. One solution is a sunny planting site with partial shade in the afternoon and a layer of mulch for the root zone. Another option is to plant slow-bolting varieties like ‘Caribe’ and ‘Calypso’ from Johnny’s Select Seeds (www.johnnyseed.com).  

 

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