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My Winter Garden Is Bolting. Why?

My Winter Garden Is Bolting, Why?

It is the first week of November in South Carolina. Are we wearing sweaters and enjoying everything that comes with the cooler temperatures of fall? That would be a big no. I am sporting shorts and a t-shirt, seeking relief from the humidity and the above average temperatures.

Welcome to South Carolina, where if you don't like the weather, just wait a day or so.

Speaking of whether you like the weather, one thing is for sure, our winter gardens are desiring it for another reason. The warmer temperatures cause our winter garden plants to seek “amore”. In other words, they begin thinking about summer love and passion.

The first sign that your plant is looking for love, is the appearance of a long, skinny shoot emerging from the center of your plant. This is your plant's seed head and this process is called bolting or seeding out. Next, depending on the type of plant, flowers will appear on the top of the shoot.

Unfortunately, when your plant is looking for love, all of it's energy goes into producing flowers and the rest of the plant suffers. The plant wants to make flowers, so they can produce a whole new generation of baby winter garden plants.

Since the plant's energy is no longer going to the part of the plant that you want to eat, the edible part will turn bitter. The plant will also stop growing.

There is no way of preventing bolting, because you just can not control the weather, and you can't stop love. So what is a gardener to do?

I advise the South Carolina gardener to plant a little and plant often. Most of your winter garden plants, everything from collards and broccoli, to lettuce and kale, can be planted and replanted all winter long. Plant a little bit in September, a little bit in October, and like wise all the way up until February.

If your winter crops begin to bolt, go ahead and pull them up, with an exception of onion and garlic. If your onions begin to have a shoot with a seed head on it, just cut that shoot off. If your garlic is molting, you will see a curly shoot, like wise, cut that shoot off. Other crops winter crops are done, when they start to molt.

Collards, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, kale, mustard, turnips and many of you other winter crops just can't help themselves. When it gets hot, they just want to make a little love and get down tonight. South Carolina's weather can be challenging to gardeners, but keep in mind we are also very fortunate, because we can plant our winter garden from fall into early spring. We have a very long growing season. Don't worry about freeze and frost, your winter garden grows better in cooler temperatures.

So plant a little, and plant often. This way, you are not gambling on one harvest, and you can go out and pick fresh produce all winter long, which is apparently summer right now. Cooler temperatures are on the horizon. I've got my sweater ready- do you?

As always, Get Growing South Carolina. Let us show you how.

Just look at what Colton Grew with his Sal's October Box. We take the guess work out of growing. Sal's Local Garden Box is an all-in-one course complete with seeds, directions and fun local gifts. We only have 65 November Boxes going out.

In Sal's October Box, we had really cool colorful lettuce mix, mustard mix and kale mix. Our boxes allow us to be able to purchase for you rarer seeds, that we don't normally sell in store because they are more expensive.


Most garden courses cost upwards of $300.00 and don't include the seeds, nor info custom to South Carolina's unique growing conditions.

Our box is only 27.00 plus tax. A great value. It is great for children and well as adults and is very popular with home schoolers.

Did you know that in South Carolina that you can plant year round?

Let us show you how. Click Here To Order.

Christmas is just around the corner. Sal's Garden Box makes an awesome gift.

Your Sal's Garden Box is full of surprises.

November Box will have (warning spoiler alert)

- Succulent Seeds


-A Pot & Glass Jars to grow in

-A Fun Gift from A Columbia Business

-Directions and Online Help to Get You Growing South Carolina

Local Business is becoming a scarcity. Amazon is one platform to which small businesses can reach a larger audience. Check out some of my favorite garden products .

Make watering easy with The Mister Landscaper. It is very easy to set up. It comes with a dvd. I am not a plumber and I was able to set it up by myself. I am rather proud. Check it out.

Watering from above can cause a host of problems such as blight, leaf rot and mold.

Another one of my favorite products- especially great for getting an early start to peppers, tomatoes and herbs indoors (and more) is the AeroGarden Garden Harvester.

Proper light is really important to get your tomatoes and peppers started off right with a good healthy stem.

You can also start your collards and cabbage indoors.

Visit us on FaceBook and share with us your gardening experiences.

Get Growing South Carolina.

Thanks, Sal

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