Bolt: to produce flowers or seeds prematurely. As for prevention, I've
never found a way beyond normal plant care and a massive dose of luck. It
appears that when my plants are under stress they are motivated to
reproduce before they die.
It means for an annual to flower and go to seed too quickly, usually this
term is applied when we want the leaves (eg lettuce) not the flowers or
seeds. There are some cultivars that are said to be "slow bolting". If you
mulch heavily and put shade cloth over the plant to keep the soil
temperature down you may retard bolting in hot weather somewhat. Once they
decide to go there is nothing you can do. The only real solution is to not
grow the offender in hot conditions. So in my climate (about zone 9b)
despite lettuce being desired for summer salads I don't grow them then.
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