Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bolting Turnip is Going to Seed


It looks like one of my many turnip plants has decided to bolt! No, it's not running away from the confines of my raised bed. This turnip plant has decided to grow really tall and skip producing a turnip in order to flower and produce seeds. 

It doesn't happen all the time but plants will do this if they are stressed. Unfortunately, it means I won't get a turnip from this one plant (don't worry I still have plent more!).  

When plants start to go to seed (usually when you notice flower buds forming), the plant focuses its energy on the seeds of the next generation. Sometimes, this can be delayed by clipping off the flower buds (you can do this to most herbs) however, it won't help with turnip. 

From my research online, turnip usually bolts to seed when it's stressed by one or two things. The first is poor soil. Considering I added healthy compost and soil to my raised garden this year, as well as the fact that other plants are fine, I don't suspect it's the soil. 

The other reason is stress due to too many hot days. Bingo! It's actually been a pretty warm May for southern Connecticut, especially after coming off a record cold start to the year! Turnip is a cool weather crop and therefore doesn't do well in the hot weather. 

I'm guessing this one plant thought it was just too hot to do the work of producing a turnip and decided to go to seed and let the next generation do the work! 

The rest of my turnip should be ready in ages more weeks! I can't wait!