Finding the Best Way to Remove Bolting Vegetables

Posted on Aug 12 2009 - 3:00am by Mike Lieberman

The lettuce in my self watering containers have bolted. I needed to figure out how to remove them from the containers, so I can plant another round of vegetables.

I’ve read of two different ways of removing the bolted plants. The first is to remove the plant from the root. The other is to cut the plant at the soil line.

To find out which way was better, I decided to do both to see the results. In the containers that there were no other plants, I pulled them from the roots. The containers that contained other plants, I cut at the soil line.

Once the plants were removed, I added a little bit of compost to them.

I’ll leave them alone for a few days to if the plants continue to grow before I get my next round planted.

Which way do you think will work better?

  • AnitaAvalos

    interested to see how it turns out…what would've been the better way to have harvested them? did you mean working from the outside in?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Pretty sure that cutting at soil line will be enough.

    I just should've kept picking from the outside leaves. Instead of picking everything and jamming down my throat.

  • nanfischer

    I think you did the right thing to not disturb the other plants in the container by lopping it off at the soil line. But to pull completely from the other one allowed you room for compost for new seeds.

    I cut all my lettuce like salad greens. I got through with scissors and cut them when they are not too small, but not enormous, either. This way, it's easier to see if they are getting ready to bolt, too. I cut my beet greens, chard and kale the same way. Just chop 'em off.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Agreed. After a few days, things seem to be status quo in each of the containers. Also not starting from seed. Since this is my first time, I'm transplanting. Will likely start from seed next year.

    Lesson learned about harvesting the lettuces. Need to remove from the outside and leave in the inside leaves. Looking forward to getting more production from this set of planting.

  • nanfischer

    If you have a sunny window, you can grow crisp lettuces, like romaine, all winter. Leaf lettuces get too thin.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

    Need to start planning and more importantly getting ready for fall.

  • nanfischer

    I think you did the right thing to not disturb the other plants in the container by lopping it off at the soil line. But to pull completely from the other one allowed you room for compost for new seeds.

    I cut all my lettuce like salad greens. I got through with scissors and cut them when they are not too small, but not enormous, either. This way, it's easier to see if they are getting ready to bolt, too. I cut my beet greens, chard and kale the same way. Just chop 'em off.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Agreed. After a few days, things seem to be status quo in each of the containers. Also not starting from seed. Since this is my first time, I'm transplanting. Will likely start from seed next year.

    Lesson learned about harvesting the lettuces. Need to remove from the outside and leave in the inside leaves. Looking forward to getting more production from this set of planting.

  • nanfischer

    If you have a sunny window, you can grow crisp lettuces, like romaine, all winter. Leaf lettuces get too thin.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

    Need to start planning and more importantly getting ready for fall.