Written by Gardyn's Plant Scientist, Clarice Matt
Summer’s in full swing which means higher temperatures inside and out. While a few degrees may not change our daily lifestyle, for a plant, it can make all the difference!
Keep reading to learn how warmer seasonal temps impact your Gardyn plants, plus get helpful tips to optimize your harvests during the summer season.
What warmer indoor temperatures mean for your Gardyn
All plants follow a life cycle from germination to producing seeds. Environmental factors like temperature, light cycle, and the age of your plant influence how quickly your plant progresses through this cycle.
Thanks to Kelby, you don’t have to worry about fluctuating levels of light or water. Temperature and humidity, however, are directly influenced by your home environment.
When indoor temperatures rise, your Gardyn plants respond by shifting their energy from growing foliage to producing seeds much sooner. This process is called bolting.
It’s important to remember that eventually, all plants will bolt as they follow the natural progression of the plant life cycle.
Signs of bolting
The first sign of bolting is stem elongation (image A below). When the stem of your lettuce starts to grow tall, leaf production slows as the plant begins to redirect resources.
If you notice stem elongation on your plants, this is a good time to start germinating replacement yCubes to ensure a continual harvest.
The second sign of bolting is increased bitterness in flavor. Depending on the variety, this could include increased spiciness, like in Red or Green Mustard.
Finally, flower buds (image B above) followed by flowers (image C above) at the plant’s center indicate your plants have fully crossed over into bolting and need to be replaced. From this point on, your plant will continue to send up new flowers, determined to produce seeds.
Maximize your summer harvests
Here are a few simple things you can do to help prolong your harvests in summer:
1. Choose heat-tolerant varieties
Some leafy greens adapt to fluctuations in temperature better than others. These include Tokyo Bekana (our most bolt-resistant green), Breen, Butterhead, Red Salad Bowl, Lollo Rossa, Swiss Chard, and Kale.
These varieties will not shift into producing seeds as quickly as others. To help slow the bolting clock even more, be sure to place your leafy greens along the outer edges of your Gardyn where light and temperature levels are less intense.
2. Grow plants that love heat
Thankfully, with fruiting plants, bolting is not an issue. In fact, many of our varieties thrive in heat!
3. Plant in succession
Summer doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your heat-sensitive favorites! To balance plants’ shorter life cycles in summer, simply rotate your yCubes more frequently to keep enjoying what you love most, even if it bolts faster than usual this time of year.
Another option is to germinate yCubes in intervals – a Gardyn-version of succession planting.
For example, germinate 10-15 yCubes, wait 7-10 days, and then begin germinating a new group of yCubes. Staggering yCube germination diversifies the life cycle stages on your Gardyn at any one time and ensures you always have plants ready to harvest.
Whichever method you choose to optimize your summer harvests, our advice is to experiment with different methods to fine tune what works best for you. Who knows, maybe your next favorite just happens to be heat-tolerant, too!