Once a lettuce plant starts to bolt (go to seed), the leaves will start to taste bitter. Each plant and each variety will turn bitter at its own time. So be sure to taste-test a leaf from each plant before you harvest the whole plant to determine if it's still edible to you. Once it's too bitter, you can decide whether to pull the plant for the compost pile or let it bolt further so you can harvest the seeds for sowing in the fall.
Like our last couple of years, we continue to have a stretched-out Spring, with cool temperatures that give us an extended length of time to plant cool-weather-loving vegetables and flowers and vines and trees.
Unlike past years, this year’s COVID-19 directives are for staying safe at home and avoiding travel to nonessential destinations.
Although many plant nurseries remain open as essential, their online-ordering and curb-pick-up procedures preclude the recreational shopping value that I always look forward to – traveling far and wide to nurseries throughout Southern California, wandering through the nurseries seeing what’s available (especially those items I wouldn’t ordinarily have thought of), choosing the exact plants that I want, and visiting with the staff and other customers.
Ah, how our lives change in unforeseen ways!
Here are some of my favorite nurseries and botanic gardens that are still open to some degree. Be sure to check their websites before venturing out, however, in case another last-minute change has been made.
Nurseries Open With Limited Hours
Nurseries Open for Online Ordering and Curb Pickup
Botanic Garden Open for Walking Only (no other services)
Sharing Your Seedlings, Cuttings and Other Plants
If you started a batch of seeds before we knew about this COVID-19 business, and now you have billions of seedlings ready for transplanting but can’t drive around sharing them at your garden meetings, here’s a thought: Put them on your curb so passersby can take them.
I suggest that you add a “FREE” sign, label each plant, and provide your name and email address or phone number so takers unfamiliar with gardening or those particular plants can contact you to discuss how to grow them.
Might I also suggest that you recommend my www.GardeningInLA.net website so they can become more familiar with gardening in general.
This way, we’ll “grow” our neighborhoods one plant at a time!
For more garden tasks, see April.