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Garden Update: How To Harvest Lettuce

Garden Update: How To Harvest Lettuce

by Elyse V

Gardening is a relaxing hobby that pays off (fingers crossed) with amazing produce. My garden is currently blooming and growing at a great clip, especially my lettuce. That’s why my garden update today, is all about harvesting lettuce.

I started my plants both from seeds and seedlings. My seeds have all come up and are doing very well. The seedlings are also growing very quick which I’m thrilled about. Last year my seedlings really struggled, but this year they’re really paying off.

When I prepared my soil this year, I found some lettuce seeds I planted late last year had come up again in my covered planter/makeshift greenhouse (made using old windows). I transplanted the lettuce from last year to a different area of my garden and added my seeds and seedlings and my new lettuce patch took off. Now that the lettuce is huge, it’s time to harvest.

Tips On How To Harvest Lettuce:

1) Do not cut the stock and take the whole head of lettuce:

This may seem counterintuitive because when you go to the store you buy a whole head of lettuce. That is not the case when harvesting your garden lettuce because you want it to continue growing to get the most out of your plants. You want multiple cuttings per plant.

2) Cut individual leaves:

This is the proper way to cut lettuce and will give you multiple cuttings. You want to trim the leaves from the outside where the leaves are the largest. Leave the small, inner leaves to keep growing. I cut my lettuce this way, so I can get two to three harvests out of each plant (depending on the variety) before going to seed.

3) Cut the entire plant/pull it out ONLY when it has gone to seed:

After multiple cuttings you will notice that some lettuce will keep getting taller as you cut it. If you notice it growing a small flower in the middle or it looks like a clump of seeds or even something resembling cauliflower, the plant is going or has gone to seed. It will no longer grow tender lettuce and it’s time to pull out the entire plant.

By following these tips for harvesting lettuce, you will be able to enjoy fresh, garden lettuce longer and maximize the harvest of each plant. You may have to wait a few days between cuttings, depending on how many plants you have. More plants generally leads to more harvest so think about how much lettuce you want from your garden when deciding how many plants to grow.

Tip: Plant more lettuce seeds once one of your lettuce plants is big enough to harvest. This helps keep your lettuce patch growing continuously giving you fresh, garden lettuce throughout the growing season.

We hope you enjoyed our garden update and our tips about how to harvest lettuce. You can get so much more out of your garden by knowing how to correctly harvest your fruits and vegetables. I look forward to harvesting my tomatoes. Some of my larger tomato plants even have flowers on them already, which is record-time for me. I’m excited to see how some of my seeds turn out, like the ornamental tomato seeds which now are nearly seedlings. I can’t wait to see how they grow and taste. I’ll be sure to let you know.

Do you have any gardening tips for us? I love learning new proven techniques. Send a pic of your beautiful gardens and harvests. Leave us a comment below and let us know how your gardens are doing this year.

Happy gardening and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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