That means you can pick the outer leaves as you need them. Growing lettuce from seedlings for early spring transplant is a good way to get a head start on the growing season. When that time comes, this guide is here to offer you tips for harvesting lettuce with panache. These dishes can be cooked and frozen, and while it may not be the most instinctive way to use lettuce, it is a viable way to set aside a large harvest for later use. The outer leaves may be removed if needed. The lettuce can keep growing as you harvest wave after wave of lettuce leaves. Lettuce is wonderfully tasty stir-fried with ginger, garlic and soy sauce or added to soups. Once the fluffy seed heads have all started showing their silky down and the leaves have browned, clip the seed stalk from the plant. An additional consideration when it comes to harvesting lettuce is whether or not you should be planting next year’s salads. Leaf lettuce is easy to tuck in between and under taller vegetables and is perfect for containers. Harvest the lettuce in the morning for fresh, crisp leaves.   One involves holding a paper bag near the plant and shaking the flower head over it daily until most of the ripened seed is gone. The high water content of lettuce (94.9 percent) creates problems when attempting to preserve the plant – it cannot be successfully frozen, canned or dried and must be eaten fresh. Lettuce quickly degrades when stored with fruit such as apples, pears and bananas that release the ripening agent ethylene gas. Growing lettuce is so easy, takes up little space, and you can even grow it among flowers and herbs. Upload a photo / attachment to this comment (PNG, JPG, GIF - 6 MB Max File Size):  (Allowed file types: jpg, gif, png, maximum file size: 6MB. Enjoy it for fall. How to Harvest Lettuce Lettuce should be harvested when full size, but just before maturity. It is low in calory and rich in vitamins too! Wait until fall and then plant another crop. Once the tiny, teardrop-shaped seeds are separated, I put them in labeled and dated jars or bags and save them for the fall and next spring’s growing. Farmers will harvest lettuce crops between the wee hours of 2 a.m. and sunrise. While thumbing through The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, I came across a brief mention of salata (lettuce pickles) and lettuce kvass. Required fields are marked *. If any of you are adventurous fermenters, it’s well worth the experiment. Also, be sure to leave at least 4 to 6 six leaves at the center. Just be sure to work from the outside in — those tender, tiny, inner leaves are still full of potential growth. You can store them in the freezer or in a dry, dark place. You can eat the leaves at any stage. Final Thoughts. Even though lettuce is familiar to most of us, there’s still a lot to discover with this common plant. If you wait until the afternoon to pick it, lettuce tends to be limp and slightly dried out. How to Make a Living Wall: The Complete Guide, 22 Practical Hedges for the Homestead That Add More Value Than Just Beauty, The 19 Best Patio Plants to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space, 18 Gardening Methods to Choose From to Maximize Your Space, 22 Best Vegetables to Plant in Your Straw Bale Garden. It will prolong their crispness for around a week, maybe. Author: Wren Everett // Last updated on September 29, 2020 Leave a Comment. This rule is the same for all lettuces whether leafy or heading. Harvest Romaine lettuce, also called Cos lettuce, when the leaves have elongated, formed midribs, and overlapped to form a fairly tight head–about 6 to 8 inches tall. A quick, clean slice keeps the plant from getting dirty and also allows plants that are continually harvested to quickly heal. For Romaine and leaf varieties, you could also choose to pick the big outer leaves and let the inner leaves continue to develop for a surprisingly long time. When you do that, the plant dies. Treated this way, some lettuce plants can produce a steady supply of leaves for weeks at a time. A head of hydroponic lettuce grows from seed to harvest in 35 days, making it a good first crop for new hydroponic gardeners. When you plant lettuce, you want to sow a little thicker than the packet recommends. Lift them just before you need them for best taste and the freshest leaves. For now, feel free to continue reading. To harvest individual leaves, use scissors to cut off the outer leaves near the base of the plant. When the head feels firm to the touch, it’s a good signal the time has arrived! Here are the best salad greens to grow indoors in India Lettuce grows for many weeks in the mild weather of spring and fall. This way, the lettuce will regrow. If you leave 2-3 inches of stem above the ground the plant will still send out new leaves. How to Harvest Lettuce Harvesting heads of lettuce is done by cutting them away from the stalk when the head is still firm. You can revive those sad-looking leaves by floating them in a large bowl of icy water. The leaves were roughly torn, fermented, and sometimes blended with dill, sugar, and garlic before being served, but this process is basically unknown in modern culinary practice. It usually is represented in two forms: either a single leaf of romaine, apologetically separating your burger from the bun, or the translucent, colorless chunks of a sodden iceberg that makes up the bulk of the salad you regretfully got instead of the aforementioned burger. Also, if you find that your fresh-harvested lettuce wilted between being picked and making it to the kitchen, don’t despair! Because you can eat buttercrunch leaves of any size, wait at least 24 days if you want to harvest young lettuce leaves. To harvest Romaine heads, use a sharp knife to cut the stem off at ground level. Though the freezer makes the seeds last longer and will also stratify them, I’ve had no problem planting unstratified, fresh-harvested, spring seeds in my fall garden. Once the flower heads are fluffy and dry, it's time to harvest the seeds. If you’re growing your own lettuce, you already know that the best lettuce is the stuff you harvested from the garden 10 minutes earlier. Harvest your lettuce crops in the early morning when they are in peak cool and crisp condition. The longest that I have been harvesting … Learn How to Grow Lettuce at Home Easily in India to enjoy its fresh harvest in salads! It is convenient to start from seeds that are not genetically modified. This may take a surprisingly long time (as in weeks) so be patient. But those of us with gardens know that lettuce is far more than that. Growing lettuce from seed in late summer may … For Crisphead and Butterhead varieties, you will probably want to wait until the plant has formed for a large, one-time harvest. … Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. When it comes to the long-term preservation of vegetables, quick-to-wilt lettuce is probably the worst possible candidate. Or enjoy your lettuces over a longer period by cutting just a few leaves from each plant at a time. Buttercrunch lettuce leaves grow outwards from the center of the head. Your lettuce should be ready for harvest anywhere from one to two months after planting. Don’t cut more than 1/3 of the lettuce off (always leave 2/3 of the plant in the AeroGarden). Your email address will not be published. The only real key to remember is to harvest lettuce in the morning before the sun’s heat has made the leaves limp and less juicy. But believe it or not, I have two rather unconventional ways that keep your spring and fall lettuce haul around longer than the few days that picked leaves stay fresh in the fridge.Though lettuce is the leaf supreme for fresh salads, this plant is surprisingly not just a one-trick pony. This is not a difficult process as it merely involves letting your selected plants do their thing and hoping the heat doesn’t kill them before the seeds mature! . Another way to use lettuce is not one I have personal experience with (yet), and a near-forgotten history waiting for someone to pick it up again. Harvesting lettuce is pretty goof-proof. Harvesting Lettuce Seeds . If you are growing multiple varieties of lettuce, you don’t even really have to worry about cross-pollination Lettuce is self-pollinating and will rarely cross with other varieties. You can keep cut leaves fresher longer by storing them in a container or bag in the refrigerator. 3 Choose Easy to Grow Lettuces Lettuce grows best in cooler climates or in the cooler months of a growing season. How to Harvest Lettuce. How to Grow and Save Lettuce Seed It is very hard not to grow lettuce seed. Uproot the entire plant, and store it in the refrigerator with the roots in a container of water and a damp paper towel or plastic bag over the leaves. Am I going to consume the lettuce right away. Where to Plant Lettuce; The ideal lettuce growing location for spring and fall is in a spot that receives full sun. One seed will become hundreds. What Is Greensand and How Do You Use It In Your Garden? After harvest, lettuce lasts the longest when kept at 0 °C (32 °F) and 96 percent humidity. Lettuce is suitable for outdoor production or low light conditions in greenhouses. So, if you are ready to indulge yourself with some delicious lettuce wraps or hearty green salad, prepare your gardening equipment, take note of these harvesting steps, methods, and tricks and make your first successful lettuce harvest. It is an appropriate notion to make a note on your calendar when your lettuce is anticipated to mature. After that, if you harvest it at least twice a week, you should be able to continue harvesting it for several months. Pots of lettuce are also perfect to grow on your patio or porch. When harvesting your lettuce in batches, it’s best to take every second plant, as this gives the remaining plants plenty of room to grow. We often use it as a living mulch around the tomatoes in the early spring. The plant needs them to keep growing. When the lettuce reaches your desired size, pluck the outer leaves to let the rest of the plant continue to grow or cut the entire plant off at the base. Harvest Crisphead lettuce —such as Iceberg with a solid, tight, spherical head–when heads are medium-size (6 to 8 inches/15-20 cm), round, and firm. Typically, gardeners would harvest the crown and its surrounding leaves once and for all. Loose-leaf lettuce harvest can commence anytime the leaves have shaped however before the formation of a seed stalk. … Both are viable options. There are a couple of ways to complete this process properly. When harvesting lettuce, it's always better to harvest a little too early rather than waiting too long. Though bolting begins to reduce a lettuce plant’s productivity (it is putting all its energy into making a seed stalk, after all) it will repay you exponentially in future harvests. How to Harvest Lettuce: The best way to harvest lettuce is by using a sharp knife to cut the heads off the stalk when they are still firm. To harvest lettuce, simply cut it off near ground level. Also, it is possible to grow lettuce with a mixture of different colors, shapes, and textures in the same hydroponic crop. Grabbing a pinch, holding it a few inches from the jar, and dropping it back in will clean the seeds from the rest of the material pretty well in a few minutes. In this article, I’ll cover how to plant, grow, and harvest … If you plan on growing lettuce during the summer or in warm planting zones, partial shade can provide protection from the heat. All look really healthy and I can’t wait to get them growing and have a first harvest. I like to pile the material in a mason jar and take it outside on a gently breezy day. When harvesting lettuce, whether cutting leaves or bringing in the whole plant, a sharp knife is a great tool. Some people harvest leaf lettuce when it is only a … Cut off 1-2 inches from the top of the lettuce. As soon as the lettuce leaves reach a couple of inches in length, you can begin harvesting “baby lettuce.”. If you have planted heirloom varieties of lettuce, you should plan on allowing some of your best plants to go to seed. Lettuce can take 65-100 days or so to reach maturity relying on the variety that you truck … If you grow your own, you may be delighted with the sight of deeply-lobed Oakleaf, whimsically spotted Bronze Mignonette, wavy-edged Buttercrunch, or maroon-edged Devil Ear. Like I have said before, the best time to start harvesting is about 3 weeks after you have planted the seed pod. This fall crop can be protected under row cover or low tunnels to extend the leaf lettuce harvest into the cooler weather. Growing lettuce in pots or containers is ideal for small gardens or where space is a premium. Use a sharp knife and simply make a clean cut below the head through the stem. Called cut-and-come-again harvesting, harvesting like this not only prolongs the cropping period – so individual … When to harvest? 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My messy-but-it-works method is to take each dry seed stalk indoors to my kitchen table. The younger leaves replace the outermost leaves that fall off or have been harvested. Harvesting loose-leaf lettuce is different from harvesting a head of lettuce, as you can pick loose leaves as it grows rather than waiting for a head or heart to form. Or, for leaf lettuce, you can cut the whole leaf bundle at ground level or take a few leaves at a time as needed. Disclosure. How to Store Lettuce. One rule of thumb states: pick lettuce before the dew evaporates in the morning. As plants grow and begin to crowd, you can thin out the extras as delicious baby greens. If you really need to keep a large amount fresh for a longer time, try the same method used by those funny containers of “live lettuce” at the grocery store. Harvesting lettuce is relatively easy and when done properly can prolong the plant’s life and encourage vigorous and health growth. Then, as lettuces leaf out, you have choices. . If you get them in time, they’ll perk back up in about 15 minutes. Enjoy the cheery, daisy-like yellow flowers as they open, and then wait for the seed stalk to dry to a papery brown. Further research led me to a memoir by Gail Singer and Alexandra Grigorieva (which is free to read online). You can eat the leaves at any stage. Stagger planting your lettuce seeds by weeks so that you have some available for harvesting throughout several different growing seasons but before the climate turns too hot or … If you’ve never grown lettuce before, you still have time to get it in the ground this fall, and harvest a handful of beautiful greens for the kitchen. The best temperature for growing lettuce is from 55 up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 to 21.1 degrees Celsius). Harvesting lettuce is pretty goof-proof. You don’t want to let your lettuce reach full maturity before harvesting because the leaves get bitter. Plan to harvest your lettuce leaves in the morning, when they'll be at their crispest. To do this check the seed packet for days to maturity and do some calculating. Simply make a clean cut just below the head through the stem. I know, I know. Harvesting the Head of Buttercrunch Lettuce Harvest lettuce heads when the lettuce is fully grown. Packed with fiber, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, lettuce is a great addition to salads, soups, and sandwiches. #mizuna #endive #lollobionda #littlegem #littlegems #lettuce #lettucegarden #growasalad #saladleaves #salad #salads #saladsofinstagram #greenhouse #greenhousegrown #grownfromseed #grow #growing #growfood #growingfood #kitchengarden #raisedbeds #homegarden #homegrown #growyourownfood … Cut leaves really don’t last long at room temperature. Cut the lettuce leaves 1/2- to 3/4-inches above the soil level. In my drought-prone, zone 6 garden, heirlooms doggedly send up their stalks and give me a bounty of seeds to harvest. Choose a pot at least 6 inches (15cm) deep, which will provide enough soil depth for the lettuce roots. The great thing about harvesting lettuce this way is that you get a longer supply of lettuce leaves. . How you store lettuce also determines how long the lettuce itself will last. The only real key to remember is to harvest lettuce in the morning before the sun’s heat has made the leaves limp and less juicy. Place the lettuce you cut off into a produce container and put into the fridge until you are ready to use it. LETTUCE AND PEA SOUP WITH CHILLI, DILL PESTO//, A post shared by R U P A B O D H A N I (@the_social_cook_) on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:16am PDT. Lettuce can be stored for 1-2 weeks if refrigerated. Maybe secret a few plants in a cold frame to extend the harvest, and dream of that first flush of early spring leaves once winter’s grip has weakened. Lettuce is easy to grow. Rubbing the stalk between my hands produces a fluffy mess. stir-fried with ginger, garlic and soy sauce, A Year In The Countryside: What We Didn’t Expect About The Simple Life, Raising Muscovy Ducks And Why You Probably Want Them, SunOven: the Ultimate Off-the-grid Cooking Tool for Post-apocalyptic Foodies (w/ video), Green Business Blog Carnival #10 at Cleantechies, 20 Delicious Green Tomato Recipes You Should Try, Lessons From Facing Death On The Homestead, How To Harvest And Transplant Wild Asparagus, 10 Delicious Vegan Sandwiches for Back to School, The 25 Most Gorgeous Garden Stools You Can Buy, How To Choose, Collect, And Save Garden Seeds, Grow Healthy, Flavorful Fruit With The Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes, Homesteader Tips For Dealing With Parasites. It will not produce another head. Be sure to prune the lettuce evenly. Cut the outer lettuce leaves about 1 inch above the crown. When you plant lettuce, you want to sow a little thicker than the packet recommends. Leaf lettuce can be harvested anytime the leaves are large enough for your preference. Harvest whole heads of lettuce in one go by simply pulling up the plant from the ground. This will neatly slide underneath the head a few inches above the root to carefully slice individual leaves off the producing plant. If you pick lettuce leaves early in the day, … By using this method for harvesting lettuce and by planting successive crops, you can have fresh salad green for most of the year. Either way, remove any debris such as cut leaves or brown leaves and put the tray back under the light. When your outer leaves reach around four inches in length, you can either use a pair of shears to snip—or your fingers to snap off—about an inch above the crown of the loose-leaf lettuce plant. Harvesting a large crisp head of lettuce from the garden is a wonderful thing, but for faster yields and longer harvests, a cut and come again lettuce bed can put salad on your plate all season long. Go to any cheap restaurant, and you’ll see a sorry showing of lettuce. Pots and containers can dry out faster than garden-grown lettuce, so keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil and water accordingly. It's also best to pick lettuce early in the morning when it is at its peak flavor and texture. Your email address will not be published. The few survivors and descendants of the Yiddish families who once knew this way of using lettuce carried the memory to the present day. The reason is the tradition of fermenting lettuce for food and drink comes from the shtetl culture of Ukraine which was all but annihilated. Planted early in the spring and fall for multiple harvests a year, easy to grow, and quick to harvest, lettuce is far more than a mere vector for ranch dressing. Lettuce heads should also always be harvested in the morning when temperatures aren't too high. Either cut what you want to use that day or harvest the whole tray. 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