How to Pick Lettuce – Garden How To

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 4, 2011

My friend Lucy says that it’s a good year for greens in our area. She’s a master gardener…she would know.  The combination of cold, cold weather and day after day after day after week after week of rain this spring, have really been great for all the greens.  Greens and lettuce are made up mostly of water, so that’s why they’ve been growing like weeds with all this rain!

And lucky for me, I’ve got all sorts of greens in one of the planters in my garden…buttercrisp lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts. And they are all growing with force!

When it comes to picking lettuce from your garden, you really want to get your money’s worth…right?! If you pick it just the right way, another leaf will grow up again in the first leaf’s space…giving your lettuce an extra 3 or 4 weeks to grow!

Leaf Lettuce

When picking leaf lettuce, I suggest picking from the second most from the outside layer of leaves.  The outermost leaves are generally smaller and can be more bitter.  The next layer in from the outermost will be big, strong, flavorful and are perfect for picking.

Pick from there, and then move your way into the middle of the lettuce, picking the largest leaves.  Smaller leaves will begin to grow in their place as long as the weather stays cool enough for them to grow. (Lettuces don’t do well above 65-70 degrees.)

Head Lettuce

If you are growing head lettuce in your garden, simply cut it off at the base, right near the soil. You want to harvest the head lettuce when the leaves are bright, strong and vibrant.

Have you had success with lettuce in your garden?! What varieties are you growing this year?!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie, the Home Maker June 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Thank you for this advice! We have been cutting parts of the lettuce off. It does take a while for it all to grow back.
Will start harvesting this way–I didn’t know how!
Blessings to you!
~Leslie

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Betsy June 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

We also had a great year for lettuce! We did red leaf, green leaf, and butter crunch this year. So good.

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goingoffthegrocerygrid June 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

I thought when lettuce was done, it was done, especially because the heat will make the leaves turn bitter. But, low and behold when I went to check on my garden I found a medium size yellow pepper and….. the lettuce is coming back! :) Thanks for the tip!

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Jen June 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

I didn’t know that lettece doesn’t do well in to much heat. That explains why my lettece looked droopy and sad yesterday and everything else looked great. We are in a 90 plus degree heat wave. I poured water on them, I don’t know if it will make a difference with 90 degree heat.

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