Are you ready to enjoy all-year-round fresh green salad lettuce? Let’s dive in. Lettuce leaves should be harvested the appropriate way so it keeps growing nonstop. If you’re wondering how to harvest lettuce leaf the right way, we will teach you how to go about it.
Nothing is more pleasing when a gardener is able to grow and harvest fresh lettuce and get that non-stop or continuous harvest. Read on to discover how to harvest a cut and come again lettuce leaf.
Planting Lettuce Leaf Right
Some gardeners, especially newbies may think when you harvest lettuce leaf once you can’t come back for it again. But that’s mostly not true. If you cut your lettuce leaf the right way, you can always come again for another cut.
The best lettuce variety that will allow you to cut and keep growing is the mesclun variety. This mesclun variety is loose-leaf lettuce rather than head lettuce and it offers great textures, flavor, and colors.
This type of lettuce variety can be spaced a bit closer to each other. Every week or every other week, ensure you plant new crops so you can enjoy nonstop harvest leaf lettuce. If you wish to choose other lettuce varieties, they are also fine.
Learn How to Harvest Green Leaf Lettuce
You can start harvesting your lettuce leaf or baby lettuce when they attain about 4 inches long. The outer leaves are the best to pick so always aim to cut the outward leaves. These ones always taste amazing and you can prepare some lovely salad green with them. Be sure they always taste superior compared to the matured ones.
Use a sharp tool like scissors or shears to cut them in singles or a bunch above the crown. Avoid cutting inwards or below the crown so your lettuce plant does not die off.
A lettuce farm where you can continuously harvest will have several rows of growing lettuce. The lettuce leaves will continue to grow at various stages of maturity with some being a week or two older. As you continue this cycle, you are also slowing down the bolting process which is what we want.
Every time you pick, ensure you pick from different rows so other rows that have been harvested before can have time to grow again. Each time you harvest, ensure you plant progressively so you can come for more crops after a week or two of harvesting. This is another way of ensuring the cut and come again experience.
Always have in mind that after cutting a row, the new lettuce leaf will be ready to be harvested again in about two weeks.
When To Harvest Leaf Lettuce
You can check your seed pack for days of maturity to know when to harvest your lettuce leaves. Depending on the kind of variety your choose, lettuce can take up to 60 to 100 days to mature.
From the size and shape of the lettuce head, you should be able to tell when it’s ready.
However, you can harvest anytime, just ensure you always harvest your lettuce leaf before they go into bolting. They enter bolting at the end of their growing season and this is when you should discontinue harvest.
Bolting is when they start to enter the flowering stage and this occurs during the hot season. Bolted lettuce leaf will result in a bitter taste which is what we do not want.
During the hot season, you can try and shield the lettuce leaf by covering each row. Use shade cloth or row covers to shield your lettuce. This will help in delaying the bolting process.
However, you should avoid planting lettuce during hot climates. Hold on till the climate is cool around fall or spring and continue planting your lettuce.
How To Pick Lettuce
Always harvest the outer part of the lettuce leaf throughout their growing season and harvest at the right size. Ensure you plant more lettuce progressively as you harvest. If you do this always, you will enjoy continuous growth for many more seasons. Remember, lettuces will only grow well in cool weather conditions.
Once you have harvested your lettuce leaf, you can store them by refrigerating them for a week or two.
If you follow our tips on how to successfully plant and harvest leaf lettuce, you should be able to enjoy fresh and green salad all year round.
We do hope this information has been helpful to your garden. Happy growing.