There is a certain time to do everything, the same is the case with the plant there is a certain time limit for each growing stage of the plant. In the same way, there is a certain stage for harvesting the leaf of lettuce. If you harvest leaf lettuce on time then it will give you a quality product which is according to the market value, otherwise, the leaves move towards hardiness due to excessive deposition of the minerals and other content in it, which ultimately Detroit it’s quality. The same way the harvesting technique should be appropriate for harvesting the leaves of lettuce.
Here, in this article, I will tell you when and how to harvest leaf lettuce and enjoy its quality content. Many people think out to harvest the entire head to the dugout while harvesting leaf lettuce. While in reality, picking loose-leaf lettuce with the cut gives you more fresh leaves and in this way, it will extend the growing period and its harvesting phase extended well into the summer months.
When to Harvest leaf lettuce?
Lettuce could be a cool weather crop, although it required sunlight it is one of those plants which perform best under the partial shade. Unlike lettuces like an iceberg, loose-leaf lettuce does not form a head but, instead of them, they give loose leaves. This implies that while the complete head of iceberg is harvested, picking loose-leaf lettuce is simply that picking leaves. You can harvest leaf lettuce at any time as soon as leaves begin to form but should be prior to the formation of a seed stalk.
How to Harvest leaf lettuce?
There are many ways to harvest leaf lettuce, the most appropriate one is cut and come again method. In which you can get multiple cuttings. It also based on the selection of appropriate variety. Not all the varieties produce loose leaves and multiple harvests some variety also give the one-time full mature harvest.
To grow lettuce with the cut and are available again method, it is best, to begin with, loose-leaf varieties like mesclun during a form of colors, flavors, and textures. The sweetness of planting loose-leaf varieties is twofold. The plants will be spaced much closer together within the garden 4-6 inches then lettuce leaf meaning no thinning needed and garden space is maximized. Also, you will plant weekly or every other week to induce a continual revolving leaf lettuce harvest.
The thing required for harvesting:
You can harvest the leaves by using simple material like:
- Salad spinner or dish towel
- Plastic zipper bag
Once leaves begin to seem and that they are about 4 inches long, you will be able to begin harvesting leaf lettuce. Simply snip either single outer leaves and grab a bunch of them and cut them with shears or scissors an in and above the crown of the plant. If you narrow into or below the crown, the plant will probably die, so watch out again. Leaf lettuce is also picked any time after leaves form, but before the plant start bolting. Older leaves are often stripped off the plants first which allowing the young leaves to still grow.
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Role of spacing in harvesting:
Ideally for a cut and are available again lettuce garden, you will have multiple rows of lettuce growing. Some at the identical stage of maturity and a few that per week or two behind. In this fashion, you will be able to have a continuous revolving supply of greens. Harvest from different rows on every occasion you decide lettuce to permit those who are picked to regrow about time period post-harvest for many varieties. To shield the leaf lettuce, cover the rows with shade or row covers to slow down their bolting tendency in atmospheric conditions. If they are moving towards bolting, it is likely to look at grow leaf lettuce. Wait until fall so plants another crop. This fall crop is protected under row cover or low tunnels to increase the leaf lettuce harvest into the cooler weather. By using this method for harvesting lettuce and by planting successive crops, you will be able to have fresh leafy vegetables for many of the years.
Key steps of harvesting lettuce:
Here are the key steps which you have to follow while harvesting leaf lettuce.
- Lettuce should be harvested when reaching to full size, but just before maturity. The leaves taste best when they are still young and tender.
- Butterhead and romaine types are harvested by removing the outer leaves, exploit the full plant, or cutting the plant about an in, above the soil surface. A second harvest is commonly possible when using primary or third methods.
- Crisphead lettuce is picked when the middle is firm.
- Mature lettuce gets bitter and woody and can go bad quickly, so check your garden every day for ready to harvest leaves.
- It is best to reap lettuce within the morning before leaves are exposed to the sun.
- As time passes and also the plant loses vigor. You will be more contented planting a second round of seeds than awaiting new leaves.
- Keep the lettuce within the refrigerator for up to 10 days in an exceedingly loose bag.
Tips for harvesting leaf lettuce:
Here are the following tips, you have to follow while harvesting leaf lettuce.
- First, clean a pair of sharp scissors to get rid of any dirt or debris, then wipe the blades with a soft cloth or towel moistened with lotion before and after use. This reduces contamination of the lettuce leaves you are harvesting and protects the plant that continues to grow.
- Plan to harvest your leaf lettuce within the morning, when they will be at their crispest. Cut the outer lettuce leaves about 1 inch above the crown. It will protect the crown therefore the lettuce can continue growing. Stop the number of lettuce needed when the leaves reach a length between 3 and 6 inches.
- Water the lettuce plant regularly to encourage continued growth even after you start harvesting. Keep the soil moist but avoid water logging conditions and overly saturated soil. Adequate water also helps to discourage bolting which indicates that lettuce plant moves towards the reproductive stage and gives more time to plant for growing additional leaves.
- Remove the middle of the lettuce plant, which begins to grow tall just before bolting. this can slow the bolting process so you are able to reap more lettuce before your plants attend seed.
- Harvest the outer leaves while they are still young and succulent or cut the whole plant all the way down to 2 inches and look ahead to the luxurious burgundy leaves to regrow.
- Cut off the loose-leaf lettuce plant’s outer leaves with a pair of scissors after they reach 2 to three inches tall. Grasp the highest of the leaf in one hand and cut horizontally across its bottom, as near the plant’s base as possible. Leave the inner, smaller leaves to continue growing. Place the leaves during a bowl after cutting them.
- Hold the leaves under running water. Rub the leaves to get rid of any clinging dirt or debris. Spin the leaves during a salad spinner or pat them with a towel to get rid of the surplus moisture. Place the dry leaves during a plastic zipper bag and store the bag during a refrigerator with a continuing temperature of 35 F for up to seven days.
Now get ready with your scissor and cut the fresh healthy leaves and dress your salad with them.