By Heather Rhoades
Unlike head lettuce, leaf lettuce grows in leaves and does not form a head. The form of the leaves varies depending on the variety of leaf lettuce harvest you have planted, and the color varies as well. Leaf lettuce is the easiest of lettuces to grow, and because of this you could end up with a great leaf lettuce harvest your first season planting it. Let’s look at how to harvest leaf lettuce.
Before harvesting garden leaf lettuce, you need to plant it. Because leaf lettuce grows quickly, you can plant it throughout the growing season and be harvesting leaf lettuce all growing season long. All you need to do is stagger your plantings and spend your time harvesting garden leaf lettuce as the leaves reach maturity.
How to Harvest Leaf Lettuce
Harvesting leaf lettuce is quite simple. Are you having salad for dinner? Walk out to the garden and pick the leaves that are mature. When you think about how to pick leaf lettuce, just remember that you don’t want to uproot the whole plant. This will cause the rest of the plant to die off. Be gentle, and quickly snap off each mature leaf, leaving behind those that are not yet ready so they can grow bigger for another day.
Make sure you know how to harvest leaf lettuce so that your garden doesn’t become overgrown with large, overly ripened leaf lettuce. If this happens, these leaves are not really usable because they get tough and bitter. Harvesting garden leaf lettuce should be done before these leaves get tough. If you know how to pick leaf lettuce, you can have fresh lettuce in your salads for every meal throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Harvesting leaf lettuce is not difficult, and your leaf lettuce harvest can be quite bountiful because of the long growing season. When harvesting leaf lettuce by mature leaf instead of the whole plant, you will then have time to have a second or even a third harvest. If you enjoy salads, leaf lettuce is a great garden staple.