How and When To Choose Your Lettuce

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Lettuce is a superb crop for newbie or impatient gardeners, with some varieties ripening in as little as 30 days! In contrast to fruits that clearly exhibit their ripeness with brilliant colours, lettuce ripeness shouldn’t be as simply recognizable. So how are you going to inform when it’s time to decide your lettuce, and the way do you decide lettuce when there are such a lot of totally different varieties? Maintain studying to search out out! 

Female gardener harvesting a large green head of lettuce from the garden

When must you harvest lettuce?

Lettuce is often planted within the early spring, about 2-4 weeks earlier than the final frost date[1], however in some climates, it may be planted within the fall as properly. Most kinds of lettuce will attain maturity in round 6-8 weeks, however some might be prepared to reap in as little as 30 days[3], or everytime you see leaves large enough to eat! Or, you’ll be able to even harvest immature lettuce leaves as micro-greens. Meaning your spring-planted lettuce might be prepared to reap later within the spring, or in the summertime relying on the range you might be rising. 

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How do you harvest lettuce?

The best way to harvest butterhead lettuce:

The butterhead lettuce selection contains iceberg lettuce, bibb lettuce, and many others. Butterhead lettuce varieties have a spherical form, with unfastened leaves, and take between 60-70 days to totally ripen[5]. To reap butterhead lettuce, pull the unfastened outer leaves away from the top, leaving the interior leaves to proceed ripening. You too can take away all the head of lettuce to get pleasure from by chopping it on the base with a kitchen knife. This can offer you a wide range of massive and small leaves

The best way to harvest leaf lettuce:

Leaf lettuces have an “open progress behavior, which kinds unfastened clusters of leaves moderately than a good head”[2]. Some varieties embody butter lettuce and purple leaf lettuce.  Leaf lettuce varieties usually take as much as 8 weeks to develop totally. It is best to examine in case your leaf lettuces are ripe after 50 or 60 days[5] from planting. Utilizing gardening scissors, reduce off the outer leaves, about 2 inches above the bottom of the plant. Your leaf lettuce’s smaller interior leaves will start to mature and you’ll examine once more to reap the now matured leaves, and so forth. 

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The best way to harvest romaine lettuce:

Romaine lettuce is in style for its crisp texture because of its excessive water content material. Romaine lettuce varieties develop “a tall head of sturdy darkish inexperienced leaves with agency ribs down their facilities”[6]. Such a lettuce takes round 50-75 days to ripen[5] and the entire head must be harvested without delay. To reap use a kitchen knife to chop the romaine head on the base. 

How are you going to inform when lettuce is ripe?

There are 5 foremost kinds of lettuce “red-leaf, green-lead, stalk, heading lettuces and romaine”[5] all of which have dozens of sorts. These numerous lettuces will develop at totally different speeds and will present totally different indicators that they’re ripe, however contemplating the time of planting might be your greatest guess when deciding in case your lettuce is able to decide or not. 

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How are you going to inform when butterhead lettuce is ripe?

Butterhead lettuce varieties are ripe round 60-70 days after planting. One of the best ways to find out the ripeness of your butterhead lettuce is to really feel it out, actually. Your lettuce must be agency, and the top ought to really feel full, indicating that there are many immature leaves on the heart. It is best to maintain the butterhead lettuce in your arms and squeeze it to find out if it feels full and agency. The leaves might be barely open with some area in between leaves, not densely packed collectively. 

How are you going to inform when leaf lettuce is ripe?

Leaf lettuces might be picked as early as 30 days, although leaves might be barely smaller. Moreover, leaf lettuces might be picked even earlier as micro-greens. Leaf lettuces will usually be totally ripened 60 days after planting. When your leaf lettuce is at peak ripeness, the outer leaves might be round 4-5 inches tall[5] and might be deeply coloured, with very ruffled leaves. 

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How are you going to inform when romaine lettuce is ripe?

Romaine lettuce is often prepared to reap 70 days after planting[4], and contemplating the time of planting might be an amazing indicator of ripeness. However there are different indicators that can let you understand when it’s time to select your romaine. When ripe, romaine varieties will “attain no less than 6 inches tall and have a 3-inch huge base”[5]. The outer leaves might be darker inexperienced than these on the heart and can have a rippled edge. One other nice option to inform your romaine is ripe is to do the snap take a look at. Select an outer go away and break it off. In case you hear a transparent “snap” on the rib, your romaine is able to harvest. 


Article Sources:

  1. Almanac. “Planting, Rising, and Harvesting Lettuce
  2. Delighted Cooking. “What’s Leaf Lettuce
  3. Gilmour. “Rising Lush, Inexperienced, Crisp, Lettuce
  4. Hunker. “The best way to Know When Romaine Lettuce Is Able to Choose
  5. SFGATE. “The best way to Inform When Lettuce Is Ripe
  6. Wikipedia. “Romaine Lettuce