How do you harvest lettuce in your vegetable garden or container garden?
Do you wait for your lettuce plants to produce heads, then lop off their entire heads at the base? Maybe you prefer a mixed salad bowl and harvest a leaf here and a leaf there?
Seems like a simple concept, right? However, if done incorrectly, it will greatly reduce the productivity of your lettuce plants.
In my latest video, I show you how I harvest lettuce from my lettuce plants and point out tips for keeping them healthy for as long as possible. I also share tips to prevent garden pests.
It really isn’t a matter of harvesting incorrectly. There is no incorrect way to harvest lettuce. However, if you recognize how a lettuce plant grows, you will probably harvest your lettuce according to how the plant develops its leaves.
The heart of the lettuce is in the middle of the plant. This is where the lettuce plant produces new leaves.
The older, outer leaves have been there the longest. They have finished growing and need to be removed.
If you leave them on the plant, not only do they attract slugs, snails and earwigs, they also take growing energy away from the plant. By harvesting from the outer leaves, the plant maintains a compact shape, keeps its lower leaves off the soil, prevents slugs and snails from nesting under them, and encourages the plant to continuously produce new leaves.
In this video, I show you the ideal way to harvest lettuce, along with some additional tips.