Asked in Lettuce
How do you pick leaf lettuce?
December 27, 2010 10:31PM
Just break the leaves you want off from near the base, usually starting with the outer leaves if they're not too old. The plant just keeps on growing, supplying leaves whenever you want!
Cut-and-come-again lettuce culture:
You can also snip the whole plant off 1" from the ground with a pair of scissors. Water the plant, and it will re-sprout and give you a second, smaller cutting 2 weeks later. Lettuce grown for cut-and-come-again culture is usually planted on close centers, about 4" apart, instead of the normal 6". The technique works best with leaf and butterhead lettuce varieties. Mow a swath for a salad, water it, then mow another swath the next time you want a salad. By the time you reach the end of the bed, the first swaths you cut have re-sprouted and are ready for a second cutting.
All lettuces eventually form flower stalks and turn bitter, so it's best to harvest the whole plant before this happens. Lettuce that has bolted and gone bitter can be used in stir-fries, where the bitterness is masked by the sauce.