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. The different growers had a different opinion regarding the harvesting of leaf lettuce. At first time cultivation, people confuse at the time of harvesting that some had an opinion to harvest loose leaves only while others had to dugout whole head of leaf lettuce. Here in this article I will tell you how to harvest leaf lettuce.
When to harvest leaf lettuce:
There is an appropriate time to do anything like sowing harvesting also had an appropriate time otherwise it may affect the quality of the leaves. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop and though it desires sun. there is one of the few vegetation that will do properly in partial shade. Unlike lettuces such as iceberg, unfastened leaf lettuce does not shape a bead but instead unfastened leaves. This potential that whilst the whole head of iceberg is harvested choosing free leaf lettuce is just that picking leaves. Loose-leaf lettuce harvest can commence anytime the leaves have shaped however before the formation of a seed stalk.
It is an appropriate notion to make a note on your calendar when your lettuce is anticipated to mature. To do this check the seed packet for days to maturity and do some calculating. Lettuce can take 65-100 days or so to reach maturity relying on the variety that you truck into your garden bed.
Read: Fresh Garden Salad recipe with lettuce
How to harvest leaf lettuce:
There are different ways to harvest leaf lettuce, cut and come again is one of them.
Cut and come again:
To develop lettuce with the cut and come again method, it is great, to begin with, unfastened leaf types like mesclun in a variety of colors, flavors, and textures. The splendor of planting feels leaf sorts is twofold. The vegetation can be spaced an awful lot closer together in the garden 4-6 inches than head lettuce which means no thinning need and backyard space is maximized. Also, you can plant each week or each different week to get a continuous revolving leaf lettuce harvest.
Once leaves start to appear and they are about 4 inches long, you can begin harvesting leaf lettuce. Simply snip both single outer leaves or grab a bunch of them and reduce them with shears or scissors an inch above the crown of the plant. If you reduce into or beneath the crown the plant will likely die so be careful. Again, leaf lettuce might also be picked any time after leaves form, however before the plant bolts or form seed stalk. Older leaves are often stripped of the flora first, permitting the young leaves to continue to grow.
Ideally for a cut and come again lettuce garden you will have a couple of rows of lettuce growing. Some at the identical stage of maturity and some that are a week or two behind. This way you can have a revolving provide of greens. Harvest from different rows every time you choose lettuce to allow these that have been picked to regrow about two weeks post-harvest for most varieties.
If you want to harvest the whole ice-berg. The harvest is based totally on the size and form of the head. It should be firm with a well-shaped head. It is harvested by using the head off the stalk.
Protection from deterioration:
To protect the leaf lettuce, cover the rows with a color cloth or row covers to slow their bolting tendency in hot weather. If they do bolt it is probable to warm to develop leaf lettuce. Wait until fall and then plant another crop. This fall crop can be protected beneath row cowl or low tunnels to extend the leaf lettuce harvest into the cooler weather. By using this technique for harvesting lettuce and by using planting successive crops, you can have clean salad inexperienced fo most of the year, lettuce can be stored for 1-2 weeks if refrigerated.
Material required for harvesting:
Here is the following thing which you require for harvesting.
- Salad spinner and dishwasher
- Plastic zipper bag
Steps to harvest leaf lettuce:
Here are the following steps to harvest leaf lettuce.
- Clean a pair of sharp scissors to eliminate any filth or debris, then wipe the blades with a soft cloth or paper towel moistened with rubbing alcohol before and after use. This reduces illness of the lettuce leaves you are harvesting and protects the plant that continues to grow.
- Plan to harvest your lettuce leaves in the morning. When they will be at their crispest. Cut the outer lettuce leaves about 1 inch above the crown. This protects the crown so the lettuce can continue growing. Cut off the amount of lettuce wanted when the leaves reach a length between 3 and 6 inches.
- Cut off the free leaf lettuce plant outer leaves with a pair of scissors when they reach 2-3 inches tall. Grasp the pinnacle of the leaf in one hand and reduce horizontally across its bottom as close to the plant base as possible. Leave the inner smaller leaves to proceed to grow. Place the leaves in a bowl after reducing them.
- Hold the leaves beneath strolling faucet water. Rub the leaves eliminate any clinging dirt or debris. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner or pat them with a dish towel to take away the extra moisture. Place the dry leaves in a plastic zipper bag and store the bag in a refrigerator with a steady temperature of 35oF for up to seven days.
- Cut off or uproot every different lettuce plant developing in the row as soon as the heads reach a mature size to furnish area for the last lettuce to hold growing. Continue to harvest the outer leaves of the closing vegetation in an equal manner as be.
- Cut off or uproot the closing lettuce flower once they start to bolt, which is when they produce a flower stalk. Discard the foliage if it tastes bitter.
- Water the lettuce commonly to motivate persisted boom even after you begin harvesting. Keep the soil moist but keep away from standing water or overly saturated soil. Adequate water also helps discourage bolting which potential the lettuce goes to seed to give the plant greater time to develop extra leaves.
- Remove the core of the lettuce plant, which starts evolved to develop tall simply earlier than bolting. This will slow the bolting system so you are in a position to harvest greater lettuce earlier than your flora goes to seed.
Harvesting for different varieties:
Plant successive vegetation of lettuce at some point in the growing season. This staggers the harvesting time to enable longer availability of fresh leaves for your salads and sandwiches. Lettuce varieties that lend themselves well to the cut and come again harvest method encompass.
- Loose-leaf lettuce: gorgeous in the garden and your bowl. Merlot has brought gain of being antioxidant-rich. Harvest the outer leaves whilst they are nevertheless young and succulent or cut the entire plant down to two inches and wait for the lush burgundy leaves to regrow.
- Di canarino lettuce: Bright green deeply lobed leaves are the hallmark of this mildly flavored, crisp but tender variety, whose name interprets to canary tongue in English. You have the choice of harvesting the young outer leaves of immature plants and are ready for the flora to mature and harvesting the entire head.
- Seeded simpson lettuce: this large erect heirloom range dates all the way returned to 1850. Not solely is it tolerant of dry, frosty and hot conditions.it is also early to harvest and rapid to fill your bowl with a profusion of tender-crisp, pale green and frilly leaves.
Tips to harvest leaf lettuce:
There are the following tips to follow for harvesting leaf lettuce.
- Lettuce needs to be harvested when full size, but just before maturity. The leaves style quality when they are still younger and tender.
- Before maturity, you can harvest leaf lettuce through simply eliminating outer leaves so that the middle leaves can continue to develop.
- Butterhead or romaine kinds can be harvested by doing away with the outer leaves, digging up the entire plant, or reducing the plant about an inch above the soil surface. A 2nd harvest is frequently possible when the use of the first or third methods.
- Crisphead lettuce is picked when the middle is firm.
- Mature lettuce receives bitter and woody and will go bad quickly, so test your backyard day today for ready to harvest leaves.
- It is fantastic to harvest lettuce in the morning earlier than leaves have been exposed to the sun.
- As time passes and the plant loses vigor, you may additionally be higher off planting a 2nd spherical of seeds than waiting for new leaves.
- Keep lettuce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days in a loose plastic bag.
Hopefully, through this article you get that how to harvest leaf lettuce.
Robert Davis, the owner of Growfoodguide.com, is passionate about all that has to do with growing your own organic vegetables.