How to Harvest Lettuce Properly For Regrowth

How do you harvest lettuce properly so that it grows back? Lettuce is a plant that is hardly grown from seed but it is very easy to grow. However, how you cultivate your lettuce is very important to enable it to grow back. There are different varieties of lettuce, learning how to cultivate them is just as important as you grow them. Lettuce can grow even among flowers and the easiest type of lettuce is leaf lettuce, you can easily have it tuck between or under taller vegetables.

Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that takes very little space in your garden. But, the harvesting technique is important for lettuce as it allows you to cut the amount of lettuce you need while the plant can continue to produce leaves. Lettuce might be one of the best vegetable gardens but only if you harvest it correctly every time.

Although lettuce is a vegetable that will tolerate some shade, it grows fast in full sun. This vegetable is one of the most widely planted salad vegetables and with the right lettuce growing guide, you can have it growing back in your garden year after year.

If you are a first-time lettuce grower then we are sure you are curious about how to properly harvest lettuce for regrowth. The process is not as complicated as it sounds. No matter the variety of lettuce you are growing, this article have you covered.

Does Lettuce Grow Back After Cutting?

Lettuce will grow back after cutting but this is if the proper cutting technique is applied and you keep it watered after harvesting. Head lettuce often die back after harvesting but most leaf lettuce tends to regrow and might need some help to produce larger leaves. You are likely to get another round of harvest from leaf lettuce within two weeks since leaf lettuce works well with the cut and grow technique.

Head lettuce can also be harvested the same way as leaf lettuce to make sure it regrows after cutting but this is in warm climates where head lettuce doesn’t make a firm head, you can simply remove leaves when they are large enough to eat.

Butterhead lettuce

How to Harvest Lettuce Properly For Regrowth

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to harvest, you just need to make sure it is done properly. When to harvest lettuce depends on the type of lettuce planted. But not to worry, lettuce is a fast-growing crop and most varieties are ready to be harvested between 30 to 70 days. To jump-start lettuce harvest, you can cover the early spring bed with plastic-covered mini tunnels or fabric. This is sure to offer it protection from frost and cool temperatures.

There are several ways lettuce can be harvested but to make sure you can keep enjoying it after harvesting, there is a simple and effective way to do that. Leaf lettuce can simply be harvested from the outside of the plant which leaves the central bud to grow more leaves.

Leaf lettuce can be harvested at just any size and the baby leaves can also be picked for tender salads. When it comes to an iceberg, it tends to bolt quickly in hot weather so it’s best to have spring crops planted as soon as possible, you can have it harvested like leaf lettuce removing the leaves as soon as they are large enough.

Head lettuce is best cultivated by cutting them away from the stalk when the head is still firm. Leaf lettuce is often the lettuce plant that grows back after harvesting but if head lettuce is properly cared for then you are sure to get a good harvest a second time.

Tips To Harvest Leaf Lettuce

Leaf lettuce can be harvested at just about any size and you can simply cut the entire leave at the base. However, to make sure your leaf lettuce keeps growing after harvesting, there are simple tips that can be followed.

  • Using a clean pair of scissors or snips, cut the outer layers of the leaves until you are sure you have had enough. Ensure your scissor is scleaned properly and moistened with rubbing alcohol before and after use to make sure it reduces the risk of contamination for your leaf lettuce.
  • Harvest from different rows each time you pick leattuce leaves to enable the previous ones to regrow.
  • Water the lettuce regularly to ensure regrwoth
  • If you choose to have the entire plants harvested and still need it to regrow then make sure to cut the plant an inch above the soil surface.
  • Keep the soil moist and we drained but avoid standing water.

Tips To Harvest Head Lettuce

Head lettuce is the common lettuce type such as iceberg and romaine. Head lettuces can be harvested just as easily as loose-leaf lettuce. Although all types of lettuce will eventually form heads, however the ones that are grown specifically include iceberg and romaine. So to ensure a successful growing season of lettuce, here are simple tips to help you harvest it properly.

  • Use a clean sharp knife or scissors to clip the entire head of the lettuce at the base of the plant. This lettuce type has the tendency to blot afster in hot waether so have the entire head removed for harvest.
  • To amke sure it regrows, ensure to leave an inch of the plant above the soil surface.
  • Water regularly.
Lettuce varieties
Image: Envato Element

Your leaf lettuce is sure to grow back as long as you keep them watered regularly and so will head lettuce if they are harvested properly. To protect leaf lettuce and prevent it from bolting during the hot season, cover the rows with clothes or have it planted between taller plants. You can have fresh salad green year after year if you keep your lettuce safe from the harsh summer conditions.

How many times can you harvest lettuce?

Lettuce plants can be harvested two to three times in one planting as long as it is harvested properly the first time. Ensure not to damage the crown or growing tip of your lettuce when harvesting and you can get another good tasting crop within 2 weeks.

What time of the day should you harvest lettuce?

The best type to have the lettuce plant harvested is in the morning before 8 am when the leaves get exposed to the sun. You can also have it harvested in the evening when the weather is cool to prevent the plant from wilting.

How do I stop lettuce from bolting?

Heat is one of the major reasons why lettuce bolt too early so you might be able to stop it from bolting by keeping it well irrigated. Starting lettuce indoor and placing them outside when they are matured can also help delay the bolting process. You can also stop your lettuce from bolting by planting slow bolting or heat-resistant varieties of lettuce.

Final Thoughts

Harvesting lettuce is a simple cut and comes again fashion is not uncommon and it’s one of the ways to ensure your lettuce plants regrows. Lettuce is an annual plant and it is mostly grown as a leaf vegetable and there isn’t any perennial type of lettuce.

Most annual plants need to be regrown every season and lettuce is no exception. However, lettuce does reseed and they will grow back after cutting giving you two to three harvests in one growing season.