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How do you harvest a lettuce?

I'm a complete novice, just started growing veg. My lettuces look lovely, but what do I do to get it out of the ground and into my lunch? Do I cut it off at the bottom, or pull the whole plant out of the ground, or dig it up? What do I do? Thanks.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,893
    Harvest it whichever way you like.
    To get a nice clean lettuce it's best to cut off at the base then pull off any damaged leaves.
    In the past I've pulled them up then turned the plant over to cut the roots off - that causes soil to drop onto the leaves, so cutting at soil level is my preferred method. The stump goes into the compost bin

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    I do as @Pete.8 says, but the good thing about lettuce is - you can also use it as a 'cut and come again' crop. That just means you can sow a load of seed in a pot, and instead of pricking it all out into individual lettuces, you just let it grow as a clump, and cut pieces as and when you want, and it'll re grow for quite a while, hence the name. If you sow more a few weeks later, that gives the first lot time to recover if you use quite a lot of it :)

    I do that when I first sow them indoors in early spring, and then some go outside as they are and I also sow more. That gives plenty to keep us going.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,717
    If you cut it fairly high up when you harvest the first "head" it will regrow from the stump and you will get 3-4 more mini lettuces from the same plant.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,411
    Slightly depends on the variety, but with most you can pick the outer leaves and leave the rest. That way you will get multiple pickings from each plant rather than cutting the whole thing. Works for most cos types as well as the recognised loose leaf types.
    AB Still learning

  • I only ever harvest by cutting or breaking off the outer leaves, leaving the plant to grow on, unless I really need a whole lettuce. I picked up this method from Charles Dowding's website:

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