More About Lettuce

Did you know?

It’s believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first to cultivate lettuce. Along with the Greeks and Romans, the Egyptians would use lettuce as a remedy for stomachache and as a sleep-inducing agent. The Romans introduced it to England, and Christopher Columbus introduced it to the new world.

Yesterday, we talked about how to plant, today we talk about how to harvest the lettuce you planted:

Known as the foundation of a good salad, lettuce has become a garden favorite. Lettuce, grown in the garden, is richer in taste and nutrients.  Harvest lettuce leaves and heads in the morning, before the sun begins to warm the plant.  Lettuce is at its peak of flavor in the morning, and will retain more sugars if picked in the morning.  It will store for about a week in the refrigerator, but is best eaten the same day it is picked.
Lettuce should reach harvestable age in 4 to 6 weeks. Harvest the outer leaves with scissors or a sharp knife about 1” (2.5 cm) above the soil. Continue harvesting leaves until they become bitter, and then pull the plant.  Not to worry. If plants were planted in succession, there will be new plants ready to harvest. Head lettuce is ready to harvest if the head is tight and about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in diameter. 
For more complete information check out our vegetable encyclopedia on The Gardeners Spot website.
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