For those of you know that are avid gardeners, you know that actually producing your own food and seeing it develop from a seed to the actual plant is some of the most gratifying experiences available. For many, the love and care put into growing their plants is so great, they will actually stop purchasing vegetables from grocery stores.
One of the most desirable vegetables to grow is actually lettuce. Unfortunately, many people don’t know when is the best time to harvest lettuce. Not only that, but even if they do know when, they don’t know how! In this guide, we’re going to go over exactly when is the right time to harvest your lettuce and the best methods to do so for optimal results. Keep reading to see more!
The Best Time to Harvest Lettuce
When determining when to harvest lettuce for the highest yield, certainly determining when you planted it does play a factor. Generally speaking, lettuce is a cooler seasoned crop and, as a result, cannot survive long in higher temperatures. This means any harvesting done should automatically be performed prior to the summer months. A good rule of thumb is that lettuce planted in the fall will take roughly 65 days to harvest while it will take 100 days to harvest lettuce that was planted in the winter.
The next variable you want to consider is the temperature during the growing season. As stated earlier, lettuce is a cooler seasoned crop. This means that it will do better in soil temperatures that are cooler as opposed to warmer soils. In fact, soils with a temperature between 55 and 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) can actually sprout as early as 2 days. For optimal results, plant seeds indoors and transport them outside after 3 weeks. For those planting in the winter, do this process 3 weeks prior to the set frost date.
The Optimal Method for Harvesting Lettuce
In order to get the most from each lettuce head when harvesting, simply use a sharp knife and cut off the heads of the stalk while they are still firm. For best results, perform this during the morning before the day gets too warm.