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How to Harvest Lettuce

By Charles Pearson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Lettuce can grow out of a variety of containers.

Lettuce is a very versatile vegetable that can be put in salads and slapped on a sandwich or a hamburger. Lettuce grown in your garden can literally go from the garden straight to your salad bowl. Fresh grown lettuce is also tasty enough that it can be easily enjoyed by itself. Not only is fresh grown lettuce delicious, but you can continually get sprigs of lettuce off the lettuce plant for several weeks.

Leaf Lettuce

Wait until the lettuce has grown several large leaves. The lettuce plant will need the leaves in order to absorb enough sunlight to continue growing big and strong.

Twist the largest leaves on the lettuce plant off and place them in plastic bags. Give the smaller leaves enough time to grow bigger.

Avoid breaking the lower stem when tearing off lettuce. Breaking the stem will prevent that part of the lettuce from growing.

Wash the lettuce before placing it in the fridge. Wrap plastic around the lettuce in order to preserve it.

Avoid harvesting lettuce when the lettuce becomes more erect and when flowers start to grow. You will see green leaves slowly start to grow around green buds that are on the top of the lettuce plant. At this point, the lettuce will taste bitter if you harvest it.

Place a plastic bag around the flower when it turns white. Lettuce seeds can be harvested, but plastic bags are needed to make sure that the seeds don't scatter.

Clean out the lettuce plot when the plants start to lay on the ground. Healthy lettuce is able to stand on its own.


Things You Will Need

  • Plastic bag


  • In pots, lettuce can really take over. Some heavy harvesting might be necessary in order to allow other plants in the pot to grow.
  • After harvesting lettuce, add some fertilizer in order to promote regrowth.
  • If space becomes open, plant more lettuce seeds.

About the Author


Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."