I have 2 favorite lettuces that we grow in our garden. One is butterhead or Boston (I sometimes call it buttercrunch), and the other is red leaf lettuce. We also plant loose-leaf lettuce. We get our lettuce in the ground earlier than we probably should, being a cold-winter area, but we cover with garden cloth and for a few years now, we’ve lucked out.

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Our first round of lettuce is ready for harvesting and I can’t wait to make some beautiful, colorful salads for guests!

Several comments have come through:

Dear Sandy, Since this is the first time gardening for us. When do you pick your lettuce? Ours is getting lots and lots of leaves…do you pick the outer ones and they keep growing in the center?

How to harvest
Harvesting lettuce is easy. With loose-leaf (and romaine), you pick the outer leaves as you need them. Or you can pull up the whole plant. I actually use this method for any type of lettuce, if I’m making a small salad. But you don’t want the lettuce to go to “seed,” so particularly for head lettuces, you’ll want to pull up the entire plant once it’s matured.

Supplies for harvesting
Large towel
Salad spinner
Ziploc bags

Spin and save
I usually get my kitchen counter cleaned off and ready for cleaning. Take the leaves off and place in the salad spinner. Spin and then lay the leaves out flat on a large towel.

Fold one side over to get the water out; press down to get to remove the water.

Then place the leaves in a Ziploc bag. Push down on the bags to seal and to make the bags airtight.

TIP: The more airtight the bags of lettuce are, the longer the lettuce will last in your fridge.

One thing I love to do is set up an assembly line, harvest the lettuce, seal and store in the fridge – and have a few bags extra to give away to friends who stop by!

If your lettuce is maturing at a greater rate than you can eat it, take your friends out to the garden with you with a brown paper bag and a knife and send them home with a fresh head of lettuce.

Freshly cut from the garden – it’s a treat that they won’t find anywhere else but in a garden!

And then it turns into a beautiful salad like this!

Do you grow lettuce? What’s your favorite kind?

Happy Weekend Friends! Head to Melissa’s to see what her readers are inspired by this week … The Inspired Room.

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