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Harvested yesterday - my way

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Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/16/2011, 1:47 pm

I don't know if there is a right way and wrong way to harvest crops but this is how I ended up doing it yesterday for my lettuce and spinach. I went out there and basically just pulled the entire plant up with the roots and all. Then I snipped the roots off and just tore the leaves off and put them in a container for salads later in the week. I washed them thoroughly of course. Not sure if that's the proper way, if not I'd love to hear how you guys do it and how I should be doing it.

One more thing about the spinach. When I bought it in the store it was just smaller leaves about an inch long or so, what I had growing in the SFG some of the leaves were huge, about 5 - 6 inches long. Is this normal? Also, some of the leaves had holes in them, maybe insects were having a feast. The ones that the insects did nom on, those are still safe to eat right?
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Re: Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  quiltbea on 5/16/2011, 2:04 pm

I'll try to handle the harvesting part.

By pulling up the whole thing, your lettuce is now gone and you have nothing there to grow for you.

If its leaf lettuce, and not head lettuce, use a sharp knife to cut heads just below the lowest leaves and harvest the whole top. BUT LEAVE THE ROOTS IN THE SOIL. That will give you more lettuce later because the plant will regrow if it doesn't get too hot first.

Another way is to snap off the OUTSIDE leaves on all the plants, again leaving the plant. The lettuce will continute to grow.

If its head lettuce, forming a tight round ball, then that should be harvested as the whole thing like you just did for yours.

If the outside leaves taste bitter or strong, pull out the whole head. Its done for.
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Re: Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  Old Hippie on 5/16/2011, 2:18 pm

You can harvest the spinach when it is smaller if you want to as well or you can let it get bigger like you did. You can pick leaves from it when it is small like an inch or two and throw them in salads. It will keep growing like leaf lettuce, at least mine does. If it starts sending up a seed stalk, break that off and keep using it. And yes, even if the leaves have holes in you can eat them. I am rather fussy though and check mine over really close for bugs and slugs when I am washing it. I like meat but am not into insects, snails or slugs no matter how gourmet they may be considered by some.

If you want head lettuce to last longer in the fridge, leave the roots attached. Just wash it off, leave the roots on until you are ready to use it. It will last longer. Butterhead lettuce is even sold that way in the stores.

Now that you have pulled up your lettuce and spinach, you can replant those squares with more if you like or with something else, depending on your growing season.

Glad you are enjoying the fruits of your labour. Happy Gardening.

Gwynn
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Re: Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/16/2011, 4:59 pm

Thanks guys! It was leaf lettuce that I grew in one square (only one of the 4 actually grew Sad ) but I thought it was getting too warm for them to grow so I just plucked the whole plant out. I did plant some other crops in its place like beans and corn. It never occurred to me to just take the leaves, I thought it was all or nothing. Not to worry, I have another square of leaf lettuce and another square of spinach growing but those won't be ready for another 2 weeks if I had to guess. I'll definitely do what you guys said and just pull the leaves instead of the whole plant. Sometimes the easy answer always evades me.
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Re: Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  Old Hippie on 5/16/2011, 5:28 pm

Hey, I only know this because my mom used to make me go out and pick the lettuce and make the salad when I was a kid. So if your mom was not as mean as mine, how would you know. LOL!

Gwynn
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Re: Harvested yesterday - my way

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/16/2011, 5:43 pm

It's honestly up to you. You did it one way. A lot of us do it the other way, though. We will continually harvest a lettuce or spinach plant until it can't give any more and either bolts or just stops producing.

If you want three seasons of harvesting from one square, your way has a better chance of working because my lettuce just doesn't stop producing in time for me to get a summer crop in and another autumn crop in.

Your garden, your choice. But, I'm a cheapskate. I try to get the maxx out of any seed I plant....lol.
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