Growing Lettuce

growing lettuce
Eating home-grown lettuce without killing the plant?

I have been growing my own lettuce (I’m a first time gardener) in my backyard, and it looks awesome now and ready to eat. But it’s taken about 2 months or so to get it to be this way, and I don’t want to just eat it all and then have to replant lettuce seeds and wait another 2 months till I can eat some more.

Can I just cut off certain leaves without killing the plant? I know that plants need their leaves so that they can absorb the sunlight for photosynthesis, but how much of it does it need? Can I cut most of the leaves off?

I live in Hawaii where it is always ’summer’. The type of lettuce I’m growing is a mixed leaves lettuce.. Some kind of hybrid? It looks like those organic salad greens you get from the store.

Firstly it depends on the kind of lettuce you have. If its a hearting lettuce (forms a tight ball in the centre, like iceburg) then you are better off picking them and putting them in the fridge. If its a loose leaf lettuce, (no heart, like raddishio, butterball) then you can pick off the outer leaves, no more than 1/3 of the leaves, over 2 weeks. Then can pick again. If you have a few plants, just pick one or two at a time.
To get a continuous crop, plant only a few plants, and plant every 2 – 4 weeks. That way there is always one or two coming ready.

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden : How to Grow Lettuce in a Vegetable Garden

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