Filling My Salad Bowl

leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce ready for harvest.

Earlier this week, I had my first vegetable harvest—some lovely leaves from my three lettuce-bowl gardens, dressed with a ranch-style dressing spiced up with snips of chives and parsley from the yard.

I love the taste of home-grown leaf lettuce, which seems softer and more earthy than the big, crunchy heads you get at the grocery store. These salad bowls were really easy to put together. I started several types of lettuce under lights indoors in early April. Later in the month, I planted them in large containers filled with a homemade potting mix.

Due to our erratic spring, I had to move them in and out of the house during really cold weather, but for a couple of weeks now, the bowls have been on the front patio, soaking up the sun and the rain and getting big and delicious.  One of the bowls contains ‘Pablo’ lettuce, and heirloom head lettuce from Seed Savers Exchange. The other bowls have a leaf lettuce mix from Renee’s Garden. I’ll harvest these using the “cut-and-come-again” method, taking leaves from the outside and letting them continue to grow.

Do you grow lettuce in your garden?

pablo lettuce
Pablo lettuce in pot.

 

4 Replies to “Filling My Salad Bowl”

  1. I grow lettuce and my first planting (from seed started indoors) may be ready for harvest in about a week. Won’t that be wonderful! I have a second planting sprouting. And the rains we have had in the last 36 hours are helping a lot!

  2. We’ve had a lot of rain lately — about 3 inches in the past week — and the lettuce is loving it. Also the temperatures have been pretty moderate, so no quick bolting yet. Enjoy your harvest, Pat!

  3. I have grown leaf lettuce before, and liked it a lot. I got some free seedlings this year of head-lettuce, and probably this is a stupid question, but how do you harvest it? Do you have to wait until the end of the season until a big head is fully formed? Or can you harvest whenever you want some lettuce and come back for more later? I’ve never grown head-lettuce before but I can’t turn down free plants. 🙂

  4. Sandi — Usually head lettuce is harvested when the head is full and mature. Just cut it off at the bottom or pull the plant up. If the weather gets hot, it might start to bolt before it is filled out, so watch for that. I grew romaine in a shady spot last year and the heads got nice and big before they needed to be harvested.

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