How To Harvest Romaine Lettuce



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The romaine lettuce plant, Lactuca sativa, has upright heads with loosely coiled leaves which cup inward.

While romaine can tolerate warmer temperatures than some other varieties of lettuce, it is generally believed that lettuce is a cool-weather crop.

How To Harvest Romaine Lettuce

You’ll see that the timing and methods of harvesting have an impact on the quality of this lettuce. If you utilize the right harvesting methods, you can have fresh romaine lettuce right out of the garden (see more about different lettuce types here).

Find out when romaine lettuce will be roughly mature, which is typically between 55 and 65 days.

Don’t trust your calendar to guide you when to harvest, though, as growth circumstances might impact the maturity rate.

Learn how to raise romaine lettuce from seeds in this article so you may pinch off the outer leaves to get baby lettuce leaves. 

You can discover how to monitor the romaine lettuce’s development as the maturity period draws near and when to pick the lettuce rather than when it was sown.

Will Romaine Lettuce Regrow When Cut?

Head lettuce known for its health benefits is romaine.

You may discover how to collect lettuce in two different ways: one where you can continuously gather leaves from a single plant and another where the plant can grow again.

Around 65 to 70 days after the seeds are planted, romaine lettuce is ready for harvest. It can take up to three months for the heads to reach complete maturity. 

If you desire a second harvest, snip the head off just above the base. Use precise gardening shears like the STAYGROW 6.5″ Pruning Shears to cut the entire head of romaine at once.

After your initial harvest, ensure the lettuce has enough time to grow new leaves.

At 55 to 60 days after the initial harvest, the roots frequently generate more lettuce leaves that you may use as a second harvest after cutting the entire head at once.

Leaf lettuce should be harvested in the morning to preserve its flavorful, fresh, crisp leaves. Young lettuce can be picked early in the morning to avoid drying out in the sun.

If you delay until the late afternoon or evening, the leaves could be a little bit wilted. Wait till the next morning to harvest if you forgot to do so in the morning.

The mature romaine leaf can reach a height of 8 inches and is typically a dark green colour.

To extend the harvest, remove 6–8 of the lettuce head’s mature outermost leaves.

Because the interior leaves take about a week to 10 days to mature, you will notice the advantage that you can significantly lengthen your harvest.

The drawback in this situation is that every successive harvest will be less than the initial one.

Using a firm twisting of the leaf stem, remove the romaine leaves.

To remove a single romaine leaf from the plant, grip it at the bottom and twist it down violently until you sense the leaf separate from the plant.

Harvested leaves should be rinsed before storing for up to ten days in the refrigerator. Take the outer leaves off your romaine plants to accomplish this.

Remove any dirt from leaves by rinsing them in cool running water. After patting them dry, put them inside a plastic bag and put them in the fridge.

How Can I Tell When Romaine Lettuce Is Suitable for Picking (for more information about lettuce, read here)?

Fresh romaine lettuce can be the perfect complement to a salad because of its thick, luxuriant leaves, which have a crisp, delicious taste.

However, if you pick it before it’s ready, the leaves may taste bitter and woody rather than soft. You can educate yourself on the phases of romaine lettuce development and harvesting prior to planting.

Growth Of Romaine Lettuce

Growth Of Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce can mature in three months when grown from seeds. When fully grown, the leaves will be open and appear dark green.

When romaine lettuce reaches its full growth but before it becomes totally ripe, it must be harvested.

You must learn how to harvest romaine lettuce regardless of the species. By cutting the lettuce’s outer leaves, you may harvest the plant before it matures.

If you do this, leaves in the middle will keep expanding.

You can also dig up the entire plant or make the incision around an inch just above the ground. Everything depends on how much lettuce you need.

If you dig the entire plant, pull hard upward from the lettuce head’s base. The plant as a whole will become loose. Be mindful that morning is the ideal time to gather romaine.

A second harvest of lettuce is possible if you correctly harvest the plant.

Use it right away after harvesting for the greatest quality. Head lettuce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

How Does Romaine Lettuce Regrow?

You can only renew a partial head of lettuce, but you can grow a few leaves, unlike how you can regrow green onions or celery. Before developing into a complete head of lettuce, regrown lettuce tends to bolt.

Use these techniques to produce lettuce from a purchased plant:

  • Eat the lettuce you bought and slice the leaves about 1 or 2 inches away from the bottom.
  • Put this stem portion that has been cut off in a bowl of water that is only about half an inch deep.
  • Place this near grow lights or on your windowsill.
  • Each one to two days, change your water.
  • You might see roots coming out from the ground.
  • Your lettuce will reach its maximum size after 10–12 days.
  • Use the cut-and-come technique of growth for growing romaine lettuce. 
  • Cut the head of your romaine whenever it begins to show indications of blossoming so that the remaining portion stands about two inches in height in the ground.

You can notice a couple of new heads growing when you water normally. Even while it may take several weeks, it provides a superior technique to obtain a secondary harvest from a single plant.

How Can Romaine Lettuce Be Prevented From Bolting?

Plant green lettuces throughout the spring to avoid bolting.

From then, you can keep harvesting romaine lettuce all year long because it can stop bolting and give you lettuce leaves throughout the majority of the summer.

It is best to grow head lettuce varieties like iceberg in the fall so they can develop as the weather becomes cooler. In order to protect your lettuce from the sun and extreme heat, you may also plant it in the shade.

Due to the crop’s lack of full energy, this prevents bolting, but the result is stunted growth.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has provided you with some useful information about how to harvest your own romaine lettuce.

There are many health benefits associated with romaine lettuce, so it’s a great idea to learn how to grow your own supply.

Further Recommendations:

Video: How to Plant, Grow & Harvest Your Own Romaine Lettuce.

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