Leaf lettuce

My salad garden is looking great! We had some cooler weather in October as well as some rain, and the lettuce started growing and putting out a lot of leaves.

I started the carrots in late August, so they should be ready by the end of the month. I put in a second row later so those won’t be ready until spring. The beets, garlic and onions will be ready in spring also. The lettuce, however, is ready now and can be harvested for several months.

salad harvest Anne of Green Gardens

A few years ago when I grew my first salad garden, I asked a friend to help harvest. She told me she was experienced at it, so I left her alone in the garden for about 15 minutes. When I came back outside, I nearly shrieked out loud. She had pulled up almost half of the leaf lettuce plants. She thought they were harvested the same way as head lettuce.That was a lesson for me in not making assumptions!

To harvest leaf lettuce, just pinch off the leaves from the outer part of the plant with your thumb and first finger. Or you can cut the lettuce using scissors. When you harvest by removing the leaves, the plant continues to grow and produce for months. Your garden will produce lettuce all through winter and spring.

As you can see, my salad was quite colorful and had lots of shapes and textures. I decided not to “drown” it with a goopy dressing and instead used oil and vinegar so I could taste the flavorful greens.