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Learn how to tell when it's time to harvest your lettuce.
Tags:how to harvest lettuce,bolting,Dave Epstein,garden,gardening,gardening help,gardening tip,growing wisdom,harvesting lettuce,home and garden,lettuce,lettuce flowers,Organic Gardening,romaine lettuce,slow-bolting lettuce,tropicana lettuce,when to harvest lettuce
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Hi! I am Dave Epstein. This is Growing Wisdom and we are talking lettuce today.
I am standing in a field of lettuces, many different varieties and one of the things that the lettuce is doing, it is bolting. Bolting is actually the flowering of lettuce. Lettuce flowers its producing seeds. Remember, all plants want to propagate themselves and as the lettuce does this, it begins to elongate and produces the flower. The problem that happens is that as the lettuce does that, it is very bitter. You do not want to eat it. Once you lettuce starts to bolt, it just does not taste very good. So, what I want to show you is how you can identify the lettuce bolting and if you start to see your lettuce bolting get it out of the ground.
Pick all of it because the thing is, it is going to be very bitter in just a few days. So, let us take a look at how you can identify the lettuce bolting. We got some romaine back here and the romaine is beginning to elongate. Now, romaine by nature grows a little bit taller. So, you will have a bit of a question, is this just being tall and doing what romaine does or is it bolting? What you want to do is you want to cut your lettuce. You want to see how it is growing in the center. If you notice that the center of the lettuce is beginning to elongate, that is the sign that it is bolting and you can see here that this lettuce is beginning to elongate. Therefore, it is bolting. Therefore, it is going to get bitter and you want to use it up. Look for varieties that are called slow bolting or more heat resisting varieties. For example, Johnny’s Selected Seeds have one called Tropicana that is slower to bolt. You want to use that and there are other varieties that you can find out there that are really great for the summer hot weather as oppose to the early spring.
I started planting my lettuce back in April and you wanted to continue if you can, right for the summer. Here is your little lesson on bolting in lettuce. We hope you will come back every week for all of our tips, hints and helps at GrowingWisdom.com.