<![CDATA[Burpee Community - ]]> http://www.burpee.com/community/discussion/134/varies-lettuce en-US Burpee //d1l316k04n1hna.cloudfront.net/static/images/burpee-favicon.png 16 16 Burpee http://www.burpee.com/community/ <![CDATA[Re: Varies Lettuce]]> http://www.burpee.com/community/discussion/134/varies-lettuce?commentid=1463
Many types of leaf lettuce can be scattered randomly over the soil, even if closer than seed packages recommend.  As the plants begin to grow, pinch off some plants to separate, and continue to pinch off some plants as they grow, but it's OK to wait for some to get to bigger size before harvesting the "pickins".  I like to pinch off the larger leaves of some of the heartier plants and use them as baby lettuce leaves in salads, even before the plants reach maturity.  Some pinched plants will sprout new leaves, so then you harvest the largest ones while new ones grow on plants formerly pinched.  This method is also good for Mesclun (mixed salad greens) and for some spinach, bok choi and other greens.

With soft head lettuce, sometimes called buttercrunch, the same can be done, thinning out some outer leaves on some plants and pinching the entire plant of others, until they are eventually spaced according to package directions.  If head lettuces are not spaced far enough apart, they may not form nicely rounded heads and may grow tall and gangly, or may succomb to disease or insects.  Ditto for crisphead lettuces.

Romaine, or cobb-type lettuces are similar to the above headed lettuces, but seem to adapt better to being closely spaced as they tend to grow taller, narrower and higher anyway.  I still harvest every other one or two as the plants enlarge, to give them more room, for air, water and nutrients.

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http://www.burpee.com/community/discussion/134/varies-lettuce?commentid=1463 February 10, 2012