Learn to Harvest!Lettuce Grow | SEPTEMBER 1, 2021
Harvesting is easy and fun! You get to decide how and when to do it, but we have two techniques we recommend to get the most out of your plants. Try them both and see what works best for you!
The two ways we harvest are: ‘whole plant’ and ‘cut and come again’.
is when you completely remove a plant from the Farmstand (it will not grow back). With
, you remove a few parts of a plant and leave the rest in the Farmstand to continue growing. The method you decide to use will depend on the plant you are harvesting, your flavor preferences, how you are going to use your harvest, and how much a recipe calls for.
Watch the video below to learn about these harvesting techniques and continue reading below for more detailed information!
Cut and Come Again Harvesting
Cut and come again is when you harvest part of the plant and leave the rest in the Farmstand to continue growing. If you only need to use a little bit of a plant or prefer younger growth that is more tender, this method is perfect for you.
You should always remove the largest and oldest leaves when using this method. For lettuces, these will be the leaves on the outside of the plant since new growth develops in the center of the seedling. For herbs and leafy greens, these will typically be the largest leaves that are growing on the seedling.
Whole Plant Harvesting
Whole plant harvesting is when you completely remove a plant from the Farmstand, including the grow medium and root system. This method is ideal when you need a large amount of a plant or are harvesting a plant that will only give you one harvest, like cabbage or cauliflower.
For this method, remove the seedling by grabbing the grow cup instead of any stems or leaves. This will prevent damage to the plant. You can then cut off the roots and remove the grow medium from the grow cup. Grow cups are reusable so they should not be thrown away.
You can also use this technique in order to achieve a desired shape. For example, some lettuce, like butter lettuce, will form a dense head over time if it is left unharvested.
The chart below has helpful reference points on when plants are ready for harvest. Check out our seedling variety profiles for additional harvesting guidance, pictures, and videos!
We recommend leaving plants in the Farmstand until you need to use them. This keeps them fresh, maintains their peak nutrient content, and prevents the need for storage. It also helps cut back on food waste resulting from unused harvests. If you need to harvest and store your plants, here are some tips on keeping them fresh!
• Keep entire plants fresh by placing their grow medium and roots in a dish with some water until you are ready to use it
• Wash loose leaves and wrap them in a damp paper towel, cloth, or produce bag before placing it in the fridge
Replacing Your Seedlings
The exact timeframe may depend on your individual growing environment but plants should be completely removed from the Farmstand after 6 - 8 weeks. Older seedlings are more susceptible to pests and disease which may spread to younger seedlings. Their large root systems can also block or divert water from other plants and make it extremely difficult to remove plants from the Farmstand.
Plants may bolt if they have been growing for extended periods of time or are exposed to stressful conditions, like extreme changes in environment, hot temperatures, or longer days.
For more information, visit your My Farm account for more information on seedlings you have ordered. You can also use our iOS or Android app to help you identify different stages of your plants as well as receive push notifications for weekly maintenance, find recipes, get access to more helpful resources, and more!
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