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“Cut and Come Again” Lettuce is a method of growing lettuce that allows you to get multiple harvests from the same plant(s).
Benefit of Growing Cut and Come Again Lettuce
Rather than growing a single head of lettuce, you grow several plants close together. As the plants grow, you trim back the leaves and the plants regrow! If you were to grow a single head of lettuce, you’d only get one harvest. This method allows you to get multiple harvests from the same plants.
How to Start Cut and Come Again Lettuce Indoors
Pick the variety of lettuce you’d like to grow.
Below are some of the varieties we recommend:
Gather all of your seed starting equipment. You’ll need:
Mix your seed starting soil with some boiling hot water. This will kill any fungus gnats that may have laid eggs in the mix. Allow the mixture to cool.
Fill your pots with the mix.
Sow 10-20 seeds per pot. This is referred to as “overseeding.”
You can either mix the seeds with the top layer of soil or lightly cover them with a layer of soil. The depth of planting will be listed on the seed packet.
The rule of thumb is to plant the seeds double the depth of their size.
If the seeds are sown too deep, the seeds will not have enough energy to push through the top layer of soil.
Once you sow all of your seeds, you can place the tray on a heat mat to speed up the germination or you can place the tray directly under grow lights. Grow lights are a necessity when growing indoors!
Should you start lettuce indoors or plant directly outdoors?
This is totally up to you! You don’t have to start lettuce indoors but if you want a head-start on the growing season, you’ll need to start your seeds indoors.
Lettuce is a cool weather plant so you’ll want to plant it outdoors in very early spring. You can plant it as soon as the soil can be worked.
Lettuce cannot tolerate frost so make sure you plan ahead and keep an eye on the weather! You can cover your plants with frost blankets, use an old bedsheet, or an old window!
Kale grows differently than lettuce. I don’t recommend using the overseeding method with kale or other plants that belong to the brassica family. Another example would be mustard greens. These plants are heavy feeders and it’s best to sow them as individual plants!
Harvesting “Cut and Come Again” Lettuce
Once all of the plants grow to about 3-4” tall, you can start harvesting your lettuce! I like to think of this process as giving my lettuce a hair cut 🙂 Trim back the leaves using pruners or shears. The plants will regrow their leaves in about 2 weeks.
Trim only a few of your plants at once so that you have a continuous harvest of lettuce!
Cleaning Lettuce After Harvesting
Cleaning and drying homegrown lettuce can be a pain but it’s totally worth it! We found that mulching around the plants helps reduce the amount of dirt that gets onto the plants. Also, a salad spinner is a MUST! Once you rinse off the lettuce leaves, you need to dry it. In the past, I would dry lettuce by laying it all out on cookie sheets but this was a pain and took up so much space on our counter!
Investing in a salad spinner is the way to go. The one below is collapsable and takes up less storage space.