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Will Lettuce Regrow After Cutting – Tips To Harvest With Continued Production!

There comes a time in every plant’s life when it’s time to give them a cut. But, once you cut them, then what happens? While some plants will grow back after cutting, others will not, which makes it important to know before grabbing the shears. Will lettuce regrow after cutting?

Lettuce will regrow after cutting as long as all of the roots remain intact. When cutting lettuce, cut the leaves off after they’ve reached about 1 to 2 inches long. Afterward, you’ll notice that new shoots will come out in as little as 50 days, giving you lots of fresh lettuce to pick. 

For a look at how many times lettuce will regrow and some tips on harvesting, follow along. We’ll have that, plus a guide on cutting your lettuce leaves to make sure they come back again.

How Many Times Will Lettuce Grow?

The number of times lettuce leaves will grow back depends on a few factors. First, it depends on the time you plant them, as lettuce plants tend to mature fast. As soon as you plant them, you’ll see leaves sprouting up anywhere from 10 to 14 days.

Additionally, it depends on how healthy your lettuce leaves are. If you keep them in favorable conditions, your lettuce leaves will sprout up until the end of the season. With their quick turnover, you may be able to get about 3 to 4 harvests from each stem before the season is over.

Will My Lettuce Regrow Next Year?

In most cases, lettuce does not regrow from one year to the next.

Lettuce leaves will stop producing at the end of the season, and your plant will likely die. There are some cases where lettuce will grow back, though it’s not typical. In most cases, growers will have to replant the following year, doing so early on in the season to guarantee a few harvests before the season is over.

There are a few months that it’s ideal to grow lettuce so you can get the most return on it during the season. Ideally, you’ll want to sow your lettuce seeds in mid-March to mid-July. Some varieties do well when the weather gets cooler, but there’s also opportunities to sow in August as well.

The August period works best in areas where the frost is not as extreme, but it’ll still need protection. This includes things such as plastic greenhouses, or cold frames which are designed to keep the protect the foliage and keep the temperature above freezing.

Lettuce Harvesting 101

When it comes to harvesting lettuce, there are a few things you should look for. Keep in mind that there are different types of lettuce, each maturing differently. We’ll introduce some of the most popular varieties, showing you what to look for. For harvesting mature lettuce, you’ll only need some gardening scissors, cutting leaves that are growing on the outer parts and allowing those inside to continue to mature.

Butterhead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce is quick to mature, typically ready to pick between 60 and 70 days after planting. To tell if butterhead lettuce is ready to pick, you should give it a feel, checking for firmness. Go for leaves that have reached 5 inches or more, using that as an indicator of ripeness.

Lift the head and cut the leaf from the stem to cut. Don’t just pull or snap, as this could damage the stem. If you snip, you’re sure to get a few more harvests out of each stem, allowing you to have butterhead lettuce all season long.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce may take a little longer to mature, taking up to 75 days. When you start to see them grow and reach over 6 inches, it may be time to cut them, which should be done from the base of the stem. If you have doubts about whether your romaine is mature enough to pick, you can always snip one off and break a bit off, listening for a crunch and feeling for firmness.

Stem Lettuce

Stem lettuce can grow longer than the other types of lettuce, some reaching up to 8 inches. Like other types of lettuce, you don’t just want to rely on length, but be sure also to keep an eye on the color. You want deep green leaves with lots of fibers.

How To Cut Lettuce To Promote Regrowth?

If you’re pretty sure that your lettuce is ready to go, don’t just start cutting. Follow these pointers to cut lettuce and give them a chance to regrow.

Tip #1. Use Sharp Tools

Don’t use blunt shearers or scissors to cut off leaves, as this could cause damage to the stems that will not allow lettuce to regrow. So, make sure your shearers (or scissors, if that’s all you have) are sharp and clean before you start snipping.

Tip #2. Harvest in the AM

Lettuce is most crisp in the morning, waking up after a long night’s rest. The water has settled in and will result in better tasting, fresher lettuce than if you pick it in the later afternoon.

Tip #3. Water Regularly

To keep your lettuce plant sprouting, one of the best things you can do is keep on watering. Even after you snip leaves, make sure you keep on a regular watering schedule. You want to keep the soil moist, but don’t let it flood, as this could lead to rotting from the roots to the leaves.

Tip #4. Slow Bolting

There comes a time when lettuce starts to shift from producing leaves to flowers. At this point, lettuce leaves won’t grow, though you can slow down the process. To keep bolting from happening rapidly, all you have to do is cut the center of the lettuce plant, which will allow you more time to harvest before your plants start to seed.

Tip #5. Consider Successive Planting

While lettuce will produce leaves repeatedly in the season, there will come a time when that will stop. To have lettuce leaves all season long, consider staggered or successive planting. This means planting some at one time and waiting to plant more later.

This practice will extend the time you’ll have fresh lettuce leaves and allow you to have a backup plan if something doesn’t go quite as planned.

Final Thoughts

Lettuce is a great plant to have in the summer. The crips leaves are perfect for summer salads or a crisp sandwich. Lettuce leaves will regrow when cut, though there are a few things to consider. Ensure your lettuce plants’ success by cutting the right way and following our tips on cutting lettuce to promote regrowth.