How to Harvest Iceberg Lettuce


Iceberg lettuces, also known as crisphead lettuces, are distinguished by their tightly packed, crisp leaves. You can them home gardener as a cool season vegetable, although it is more sensitive to heat than other varieties of lettuce. The nutritional value of this lettuce is less than the darker green, softer-leafed varieties, but iceberg is popular for salads because of the mild flavor and crispness of its leaves. Harvesting iceberg lettuce is easy, especially in small plots typical of a home garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket or basket with handle
  • Leather work gloves
  • Knife
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wait to harvest until some of the heads are formed and are about the size you'd find in the supermarket. Different plants grow at different rates, so don't expect to harvest all your lettuce in one day.

  • Bring a bucket or basket to the garden site. For easier carrying, use a bucket or basket with a handle.

  • Put on leather gloves for protect as you work with the knife. Bend down, grasp the lettuce head and lift it up from the ground and cut or pull away the loose foliage attached to the base of the lettuce head.

  • Place each head of iceberg lettuce in the bucket or basket. When you've harvested all the mature ones, or all the ones you can use within a week or two, bring them indoors.

  • Remove any discolored or broken outer leaves from the lettuce head. Wrap each head in plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place discarded lettuce leaves on your compost pile.
  • Wash the lettuce with cold water right before eating it.
  • Plant lettuce seeds or seedlings in succession about a week apart to ensure a longer continuous harvest.

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