Winter 'cut and come again' lettuce and greens (pics)

javan(9b n. coastalCA)November 2, 2006

I'm posting a few pictures here to show my "cut and come again" system for winter lettuce and greens in my greenhouse. I tried this last year and it was very successful. The pictures below were taken about a week apart, so you can see the progression. I think it is about two weeks before I can cut anything in this batch of lettuce.





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My question is why don't you plant the lettuce outside? It will grow all winter and into the spring.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 7:56PM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

I do have lettuce outside, reefisher, but lettuce grown here outdoors in winter has a much different taste and texture than lettuce grown inside the greenhouse. The intense rain and cool here on the far north coast makes for tougher outdoor lettuce, while that grown in the greenhouse has a softer, gentler texture. I mix them together usually for salads in winter. I'm assuming your weather is more clement in so cal for winter outdoor growing. All the best, Jim

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 3:58AM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

Photo of the above greenhouse lettuce on 11/13.

Photos of some outdoor lettuce on the same day.

Another variety

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 1:29AM
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Man, those pics make my mouth water!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 4:46PM
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The Lettuce with red tip (last pic) looks great. What is the name of the Lettuce?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 5:45PM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

The green lettuce is a butterhead type named Victoria, and the red/green leaf lettuce is...unknown due to sloppy record keeping. It is possibly red sails or it could be a lettuce from a blend. Sorry for the pour record keeping. I'm still cutting lettuce from the greenhouse grown box, and I've started another. I also just started two six packs of leaf lettuce for the hydroponic setup I have in the greenhouse, and I'm still harvesting some outdoor lettuce (green grand rapids and red Merlot) although they are not growing much at this point. All the best, Jim

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 12:55PM
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persiancat_gardener(z8 O’burg, scarolina)

This is great! You have encouraged me to get some started...Thanks.....

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 12:14AM
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What are you using for a container and what is the growing medium? The lettuce looks delicious!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 5:51PM
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Very inspiring, javan! Great pictures! This year I've been growing greens in a small coldframe and thoroughly enjoying the luxury of snipping fresh goodies for salads. I've been growing mine in shallow (@4" deep) 12" black plastic bowls from the Dollar Store. My best luck so far has been with arugula and mache. I've just sown more bowls--including spinach and chard---for spring harvest.....Next winter I plan to be more methodical and have a schedule for succession planting a couple of bowls every two weeks from late summer through mid-fall to give me plenty of greens through the winter.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 2:14PM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

Here is a pic of the next container coming along. It has some baby bac choi at the near edge that I'm looking forward to. The older container from the earlier pictures is at the rear. We had a number of good salads from that container. timshaw, the growing medium was a combination of leftover potting soil from last year with a bit of chicken manure thrown in for good measure. kathicville, keeping to a succession does take discipline! All the best on your efforts, Jim

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 8:04PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

Great pics! I have my lettuce, chard and spinach outside.
Question? I have had a hard time with spinach and arugula! I've heard spinach doesn't transplant well. Should I plant again for an early spring harvest? How bout the arugula? My Dsis says it reseeds and grows all over the place (she's 20 miles away from me!) I haven't had ANY luck with it! Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 8:50PM
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thale28(Z10 AZ)

I planted about 10 arugula seeds earlier this year. I had some monsters of a plant, that I cut back twice, ate off of for months, and harvested approximately 10,000 seeds. I pulled all of those out, and planted mesculun mix in its place. I have more arugula than mesculun. It has definately reseeded more than I noticed, and definately will take over if given the opportunity. I have a few planted in another area, which will get less light. I'm hoping that will slow down some of its growth.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 1:04PM
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soleado(7B N GA)

Beautiful, beautiful pictures. I wish I could get greens to grow like that! :). The biggest mine have gotten thus far have been just before the 11/02 picture. I will have to try some of that chicken poop along with fish emulsion?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 1:40AM
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Are you just growing in a seeding flat with a solid bottom?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 2:15PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

That really is encouraging. I love the way you did this. I am going to do the very same thing. I am a new gardener, so forgive me here if this is stupid, but if you cut them, could it kill them? Or, are you suppose to only pull off a leaf or two per plant? Or, how does 'cut and come again' work exactly? I LOVE this idea. I wonder if it works for cauliflower and broccoli, too?


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:06PM
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not only do those greens look awesome, the photography is awesome as well. thanks for sharing!

i myself have built two coldboxes, 8" deep x 6' x 3' this year. i built them these dimensions because i had acquired 4 glass panels from a set of doors that were replaced at a nearby printing company. the wood i used is OSB (chipboard) recycled from shipping containers!! so everything except for the seeds has been recycled from the industrial park trash no more than a few blocks from my house.

i have lettuce, turnips, beets, spinach, a pepper plant from the open garden that i transplanted and i'll be putting in a few celery plants in a couple days... to help warm it up i put in two liters of water and piled all the little rocks i've found in my yard in the center. i might add a length of pipe heating tape to the inside if winter gets to horrible, but, as far as i can calculate.. i'll have fresh greens and turnips all winter :D

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 7:54PM
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so how exactly do you harvest these? Do you snip the whole plant down and then move on, or do you pinch and let the plant get bigger then can you use the plant more often? I have no clue.... lol

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 5:47PM
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Javan, these look wonderful! I'm in Sonoma County and am wondering do you heat your greenhouse? I'm debating getting one, but don't want to heat it. I'd also want to use it for more than just starting seeds. Lettuce through the winter is a big motivator.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 10:05AM
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horseflysgarden - You use scissors and cut off the outer leaves, making sure to leave the part at the tip where the new leaves come from.

I have on extremely curly lettuce that I shear like a sheep and it comes back.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:01AM
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alicate(SW Michigan, zone 5)

I had given up on finding this post with the pictures and now I see it! Thanks for your post. It gives me inspiration to try lettuce again. I'm in an entirely different zone than you but I love your pictures.

Question: Do you space your plants at all?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:20AM
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