Cut and Come Again Sadness (my sad salad mix story)

angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)October 17, 2008

I had the first harvest of my lifetime (that I planted and tended) with this salad mix. It took me being away and little kiddos watering sometimes and sometimes not and still made it. It took my daily inspections without complaining. It grew and grew all beautiful. We need a salad, and it was calling our name. I went to do my first cutting and cut all but 2 or 3 inches up from the soil. I left not one lone leaf.

I have maybe 6 plants of all of them (which there were tons) that actually are still regrowing. I used the method of way overplanting with the concept of never letting them grow up big into full heads.

Well, needless to say, I am SO disappointed. I asked on several other people's threads about how much to cut of the cut and come again lettuce. It seemed nobody had any great advice at that time.

Granny tells me she's done it... what did I do wrong? Should I have shaded them to protect them from burning up in the direct sun? Should I have left half their leaves? Maybe I planted them too close of a cut and come again style? Maybe I should of just planted them regular and then cut when I wanted? Uggggh



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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

If you cut all of the leaves off, it won't produce any more. That's why I only take the outer leaves from the romaine. Lettuce grows from the inside/out, and will continue to produce inner leaves, until frost. I'm sorry for your dilemma, I bet they were pretty! Did you take pictures? Granny can tell you how to do the "cut and come again" correctly.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:13AM
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Angela, as long as the CENTER is left intact they should keep growing. If you left 2-3 inches, I wouldn't think you'd have stopped the growth. Maybe a better way for you would be to hand pick the outer leaves. That's actually what I do with my lettuce, it was the mesclun bed that I was cutting. I hand pick leaves from my spinach and my lettuce, only taking leaves that are large enough to use. I notice they aren't growing much right now, and the variety of lettuce I planted, Red Sails, never did get to a decent year I'm going back to my old standby, Prizehead.

I ran out and took a photo of my mesclun bed, you should be able to see how closely I cut it and how tall the previous cutting has grown. BTW, I did provide filtered shade for this bed when it was hot...I placed a sheet of white plastic lattice over it, which let it sun, shade and water through.

It looks pretty rough, because I just cut last night and then I dug a bunch of it up and put it in containers to hopefully transport to AZ!

We are expecting temps back up in the low 70s with lows in the 40s again, so I've moved the seedlings outside. The red lettuce plants I'd put inside under the light turned green! No red in them at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 11:45AM
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