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gixxerific
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How do you store lettuce?

I have a ton of lettuce, one of my best producing plants so far this year. Best ever I might add for lettuce that is. I have a ton of it out there and I have been a salad munching fool for several weeks now.

But the temps have been hot, like 90's and looking at upper 90's next week.

I have pulled a few full plants that were starting to bolt and there are a few more that are getting ready to bolt. I am pretty sure most of it will be on it's way after this coming week.

So is there a way to store lettuce for a while, I'm not talking month's but maybe for a week or two.

It can't be frozen can it? Maybe the fridge but how long does fresh lettuce last there?

How do You do it?

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applestar
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I can't look for it now, but there was a thread about that in the past, wash dry and individually sandwich in paper towels or something like that was the consensus.

I can tell you how to make them disappear though. Butter sauté with bit of salt, freshly ground white pepper to taste, or sauté with some diced bacon. Also good, I think, if you add chopped carrot tops, but my kids and DH won't eat them if I make them that way. :roll:

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jal_ut
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Wash it and bag it in ziplocs, press a lot of air out and refrigerate. It will keep at least a week.

When I had a root cellar, I used to pick a head and put it in a paper bag (unwashed) and place it in the root cellar. It would keep a week or more that way too.

I know, every year I have lots just bolt. No way I can ever use all I grow. The chickens get some of it. The rest is compost. I let a little go to seed and next year it volunteers all over.
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gixxerific
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Thanks Apple but do you know how may paper towels it would take to store all of my lettuce? That would not a be green thing to do. :P :D

Secondly, as I said I have a bunch of lettuce, are you trying to kill me? Salt, bacon, butter. Do you know how much of that I would have to intake to eat all this lettuce? :shock: :wink: Though it does sound rather tempting my friend.

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applestar
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But TRY making it. The lettuce cooks down to near nothing. I think it's like one head per person.
I agree about the paper towels and the method is too labor intensive for lazy me. :wink:

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gixxerific
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Good stuff Jal we passed in the posting.

I like the let go to seeding thing. I have been doing a lot of that this year. I thought the crazy mas of volunteers this was bad next year I won't have to plant a single seed. :lol:

I pretty much figured about a week no matter what you do, just hoping for a miracle.

I just love's me a salad

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gixxerific
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applestar wrote:But TRY making it. The lettuce cooks down to near nothing. I think it's like one head per person.
I agree about the paper towels and the method is too labor intensive for lazy me. :wink:
I think I will, it would be like spinach. You start off with a huge overflowing spaghetti pot of leaves only to end up with a small, for me, side dish portion. :lol:

Thanks

Oh yeah don't forget the onions.

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We all should have ducks, rabbits and ok chickens :P

If my extra lettuce doesn't sell at the Farmers Market, it is traded for other worldly goods. If I still have leftovers, then through the rabbits and ducks for fertilizer. Completing the cycle. :wink:

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have you tried pickeling? or make it into salads, blanch and quench then salt and spice. put it in a leak proof plastic bag, toss it in the crisper, should keep about 2-3 weeks.

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I know this may sound strange, given what I've said elsewhere about trespassing rabbits, but....

If you're simply overwhelmed with lettuce, seek out a local *house rabbit* rescue. These aren't the rabbits who furtively eat your garden; these are pets that people have had to give up b/c of their own (usually financial) hardships. Sometimes humane societies shelter house rabbits, too.

And, as many on this forum will attest, the rabbits will eat the lettuce....I gave the local rabbit rescue my carrot tops and other organic things last year when there was just too much to deal with and my compost was already way over into the green side.

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I've heard that lettuce doesn't freeze very well (turns to mush) so I've found that the best way to store it is in the crisper in the refrigerator. However, (now, you'll have to do a forum search to find this, since I can't) there was a member here (duh_vinci?) who grew a type of lettuce (oak leave?) and it stored quite well bagged and frozen, so go figure :?.
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Enjoy the lettuce in season. By the time its gone there should be chard, beets, peas, arugula, mustard and broccoli. One should not run out of green things to munch. Turnip, kohlrabi, and early cabbage should not be too far off. Enjoy!
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I keep one washed head of lettuce, torn, in the salad spinner in the fridge. That way I can make a quick salad or grab a few leaves for a sandwich whenever I want. It can keep a week this way, depending on type.

If I have more than will fit in the spinner, I'll put a whole head in a plastic bag with a paper towel in the crisper. The paper towel absorbs drips so it doesn't get slimy. This also lasts a week or more.

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gixxerific
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Jal you are in a different climate than I most of the stuff you suggested is gone here. I will have chard and my arugula won't grow. But peas and the such have already been pulled it's just too hot right now.

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jal_ut
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Yes, for sure a different climate. My peas haven't even bloomed yet.

Did you plant more than one variety of lettuce? If so, which variety seems to be holding the longest right now?

As cold as it has been here this season, I think I could have planted a second crop of letuce about the first week of June. I guess I won't worry about it now though as it is apt to get pretty warm by July.

I planted some Kale this year for the first time. I think it may do better than lettuce in warm weather. Not quite the same, but chock full of vitamins. Beet greens and chard do well in warm weather too. A friend grows collards. That may be an experiment for later?
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I'm growing Red Russian Kale and the butterflies and moths don't go for the kale as much as they do for cabbage and Brussels sprouts. But they're the worst on Cauliflower.
I must not be planting the beets and chards right because their germination has been very spotty.

I know you asked Gixx, but in my garden, the longest holdout has been the self-seeded Oakleaf Lettuce. Red Cross, a red and green butterhead, started inside and planted as seedlings was next to last. I'm letting them go to seed. They're BEAUTIFUL as bolting plants too, especially next to the Red Russian Kale:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7163.jpg[/img]

(BTW, that clump of Tansy on near right did SQUAT in protecting a Brussels sprouts next to it -- outside of pictured frame -- from the cabbage worms. :roll:)

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gixxerific
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They are all doing about the same Jal some a little better than others but not much.

Apple I planted a bunch of chard seeds and the ones in my garden were very spotty with germination as well. Actually a lot of them sprouted and than soon thereafter died. Some did okay I have some virtual monsters in my front flower bed and some pretty good sized ones in my rose bed. But I had to buy some at the store for my veggie garden and they are dong great.

Here is my lettuce bed as of about a week ago it is a jungle in there now with all the lettuce and curcubit volunteers. Can you find the 10 or so volunteer tomatoes that survived the mass thinning I did earlier of the hundreds that sprouted.

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03829.jpg[/img]

Looking at the pic I cut off another row of big lettuce in the foreground. Now that's quite a bit of salad since they are almost all getting ready to or in the process of bolting.

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I'm growing Red Russian Kale and the butterflies and moths don't go for the kale as much as they do for cabbage and Brussels sprouts. But they're the worst on Cauliflower.
I have noticed that the bugs seem to like the early cabbage above all else in my garden. They don't like the red cabbage at all. The bugs are not bothering the kale either right now. Nothing is bothering the lettuce either this year. Usually earwigs and slugs have a go at it. OK on the Oak Leaf Lettuce. I have not tried that one.

Gix, nice lettuce patch. Its going to be hard to eat all that. ;) I bought some mixed color chard seed, then forgot to plant it. I may plant some now. I think it will grow.
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jal_ut
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I must not be planting the beets and chards right because their germination has been very spotty.
That is strange. I have good luck with these things sprouting. They always come up thick because each little pod has several seed in it. Try planting them about an inch deep and firm the soil after planting. Put a seed every 2 inches in the row. You will still need to thin. I don't know what your temps are like there this time of year, but I have had good luck planting beets even in warm weather. You could try a few more if you have a space. Chard and beets are the same species, just different varieties.
Last edited by jal_ut on Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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applestar
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Ah, I might be planting them too shallow. Planting them now in the heat*, they'll especially need the extra coverage. I'll try that (AND FIRM WELL -- I remember :wink:). Thank you. :D

*Went down to mid-50s last night, but forecast for the next week is high 80's/mid 60's.

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gixxerific
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jal_ut wrote:

Gix, nice lettuce patch. Its going to be hard to eat all that. ;) I bought some mixed color chard seed, then forgot to plant it. I may plant some now. I think it will grow.
That is what I'm talking about that is a lot of lettuce. I have been eating the heck out of it too. I planted some "rainbow/5 color silverbeet but am not getting the rainbow effect. I have a bunch of seed and will plant some more after the lettuce is gone. I would think you will have no problem getting chard to grow now you are much cooler than I am (you too Apple) and mine is doing great to almost uncontrollable.

And the the compliment has me blushing coming from you. I have seen your harvest. They are nothing to look down at in any way. :D

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gixxerific
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Apple I am a fan of the "firm well" philosophy as well. Most don't agree but that is what I always have done for whatever reason. I hear onions especially like it firm because it gives them some resistance to grow against. If I remember right.

Though I'm still struggling with onions to a certain extent, this year might be different, I hope. Maybe I'm in the wrong climate for onions, yeah that's it, wrong climate. :lol: :wink:

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Wondering off topic to the onions, I am slowing coming to the conclusion that I might never manage to grow the full-sized onions from seed by the end of the first season, so the way to go might be a two-year plan: Sow closely with intention of achieving the dime-size or less ONION SETS. In other words, don't bother sowing seeds ultra early indoors like January or February, simply sow outside with peas or a week or so after peas and proceed. The trick then is to make sure the sets don't get too big because larger sets will grow scapes and will only be good for green onions.

The question then is would I be able to store these tiny oniions, harvested sometime... say... in fall, until spring when onion sets are planted?

Sowing in fall might be another option, but I'm pretty sure some serious protection will be needed during the winter in my area since I don't think onions are as hardy as garlic....

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