rigardengal
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Posts: 56
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: Rhode Island

How do I store lettuce?

So, I have beautiful lettuce growing in the garden. Red leaf, green leaf, and romaine. Yesterday I cut a head of green leaf, and we ate some and the remainder I put loosely in a baggie(not cleaned) and stored it in the vegetable bin of the fridge. Today, my lettuce has wilted. Ugh! Did I do something wrong and what can I do to keep my lettuce crisp?

Thank you!

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

My lettuces don't get the chance to develop whole "heads" because I keep picking the outside leaves -- just enough for the meal. 8)
Store-bought lettuce heads, I wash by swishing the whole head in a big pot of water. After draining as much water as I can, I re-cut the bottom and press against the cut a wet folded sheet of paper towel that's been wrung out just enough so it's not dripping, then put the head in a giant plastic bag (loose enough not to compress the leaves) cut-end first, taking care that the paper towel stays in contact with the bottom of the lettuce. Top of the bag is loosely folded over. If the bag is not big enough, I loosely over-bag with a 2nd bag, or put a moist tea towel over the leaves (but you have to keep it moist). The lettuce goes in the fridge where it's not going to get frost damaged (not very top or very bottom) standing up.
Hope that helps :wink:

opabinia51
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well this method is difficult with an entire head but, you can dampen some paper towel, place the head and the towel in a plastic bag and store in the fridge.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

petalfuzz
Green Thumb
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

How to store good lettuce for 1 week or more:

1. Take a head of romaine or other lettuce, & break the head up into individual leaves.
2. Wash each leaf under COLD water (use of colander optional)
3. Lay each leaf flat on a dry flat towel
4. Cover with another dry flat towel and
5. Press gently with hands to dry the lettuce leaves

6. Line a gallon sized zipper bag with dry paper towel (I lay the bag on its side)
7. Place now-dry lettuce leaves into the bag, keeping them flat and neat
8. Cover the lettuce with another dry paper towel

9. Zip the bag shut halfway only.
10. Store in the "crisper" drawer of your fridge.
11. Change out the paper toweling when it feels wet.

Lettuce prepped this way, even thin homegrown leaves will keep in the fridge for about a week. Thicker leaves stay crisper longer.

P.S. You could also look into buying the "as seen on TV" greenies bags, which are supposed to keep fresh produce longer.

rigardengal
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Posts: 56
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried cutting one head out, rinsing just the stem, wrapping in damp paper towels and storing in a sealed ziploc. We're eating it fast enough that it doesn't last a week!!!! And I purchased more lettuce plants to replace what we've cut in to!

MaryB
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:21 am
Location: MA

rigardengal wrote:Thanks for the suggestions. I tried cutting one head out, rinsing just the stem, wrapping in damp paper towels and storing in a sealed ziploc. We're eating it fast enough that it doesn't last a week!!!! And I purchased more lettuce plants to replace what we've cut in to!
If you don't cut the whole head and just take off a few leaves from each plant, the lettuce will continue to grow, no need to buy more plants. Try it, it works.
I pick enough for dinner and then the next day its like I was never out there picking. :lol:

rigardengal
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Posts: 56
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Thank you Mary B! I actually do both. I have lettuce down in the garden that I grow for 'heads' and lots of salads, then I have lettuce up here on my deck in pots, that I usually go to for sandwiches!!!

The paper towel method in the ziploc is working perfectly right now and we've had some delicious salads. I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the garden so we can add to our salad!

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