7 reasons to let your lettuce go to seed


We let our lettuce this year and last year go to seed. I was shocked at how tall the lettuce grew.The roots were bigger and deeper that I thought they would be. Even my neighbors asked me if they were a rare variety of lettuce. I explained that We just picked the lettuce leaves for our daily needs and it grew like this. The author of the post did point out that lettuce can become bitter. I agree with her and that it did draw in the pollinators into the garden.

Posted on October 8, 2015, in Gardening. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Seems a very logical approach. We have just lost this simple logic, with all our technology! I know what i’m doing this year with my lettuce 🙂

  2. My lettuce is getting quite big, where I’ve let it grow. I’ve think it still tastes alright but I’ve never kept it long enough to seed.

    • I found older leaves can taste bitter and get too tough. We planted a lot less lettuce this year because we planted way too much next year.

      • Yes, it is all about gauging the right amount!

      • I hate to throw food away. I compost fruits and vegetables, when it is unavoidable. I do not mind giving away vegetables, when we have more than we can use. We are still learning how much to grow for our needs. We did really good this year on the lettuce, spinage and chard this year. We planted only two plants of each this year and it was just the right amount for our needs. We did not plant them at the same time either so when one was finishing up the second one was ready to harvest. We are still learning new things every year.

      • That’s great! On that note, I think one courgette plant is enough for my daughter and I 🙂

      • That does not surprise me because they are huge vines. Thanks for the heads up.

      • I can’t see how to comment on your post under another person’s comment (on my phone, now) but I’ve just read about lettuce soup and would agree with Karen. It tastes a bit like nettle soup – not sure how lentils alter the flavour but I have lentils and a bolted lettuce, so that could be something I try out in the next few days.

        As for the courgettes, we only started to get them in September but hopefully the first will hold off till next month and we get a few more 😊.

      • We are having temperatures already drop to 2 Celsius here at night. We are talking about taking up our potatoes this weekend. We don’t think we can have our Poly-tunnel up much longer. It won’t survive the strong winds at the end of October.I hope the weather holds out for your courgettes.

        We use lettuce in our stir fry. It takes great. We love lentil soup we will have to try it.

      • Hopefully, winter will be kind to us all!

        Good luck with the soup 🙂

      • Thanks! I hope the winter will be kind to us all as well. It feels like it will be a cold harsh winter.I am pulling out our winter clothes this weekend.I should have done it in early September.Friends who have live south of us have been wearing winter hats and gloves in the morning and evening since September. My fall clothes are not warm enough.We have had the car serviced for winter. We are trying to get prepared for the first snow.I took my dogs for a walk to the lake CoCo wouldn’t swim because the water was too cold for her.That was a first.

      • We don’t seem to have wardrobes for different seasons here, I think since the advent of central heating. Just more layers of clothing, so T-shirt, jumper, coat. And sometimes I wear a fleece under my coat. There have been a few days when I wish I’d worn a hat so far!

      • I dressed differently when we lived in a large metropolitan city compared to how I dress not that we live out in the wilderness. My activities are different as well. I assume you live in a city. It makes a huge difference.

      • No, I live in a village, though it is right next to a city and I work at a university there. When I’m at work it is really warm in winter, so I wear light clothing underneath the layers. At home, I tend to wear a fleece rather than put the heating on, especially when I am by myself.

        I can imagine how your activities now must be different.. What I do has changed a lot over the years.

      • Brrrr…. I do not think that I could handle not turning the heaters on in the winter. We would have bursted water pipes if we did that here.

        I have noticed that when I walk with the dogs outside alot in the harsh weather. that I lower the temperature in the house. We have the heaters much lower in our bedroom, when we sleep. I think we sleep better.

      • It’s about 16 degrees in our house in winter (without heating during the day, helped by my adjoining neighbour’s having their heating on all the time). I do put the heating on in the evenings, but not at night. I can’t sleep as well if it’s too warm, as you have found, and it’s already warm enough (even too warm) because of my neighbours. I’m sure it must be healthier to sleep with more bedding than more heating. I feel more protected that way, anyway!

  3. I always let it go to seed. It is so pretty! But I also make lettuce soup from it even when it would be considered not tender enough to eat as salad. Jane Grigson in her Vegetable book writes of how the bitterness is not a problem in soup. I can not bear to waste anything Honey and often make a lettuce and lentil soup.
    I am so sorry for my absence. I have been renovating my ancient sah windows and it has been a bit of a nightmare. I have not yet followed your link about the lettuce, but will catch up with that later. I like things going to seed, after all…it is happening to us all. Ha Ha!!! Karen x

    • I like lentils but have never tried lentil and lettuce soup. It sounds interesting. Hubby is not a soup eater in our family. I am the one who loves soup in the fall and winter.

      I was wondering what has been going on with you. Renovating sash windows does not sound like easy work. I am sure the end result will make all that hard work worth wild. The windows will last for decades before you need to do anything to them again. I am glad you are well.

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