Harvesting Your Lettuce
Harvesting your lettuce at the correct time is important for maximizing its flavor and texture. If you let your lettuce crop sit in the garden too long, it will increase in bitterness and the leaves will become tougher. Lettuce is generally ready to harvest about 80 days after planting with seeds and about 60 days after using seedlings.
If you grow romaine or butter leaf lettuce, you should first remove the outer leaves, then dig up the entire plant and cut it off at the base. This way, it’s possible to have a second crop. With leaf lettuce, simply remove the outer leaves and let the plant continue to grow. For crisphead lettuce, let the center reach full firmness before you harvest.