|After picking lettuce, a deep soak.|
|Each leaf hand washed to remove any garden debris or little garden pest.|
|Next into the spinner for a quick dry.|
|The rinse water is carried to the gardenia plants for a deep drink.|
|My prize lettuce, ready to bag and refrigerate.|
Harvesting lettuce has become a fast little ritual which I perform. First, lettuce should always be picked in the cool of the morning or evening. I made the mistake of picking in the heat of the afternoon a few days ago, and had to plunge the lettuce in an ice bath to revive it!
I do a multiple wash depending on how much garden debris is in the water after each wash. In the winter/spring, I find the lettuce has more dirt on it because of the splashing rain. But if the second rinse yields too much dirt, I do another deep soak and quick rinse.
I have found small batches in the spinner is the most efficient way to dry the lettuce for bagging.
Finally, let no water be wasted. The gardenias are on a drip system and I can supplement their regular watering. In the heat of the summer, they love the extra drink. In the winter, the irrigation system is off because of the winter rains. The gardenias are under a covered entry, so this becomes their regular watering.