Cut salads or plucked salads are varieties of garden salads. They do not form heads, but individual leaves, usually in a loose rosette, which are simply harvested from the outside in. This has the advantage that you can only harvest as much as can actually be freshly processed. With lettuce, the entire head is cut off, regardless of whether you need it completely or only a small part. Salads or lettuce are very practical. Depending on the variety, the leaves are light green to dark brown / red and have jagged, smooth, wavy or oak leaf-like appearance or leaf margins.

Pick salad

In the case of lettuce, the middle shoot, i.e. the stem axis, remains standing and grows upwards. The larger leaves of the plant are always harvested from below. The lettuce then looks like a shot head of lettuce, has a few older leaves at the bottom, then a stalk and the young leaves at the top, which were gradually harvested. In the end he looks a bit cute. The stem can be 80 cm high. Pick lettuce is not sown you like lettuce, or it is separated later.


In the cut salad, the young leaves are simply cut off. That is also the reason why this lettuce is sown so densely.

Both varieties are healthy. They contain around 93 percent water, plus vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, fluoride and other vitamins and minerals.

One differentiates:

  • Lollo rosso – green and red wavy or curled leaves, forms a dense rosette
  • Lollo bionda – green, strongly curled leaves, forms a dense rosette
  • Oak red – oak-shaped red leaves. Very delicate appearance and taste, is harvested individually
  • Oak leaf green – light green leaves, otherwise like red variety

Mix varieties are often offered in stores. It is a salad of different types of salad.

  • Baby-Leaf (my favorite) – often contains red and green-leaved ice lettuce, young spinach, sorrel, sorrel, chard, beetroot leaves and endive types
  • Misticanza – Italian mix of varieties and species – apart from a wide variety of salads, it usually contains rocket and sometimes also chicory.

Variety selection

Of course, it is a matter of taste which salad tastes best personally. In principle, you can test yourself. There are seeds of all common varieties to buy. Personally, I don’t think the seed bands are bad either. These save a lot of work. The same applies to seed plates (mostly for balcony boxes) and seed carpets. Resistant varieties are also offered, which are said to be very healthy and resistant to aphids and downy mildew, the two main annoyances when growing lettuce. For example, wild varieties were crossed that contain bitter substances, which in turn aphids do not like at all. Resistant varieties are ideal for the hobby gardener. The professionals use it too.


Cut lettuce is grown in a similar way to lettuce. He is sown. If you have a cold frame or greenhouse, you can start growing early in the year, as early as February. In the open field, sowing is feasible from April. Anyone who starts this early, however, has to cover with fleece or foil, because late frosts must be expected until mid-May and the young plants cannot tolerate this.
There are different seeds for the different sowing times. Different seeds are used in early spring than in summer. You don’t need a garden to grow lettuce or lettuce. A balcony box is also sufficient.


Those who start growing early should choose a warm, sunny place. For the summer, a more partially shaded location is more suitable. High heat and sun are not ideal for the tender leaves of the salad. Since there is usually only one place available in the garden, you can try shading, at least around lunchtime. Shadow nets do a good job here.

  • Sunny to partially shaded
  • In summer, when it is very hot, shading is recommended
  • Pickled lettuce can be planted between other vegetables, especially between those with a longer cultivation period, such as beans, cabbage, onions and others.

Plant substrate

When it comes to the plant substrate, it is important that it is not too wet or too dry. It is beneficial to incorporate compost. This ensures that sandy, light soils do not dry out as quickly and that heavy soils become a little looser. It is also important not to sow or plant the crops in the same place every year. The ideal is to choose the same position only every fourth year.

  • Loose, humic, permeable and low in nitrogen
  • No acidic soil and no soil that tends to become silted up!
  • Light sandy soils heat up faster in spring and are ideal for early sowing.
  • Before sowing, it is advisable to work compost into the soil. Then there is no need to fertilize.
  • Do not sow in the same place every year!
  • A foundation is recommended after the harvest.


It is recommended to sow at intervals of 3 to 4 weeks. This means that when a row of lettuce is harvested, a new one is ready to hand. The lettuce continues to grow after the harvest, but plants keep falling out. The second cut is nowhere near as plentiful. Constant reseeding ensures young plants in different stages. Plants that are growing too densely can be removed and, incidentally, eaten when they are very young. You can of course also implement them.

  • Sown in rows in sets
  • Planning in advance is important. All varieties must be ready for harvest at the same time.
  • Row spacing 25 to 30 cm
  • Lettuce is a light germ. Therefore, the seeds should only be covered a little with soil.
  • Later it has to be thinned out
  • Plant the seedlings high so that their rosettes can unfold nicely. Otherwise the plants are quite susceptible to disease.

Watering and fertilizing

Even watering is important. The floor must not be too wet or too dry. You can fertilize, preferably organically. But the lettuce doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer.

  • The young plants must of course not be washed out. It is best to water with the shower.
  • If not watered regularly, the lettuce leaves often become hard. In addition, the plants tend to shoot.
  • If possible, do not pour directly over the leaves, but rather on the earth all around!
  • Mulching is cheap because it helps maintain soil moisture. So you don’t have to hack in between.
  • When it is very hot, it is advisable to cover the plants with a fleece or a light foil to protect the seeds and / or the tender seedlings
  • If compost has been incorporated, there is no need to fertilize.
  • Fertilizing is always recommended before sowing, preferably with an organic fertilizer.
  • Do not use manure, it promotes rot.

Was tun, wenn der Salat schießt?

In the case of lettuce, “shooting” means that flowers will develop prematurely. The plant forms ovules. So, from the middle, a stem forms that “shoots” upwards. Flowers and later seeds form on it. The lettuce multiplies. Basically, it’s the adult form of the salad. The causes are usually too much sun and heat. The lettuce turns bitter and skyrockets. Then it no longer tastes good. But it can be eaten. That’s not why it is bad.

  • For many types of lettuce, direct sowing in the bed is intended to prevent the lettuce from sprouting.
  • For summer sowing it is better to choose a shady place with morning or evening sun
  • Grow special types of heat-resistant lettuce


It is harvested when the leaves are about 10 to 12 cm wide. This is usually the case 6 to 7 weeks after sowing.

  • Cut the lettuce with a cut 2 to 3 cm above the ground
  • Pick lettuce – the leaves are picked from the outside in.
  • A second cut is often possible. But the prerequisite is that the heart leaves stop.
  • Otherwise, reseeding is a good alternative.

Diseases and pests

Salad is not as loved by snails as lettuce, for example. It is also very robust and not prone to disease.

Aphids – are annoying themselves, but rather harmless to humans. The problem is, by piercing the lettuce leaves, they can transmit viruses. Good prevention is important. The ideal is to choose resistant varieties. Covering with culture protection nets can also help. But there is no such thing as 100 percent protection. It is best to rinse the lice off. In the greenhouse parasitic wasps, gall flies and lacewings can be used against aphids.

Lettuce lice – often infested near poplar trees, as the pests hibernate in them. These lice attack the roots of the lettuce plants. It comes to stunted growth. The root lice like drought. Keeping the soil moist, e.g. by mulching, is usually enough to drive them away.

Downy mildew – forms on the leaves of lettuce and plucked salads if the moisture continues. Leaf spots appear on the lettuce leaves. Young plants die. Here too, sowing resistant varieties helps. However, this only works if the resistance is not broken by individual fungal stems.

Viral diseases rarely – lettuce mosaic virus – to be recognized by light and dark green, mosaic-like piebald leaves. It comes to stunted growth. The virus can be transmitted through seeds and aphids. Prevention through virus-free seeds and protective cover against aphids.

Salad is healthy and delicious. Salad and lettuce are the easiest varieties to grow. Any beginner can grow these plants. It’s very easy. For a long harvest it is important to sow at regular intervals, about every three to four weeks. So you always have freshly harvested lettuce available. The plants hardly need any care. The sowing and rearing is problem-free, especially if you use ready-made seed strips and plates. Cut and pick lettuce can be grown on any window sill, in a balcony box or bucket and of course in a bed. Nobody should do without the fresh green!

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