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Why Has My Garden Lettuce Started Tasting Bitter?

Nothing beats the soft buttery taste of early spring lettuce. As the season progresses however, that once subtle tasting lettuce will likely take on a much stronger and even bitter flavor.

You may think this is because of a lack of water or not enough fertilizer, but that is not typically the case and it is unlikely to remedy the situation.

When lettuce plants begin tasting bitter, it is generally the signal that the plants have reached the end of their desirable life cycle. These plants will often send up flower stalks to produce seed. Around this time, I like to stop collecting lettuce from these plants and allow them to flower and go to seed. Once the seeds mature, you can collect them and plant them next year.

But, but, but it's only early July and my lettuce is already going to seed? Fear not, find a shady location and plant some more! Lettuce can be started and successfully grown all summer long, providing it's not too hot. I like to grow my lettuce in pots so that I can move them around depending on what the weather is like and so I can enjoy fresh, buttery, subtle tasting lettuce all summer long and you can too!

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