Since this is my very first vegetable garden I have no idea about some things. I started to pick the lettuce, the small tender leaves, and washed it, I thought thoroughly, I put in a bowl of fresh water, then swished it around then rinsed it in colander and then uses a salad spinner. But it tasted like dirt. So how do you wash fresh lettuce from the garden?
use a big wash tub or sink of water. The water will help pull the sand and dirt to the bottom of the sink. Do a few changes of water. If it still seems gritty, separate the leaves and dunk them in a new sink if fresh water. Sorta like washing collard. I have to wash cases of head romaine at work several times a week and that's how I do it. I even toss a bit of ice in the water and let it sit a while sometimes. Use plenty of fresh water. Most of the time it works really well. I've only had one complaint about gritty lettuce.
I put my lettuce leaves in a plastic colander, and use the sprayer very gently over the leaves. Do this several times, using cool water, and the dirt washes out through the strainer. Lift the leaves out, and lay them on paper towels and pat dry.
That's a good kind of garden problem to have! I'm in Golden Co and am finding that early and late season are great for lettuce here! I just replanted for the fall last weekend. I just dump all my lettuce in the sink and run cool water slowly and rinse each leaf--it's a bit tedious, especially when making a huge bowl of salad. Then I put them through the salad spinner til almost dry--roll gently in paper towels afterward if need be. I've tried just swishing the leaves in a sink full of water too, but it doesn't seem to work as well for me. enjoy! I had lettuce well into fall last year, and if it snows then warms up again you'll often get new growth in the centers!
Use a wash tub or a bucket and dump the lettuce in it, let water flow in the the vessel and rinse each leaf throughly till you see no dirt. Its a bit tedious but sure and you would be burning more calories.
You can also try one of those salad spinners, they work pretty good. If you are talking leaf lettuce, just cut it off about an inch or so above the soil with a pair of scissors, no grit and it keeps on coming! We love "wilted" lettuce. Saute some fresh garden lettuce with some onions and mushrooms in some oil. Just enough to make the veggie's tender. I like vinagrette on mine, but my kids will eat it right out of the pan. Their both grown, but I can still wack fingers with the wooden spoon occasionally. One would think they were starving...sheesh
It all depends on the type of lettuce, some the more you handle and wash, the less flavour and crunch you get, for tender leaves, cut well above the soil level, for full heads, remove the hard core bit by holding between your fingers and thumb like you hold a golf ball, clasp your other hand around the leaves gathered together , then twist the dirty hearty bottom root off the inside of the lettuce, then all the leaves will separate enough to be washed in really cool water, if you have time, add a spoon of salt to the water while the lettuces steep and any creepy crawlies will either float on sink, but you still need to check each leaf as you lift from the water. another way to stop the plants getting splashed with soil as you water, is to make little collars to place around the plants just at soil level, this helps to prevent soil splashing all over the plants and sticking to them as the soil dries. If you cut lettuce with a metal knife etc, it goes brown quick at the cuts, so try just riping it apart with your fingers, then it stays crisper and dont discolour. Hope this will help you out, good luck. WeeNel.
I have a friend who grows lettuce and spinach for the farmers' market. He picks it then puts it in the clothes washing machine and runs it through a cold cycle. It works great, but when his wife wants to wash clothes and finds the washer full of lettuce she gets mad.