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Factory Vegetables - Many beginning gardeners think they need to plant 100 heads of lettuce in order to satisfy their craving for salads all season, but lettuces and certain other crops are considered factory vegetables. What’s a factory vegetable? Well, you could cut off the entire head when it’s ready, but you’ve missed an opportunity for continuous harvest for several months. Lettuces, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, spinach, arugula and herbs like cilantro and parsley are factory vegetables. They produce new growth from the center of the plant, so if you harvest only the outer leaves you can keep that plant alive and producing for 3-4 months. This even works with heading lettuces. Eventually it will form a head, but you can pick outer leaves while that’s happening. At Gardenerd HQ we plant 16 heads of lettuce, 4 arugula, and 8 mustard green plants in about 7 square feet. Then we harvest outer leaves from November through February, and plant again for harvests from March through May. You’ll have more salad greens, kale, and chard from fewer plants if you utilize their factory behavior.