Harvesting Lettuce Seed

Well, I finally got around to harvesting the lettuce seed from the Romaine lettuce blooms I had cut and left to dry. For anyone wanting to attempt to save seeds from your lettuce, as I have mentioned in my previous post about saving seeds, you must let the plants bolt. The lettuce blooms will eventually die and turn to a white fuzz much like a dandelion.

It can then be cut and left to dry out or mulched back into the ground as some gardeners do, allowing it to self-sow.  I found harvesting the seeds to be quite easy, but very messy as the white fluff goes everywhere. All I had to do was run my fingers through the dried out blooms and the seeds dropped, but so did the fluff. And, I found it difficult to separate the fluff from the seed. I even tried an old mesh strainer which actually helped cut down on the fuzzy stuff, but some of it still got through into the container. Lettuce seed 2

I am storing the seed in paper packets in a storage container kept in a cool dark space in the back hall.  Anyhow, I now have a good supply of lettuce seed, which if I need next season, I can use. I tossed the leftover stems back out into the garden so it will self-sow. I am looking forward to seeing how many lettuce plants appear in fall, and I have plenty of seed for future planting and for sharing.

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