This is helpful if you want to know how to save lettuce seeds. Voila! If biotech gets its way, it will patent our food. How To Save Lettuce Seeds … Once your lettuce bolts, leave a few plants in your garden bed, allow the flowers to bloom, then dry out completely on the stalk. But, what if you plant your lettuce in the fall, before it gets cold? Thank you! Experiment with different ways of growing these and see how each plant forms heads. Steps on how to save lettuce seeds: Look for the lettuce flowers that are white and look nice and fluffy. This is when you want to look for signs that the lettuce flower head is starting to dry out. Some varieties of lettuce will be less heat tolerant meaning they will start to flower as soon as it gets warmer in the summer months. It will start to flower after it has formed. by CaliKim | Jul 12, 2017 | Blog, Seed Saving, Summer Garden | 9 comments. Comment below – let me know if you are saving lettuce seeds (or any other types of seeds) from your garden! My eBook * My Partners Store * My Amazon Store. I have an organic farm & chickens in my backyard which provides me with food and endless entertainment. You need to first look for the seed heads to form. All of a sudden the leaves start to taste a little bitter & the lettuce plant may bolt. One lettuce plant can produce hundreds, if not thousands of seeds – you only need a few plants to save lots of free seeds. Grab FREE Garden Hacks that Save Me $512/year. for your support!! Heirloom seeds represent original varieties passed down from … The lettuce leaves may start to taste a little bitter because of the plants energy shifts from producing leaves to forming its offspring. Recommended Isolation Distance. The flower heads will soon start to form white fluffy chaff much like you see dandelion flowers. Look for the lettuce flowers that are white and look nice and fluffy. Usually, they all open at the same time in the morning hours for the pollinators. Shake the flower head back and forth, hitting it against the sides of the bag. Open the bag, check the seed head to see if most of the seeds have fallen out. Commonly Saved Vegetable Seeds. Why Practice Seed Saving… The steps on how to save lettuce seeds could not be any easier. Check out the video below to see an example of these lettuce florets. As soon as it bolts and gets bitter I rip it out for my favorite summer vegetables. Selecting Seeds . There will be a long stalk that will extend up from the plant. Saving your own lettuce seed is so easy and very rewarding! Most of the head lettuce varieties are best to be grown this way, but the leaf salad bowl varieties are best grown in a mix. It’s a step in the direction to living more simply and responsibly. If you are growing lettuce in your garden, you might notice the flavor turning bitter and see the plants start to shoot up towards the sky. A legacy of lettuce leaves has a nice ring to it. To save seeds, start by harvesting them in the late summer, when the flowers start to fade and the seeds look plump and mature. Clip the seed head off and save those seeds! This is the method I practice. How to save lettuce seeds. I save seeds from flowers and vegetables as most are so easy to save. Hi Kim! Well, it is time for the lettuce plant to start reproducing itself. The seeds will be small long pods that you can separate from the chaff using various methods. It starts to grow tall stalks (called bolting), develops flower heads, and eventually produces seed. Tie the bottoms of the seed stalks to a clothes hanger, so that the seed stalks are upside down with the paper bags upright. Annual. The viable lettuce seeds should remain on the plate and any dead seeds and lettuce pod chaff should blow off. Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use SEO & Web Design by Evergreen Growth MarketingSitemap, 5 Free Garden HACKS That Save Me $512 Each Year, Enter Your Email Address Below & Get The FREE Garden Hacks Sent to Your Email. Most varieties of lettuce are grown all year round however some varieties are easier to grow and collect seeds from than others. Trust me it is not that hard. To do this, put the seeds and chaff in a fine mesh strainer and shake over a bowl. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Your email address will not be published. We at Green Thumb Gardener provide tips and guides for both for beginners and advanced gardeners out there. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. Once your seeds (and chaff) are completely dry, put them in a ziplock bag or airtight container and store in a cool, dry location. Gently blow the chaff or the seed pod remains. Will your lettuce still bolt? Let them air dry for at least a week, and you’re good. It only takes a few minutes – in fact, it’s so simple, if you’ve never done it, you’ll wonder why not. Life Cycle: Annual . How to Grow and Save Lettuce SeedIt is very hard not to grow lettuce seed. First off, your lettuce has to “bolt.” This usually happens easily and quickly in really warm weather…but basically you let your lettuce plant grow really tall and it will start to form a shoot in the middle of it that will get rather twiggy. Here is a video that shows you the exact steps of how to save lettuce seeds: As you can see, learning how to save lettuce seeds is a simple and easy process. That way, you will avoid any potential molding. It is ideal to select the lettuce flower heads that are really dry. The only thing you may want to do is keep the different varieties separated if you want to save them that way. Using a paper plate is a quick and easy way to save lettuce seeds. Plus, bolted lettuce is not the most aesthetically appealing plant. Required fields are marked *. Then let the mixture sit out of the sun for several days, until a smelly surface mold forms. If the seeds are small, cut the plant off with scissors and shake the seeds into a container to collect them. As part of this Amazon Associates program, the Website will post customized links, provided by Amazon, to track the referrals to their website. Typically I don’t wait on my lettuce to go to seed. Saving seeds completes the growing cycle and improves your crop from year to year. Take a paper grocery sack and gently bend the lettuce stalk over so the flower head is inside the sack. A single lettuce plant can produce over a thousand seeds. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Pull them off and put in a bag or some container for the next steps. Know How To Harvest Seeds. This means that seed savers need to leave a few fruits to fully mature in the garden when they want to save seeds. Of all common garden plants, lettuce seeds are probably the most difficult to clean. Source: Eran Finkle. and the beets look more like a grain that needs threshing. Once you start, you’ll do it every year, and will love have free seeds for the next time you plant. Tomatoes and Cucumbers. Saving lettuce seeds from your plants is relatively easy. #lettuce #gardening #lettucegardening, Some things to be aware of prior collecting and saving lettuce seeds. If you’re saving seeds for genetic preservation … You know the seeds are ready to harvest when the pappus is well developed. The lettuce seeds are so much easier!! The seeds will pop right out and fall onto the paper plate. Plant your seeds right away or save for later. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. Allow the flowers to completely dry out so you can save seeds from lettuce plants. They typically form in heads of 10-25 individual florets with each seeds being encapsulated in one floret. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Benefits of saving lettuce seeds for next year or season: You can go about planting lettuce in a way that will produce the best offspring. How to Save Lettuce Seeds Gently cut the stem of the lettuce flower and take it over to your work table. Remove the seed stalk from the lettuce plant using pruning shears. To separate seeds and chaff, shake in a wire mesh strainer. It is good to have a variety of lettuce plants in your garden for this very reason. You can plant these now or store them for next season. (think of the dandelion weeds you may see on lawns). You are left with lettuce seeds that can be planted right away or stored for future plantings next year. Don’t pull your lettuce plants out yet, save some seeds! . . Next, you want to pull the actual lettuce flower pods off. Separate varieties by 10-20 feet. Store lettuce seeds in … This program utilizes cookies to track visits for the purposes of assigning commission on these sales. Share with friends, follow me, view how-to videos, photos of my garden, and lots of growing tips and tricks, on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Green thumb Gardener occasionally links to products and/or services offered by vendors to assist you with all your gardening needs. There will be a point that the lettuce plant will start to send up a long stalk from the center of the plant. Usually most of us harvest our lettuce and use it in the kitchen. So glad you are getting the seed saving bug!! Great information on lettuce seed saving! Collecting and saving lettuce seeds from plants in your garden is easy and a great way to save money. Jan 8, 2017 - Our winter garden produced quite a bit of lettuce; 52 heads of Bibb lettuce to be exact. Shaking the seed head in a paper bag works like a charm for saving seeds. But, I will surely remember your tips for next year! Fold over the top of the bag and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or so. Seed saving is an adventure in science, thrift, preparedness training, and culinary arts ~ all rolled into one. The seeds will pop right out and fall onto the paper plate. This particular plant was a frilly Lollo Rosso lettuce plant, hence the purple color. I pulled all of my lettuce immediately after it bolted. It is so easy to collect and save lettuce seeds that you will be amazed that you didn’t start sooner. You will rub each flower head until it crumbles. It is easy to teach your children when they are young and thus pass on a heritage of sustainable skills for the next generation. It’s perfectly fine to plant your seeds with the chaff, but if you’d like to, you can separate the seeds from the chaff. Crush and or roll the collection of seeds pods in a bag. You can pick the heads once they have dried. Skim that off and discard, then rinse the seeds in a strainer. Open-pollinated and heirloom plants both grow true to seed for years to come. Lettuce seeds packets may highlight the lettuce varieties that are slow to bolt. This means they are ready to store. When the flowers have started to show some of that white fluff, as you can seed on the top flowers in the picture above, its time to start harvesting your lettuce seeds! To ensure viable seeds, save seeds from at least 1 plant. When maintaining a variety over many generations, save seeds from 5 to 10 plants. (think of the dandelion weeds you may see on lawns). A terrifying thought byt it IS happening. If you’d like to store your seeds for later use, leave them in the paper sack for a few weeks to absorb any moisture. Recommended Isolation Distance: Separate varieties by 10-20 feet. Below is a rundown of gathering, treating, and storing the most commonly-saved garden vegetable seeds. Discard seed stalks once seeds have been collected. Green thumb Gardener occasionally links to product and/or services offered by vendors to assist you with all your gardening needs. Have you always wanted to know how to save lettuce seeds? My goal is to save seed this year and I had no idea it was so easy. You can go about planting lettuce in a way that will produce the best offspring. If you just have a few lettuce heads to save seeds from, the paper plate method is for you. Lettuce plants are one of those plants that can flourish without much care, unlike some other vegetables. all puffy and ready to fly . Your email address will not be published. Loved the Youtube video. Want to Download a ​Garden Hack Guide​ for FREE. We are in the mid 80s here! Watch as my husband Jim shows you how to do it! Enter your email below and we will send you a guide to help you SAVE money in your garden. When you are saving your seeds, you’ll notice is a lot of white fluffy materia, called chaff. If you have an entire garden of bolted lettuce to save, the paper bag method is for you. Watch the video from my YouTube channel, “How to Save Lettuce Seeds”  so you can see exactly how to save lettuce seeds from your garden so you can have FREE seeds for the next time you plant. Lots of seeds and chafe will fall into your bowl. Each pair of lettuce seeds is attached to a white dandelion-like ‘parachute’ called pappus. I live in Dallas Tx, zone 8. When you save it yourself for the next season it will be adapted to your growing zone and be more productive and hardy! The summer days are much longer like the days of June & July creep in. Really, it is due to the lengthening of the days which coincides with the warmer summer months in the northern hemisphere. Hot! But this past year we were given some beautiful speckled, spotted, red, funky-shaped lettuce plants that tasted as good as they looked beautiful. It is ideal to select the lettuce flower heads that are really dry. These steps should help you: • Once you have collected the seed heads, allow them to dry fully in an open container or bag. Either leave the plants in the ground to dry out completely, or pull them up roots and all and let them sit in a spot out of direct sun for a week or so. This will separate the seeds from the pods. One of the main problems with saving lettuce seed is that the seed will easily rot if the seed head gets wet during the ripening process, either protect it from rain or if you are in for damp week the entire plant can be pulled up and hung in a shed to finish ripening. Clip off your lettuce head from the stalk, and rub the dry flower heads between your fingers over a paper plate. This will help you save money, so you don’t have to purchase another packet of lettuce seeds. As a newbie I do have a question. You now have FREE seeds! It also makes me feel more self-reliant. Once temperatures climb above 75-80 degrees, lettuce doesn’t like it. Gardenerthumb.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Bolting lettuce is a term that the lettuce ready to go to seed. (Tips for growing lettuce in hot weather will be shared in a blog post very soon – stay tuned! ) Harvesting Lettuce Seeds. Before you go to the effort of saving your lettuce seeds, first, make sure to save seeds only from open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. I just started watching your channel and was so motivated I decided to finally go for it and start my garden for the first time ever. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Clip your lettuce head from the stalk and place the entire head in a paper bag. You may want to start collecting and saving other vegetable seeds if you found this easy to do. The seeds will fall through the strainer and most of the chaff will be left in the strainer. How saving lettuce seeds is perfect for anyone too busy to bother with saving seeds. 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