Collecting Lettuce Seeds

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Lettuce flowers to seeds!

Collecting seeds is a lot of fun.  Part of it is knowing I grew this plant, and will collect its seeds, and then grow it again.  There is something awesome in that.  I already can’t wait to plant them!

This years crop was really nice.  The lettuce was colorful, flavorful, and the heads were really full, so you can see how excited I am for next year.  I am hoping this years seedlings will produce the same amazing crop next year.

Lettuce looks like, well….lettuce!  But if you don’t pull out the whole plant, and let it grow, and grow, and grow, it will eventually shoot up flowers. (They call this “bolting”–“letting the plant “bolt”.) Aren’t the yellow flowers adorable? Yep, cute as a button.  Are buttons cute?

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Adorable yellow flowers 😉

Then if you wait, the flowers will get this soft white “downy” strands. Sort of looks like when the dandelions go to seed.  You remember…plucking them and making a wish on the puffy white “blossom”, then blowing them into the wind! Ahhhh so fun!

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See the “downy” soft puffs?

I picked them a couple different ways, but found plucking the whole head was best.  If I just picked the white puffy parts, I noticed some of the seed falling away.  I got smarter and got a large bowl and picked off all the “heads”.  I didn’t want to waste a single seed!

When it comes to planting time I can separate the seed from the chaff.  Though I have planted the seed before with the chaff and had just as good of outcome.  Makes sure before you put your seed away for next plantings, that you are positive that everything is dry.  If it molds, then you have to toss it.  Booooo. *insert tears here*  I have a cupboard that I lay them out on paper towels for a week to make sure.  Then store them in a glass jar, paper bag, plastic zip baggie.  Label and date the container.

The next time you plant lettuce, if you like the color, taste, texture, etc., let a plant or two “bolt” and you will be able to harvest the seeds for next planting.

Do you collect seeds?  If so, what kind?

Happy gardening! Koko ❀ ✿ ❁ ✾

15 thoughts on “Collecting Lettuce Seeds

  1. I tried to grow chili peppers, tomatoes, chrysanthemum and roses. It did not went well.
    My aunt asked me to re-start with something “easier”. I think it was her who paid for the cactus. Well, it died in two weeks. 😦

    • Uh oh Hari, you need to find your green thumb! I am still learning as I go. I have a big problem with moles. Those creatures love to eat the roots of my plants. I feel like I grow plants just for them! My cat catches them sometimes, but with so much land, there are many moles. I need to find a plant they don’t want to eat!

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  3. If you put the seed heads in a paper bag just before they blow up and put the bag, tied up in a dry warm place the heads will blow up, separating. This makes collection super efficient and easier to clean/prep.

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  5. I am so impressed. This is something I have always wanted to do but have been too scared that I would do it wrong. Perhaps I will try it this year. That would save me tons and tons of money on starts!

    • I didn’t think I could do it either. It really was so simple! I also grew cilantro and basil by saving the seeds. Give it a try! Thanks for being here. Please come back again! I hope the shines for you this weekend! Enjoy! Koko

      • It’s shining right now. I’m going to try it this year. How fun. I just propagate my basil through cuttings and it’s lasts forever. Hope you have a fantastic day Koko

  6. Wow, this was read just at the right time as I let our romaine lettuce bolt and wondered about collecting the seeds. Today I saw some puffy stuff so I am going back out there with my bowl, thanks!

    • Yay! I’m super happy for you! You are going to love doing this. I planted the seed with the “puffy stuff” too. I didn’t bother separating the puff from the seed. No trouble with the seed sprouting with the puff! I wish success with your lettuce. Best to you! Koko

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