Bolting Lettuce Question

Andy writes: Well, I have a lot of bolting lettuce here in North Texas.. It is hot, and the lettuce plants are about 2 feet high and look like little green Xmas trees..... They look so nice that I don't want to cut them down.
In fact, I am considering using them in the front of the house next
year as decorative landscaping. i don't know how long they will look this nice, so I am experimenting this summer...
Anyway, on to my question :
Can I harvest seeds from the bolting lettuce to use next year ? I know that the answer is simple, but some of you must have done it already and can tell me what to do...... Where are the seeds formed and how should I harvest them...?
Thanks for any advice on this.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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But of course! If the lettuce is a hybrid, you may not get the same thing you have now. Lettuce doesn't cross-pollinate easily, so few worries about crossing with other types nearby.

You'll get flowers on the bolted plants which will dry up to little seed pods with tiny tufts of "cotton" at the ends. When you've got a bunch of the seed pods, just cut the stalks and put them in a paper bag until good and dry. Then rub between your hands to thresh the seeds. Screen out the big chunks, at which point you should seed the seeds and smaller chaff. You can simply plant this, or if you're a purist, put the mixture in a shallow bowl and gently blow across it to clean the seeds. Be careful; the seeds aren't much heavier than the chaff.
Once you've succeeded at that, get Suzanne Ashworth's "Seed to Seed," join the Seed Saver's Exchange www.seedsavers.org and it's all downhill from there.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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As another poster mentioned: if you want to save the seed, you need to be sure the plants were OP and not hybrid.
If the plants are OP, then wait until the small yellow flowers that will follow the bolting central stem / stalk have matured into dry, cottony tufts. The seed can be separated from the tufts by rubbing gently the dried flower heads btwn thumb and forefinger over a bowl. Let the seed air dry a day or two more before storing in an cool, dark, and airtight container.
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