Well, I have a lot of bolting lettuce here in North Texas.. It is
the lettuce plants are about 2 feet high and look like little green
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
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
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
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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