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Collecting Seeds-Lettuce


Pay attention to what color and form the original seeds are in when you make your first purchase. I have lettuce seeds that are black and others that are white. Watch for the same ‘look’ when you harvest.sorting-seeds

 Lettuce seeds take a long time to grow in respect to our northern climate. That’s why I sew lettuce in the fall. They come up early in the spring - earlier than anything you can plant by seeds by about at least a month. By the time others around my are planting later in May, I’m already starting to harvest. I leave a few lettuce plants from this group to mature into seed. Maturity happens in September. I’ve had to cover them a time or two to make sure they didn’t freeze.

 

ready-lettuce-seed-heads

Lettuce seed heads that are ready. These are black seeds behind the white fuzz.

 

I have to get creative about what I can find to sieve out my seeds. A variety of ‘nets’ are best. Also try hardware cloth, window screen, food strainers, slotted spoons, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

I pluck as much of the  seeds heads off as I can leaving behind the stems. Then I rub the whole mess together so the seeds break loose from the fuzz. The I separate the garbage  with different screens.

tools-for-sieving-seeds

Sieves and strainers I use.

 

Blowing to winnow the seed works well. You either swirl the seeds on a plate or bounce them to release the junk. Each kind of seed cleans a little differently.

separating-lettuce-seeds

Here centrifugal force is used by swirling the mass on a plate to separate the heavy seeds from the light chaff. You can wipe the chaff off by hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

keeping-your-own-lettuce-seeds

My seeds for next year

 

 

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3 Responses to “Collecting Seeds-Lettuce”

  1. Wow we are into November and you’re still processing your harvest. I think it would be cool if you had a big open area with large tables to make it all go more smoothly. Where did they do all this stuff back in the day when they had cabins and small dwellings?!

    • sherry says:

      They hung the herbs and things from the rafters, etc. until they needed them.They also didn’t grow as much variety…like one kind of lettuce, and probably not nasturtiums and 5 colors of petunias…

  2. Naomi says:

    Thank-you. I am hoping to have some early lettuce next year from seeds this year. Last year I had volunteers and they were off to a very early start.

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