Collecting Lettuce Seeds
|September 6, 2012||Posted by Issa under Homesteading|
In these photos, I am collecting lettuce seeds. The plants are some lettuce that I grew, that I left to bolt and go to seed. Once the stalks and seed heads are dry, I harvest them and collect the seeds. Often, the seed heads won’t all be ripe at the same time, so I don’t get even 50% yield. But there are still plenty of seeds–more than I need. I tend to collect early rather than late, because by the time the seeds have fully ripened and fallen on the ground, they’re lost. A single good wind or rain-storm can shake most of the ripe seeds loose.
Each ripe seed head has a tuft of white on it. If the tuft is pointy, like a paint brush, the head isn’t ripe yet. When the head is ripe, the tuft fans out and the seed head is brown, dry, and crumbly. Plucking on the tuft pulls out a bunch of seeds, perhaps ten or so. With the really ripe ones, I can separate the seeds simply by crumbling the seed pod between my fingers.