nees help harvesting lettuce seeds

doriswk(5)August 20, 2012

we had one lonely lettuce spring up this year, obviously self seeded from last year's crop. I figured this had to be a hardy surviving kind of fellow, so I let it grow, hoping to collects it's seeds then plant them next season. But I don't know what lettuce seeds are supposted to look like, and I don't see anything that looks like the seeds I seeded last year. ( Well, I had three kinds, all looking a bit different from each other....).

This one is now in the stage where it has little fuzzballs around a small head, somewhat like dandelions, just much smaller. I know that those fuzzballs on the dandelions are the seeds and to be dealt with before they spread all over. So, are these fuzzballs on the lettuce the actual seeds???

Should I be collecting these??? The fuzz itself, or what is underneath?

Thanks for tolerating my dumb question

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azzure08

only dumb question is the one that is not asked from what I have read that is the thing you collect seeds from

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:28PM
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doriswk(5)

so, are the individual parts from the fuzz the seeds?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:35PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

The fuzz is the little parachute to help the wind disperse the seeds, the seed is at the bottom of the fuzz and attached to the remnants of the flowerhead/stem. There are mulitple seeds per head. They are very small. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:02PM
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FruitCally

Once the flower heads have completely dried up, try pulling a few of the fuzz balls out. You should see the seed at the other end of the fuzz ball. Lettuce seeds are usually elongated and pointy at both ends. Green colored lettuce types will have beige or light colored seeds. Red lettuce or other colored lettuce types will usually have darker colored seeds. :-)

To collect the seeds in bulk, cut off the stems with the dried flower heads and place them into a paper bag. Then shake the bag so the seeds will collect at the bottom of the bag. You can easily blow away the fuzz heads if you'd like once they fall to the bottom of the bag too. :-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:13PM
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doriswk(5)

thank you all for your input! I have now cut off the stem with the flower heads since many of them had the little fuzzballs. I have put it all into a paper bag and 'll wait a few days to let it dry. Then will try to separate the seeds from the rest.

Here is another question: can I seeds some now? I mean either for growing still this year, or for next year? The plant the seeds come from was after all seeded last year....?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:39AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I just collected my lettuce seed a couple of days ago, once you see lots of fluff balls (for want of a better term) cut the stems and place them fluff side down in a big paper bag. Every couple of days grab hold of the stems and shake them against the inside of the bag doing this until most of the seed has fallen into the bottom of the bag. I separate the fluff from the seed by shaking it through a fine screen.

Now instead of cutting the stems I just bend the stems still on the plant into the bag and give them a good shake every couple of days. Either way works.

Annette

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:54AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Yes, you should be able to plant some now.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:16AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Yes, you should be able to plant some now.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:17AM
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