Collecting Lettuce Seeds
Harvesting lettuce seeds is simple, fun, and affordable. In this article, I will tell you how to collect and store lettuce seeds in your backyard, with step by step instructions. One of the best tasks in backyard vegetable gardening is collecting seeds to planting next year, and lettuce is definitely one of top favorites. In addition, if you like growing them in the late summer or the fall, they are great for harvest in the spring.
To collect your fall lettuce seeds, wait until the last week of summer, but remember that the heat and moisture can destroy your early summer crops. Check the ground daily for moisture. If it is dry, just wait for the next watering. If the soil is too wet, don't water until it dries out a bit. Your early fall lettuce seeds should be ready by early September.
If you are in need of extra vegetables for your garden in the winter months, you can save the lettuce seeds that you collect in September and December. If you have two rows in your garden, plant seeds in each row one after the other, seven to eight inches apart. If you have three rows, plant seeds in the center, six to eight inches apart. If you have an above ground garden, you may choose to cover the bottom row before planting your crop in the ground.
Before planting your crop, you need to do some research about the different varieties available. Choose several types that you like, either to eat fresh, or to freeze for later use. In addition to variety, choose seed packages that offer the types that you want to grow, so that you can harvest lettuce seeds in the appropriate way. Some varieties of lettuce require anther growing season, so they will not germinate. If you harvest lettuce seeds in the winter, be sure to protect them from frost.
If you are considering planting Lettuce seeds indoors for the first time, consider the type of climate that you live in. Some varieties do well in cool climates but will burn up in hot weather. Others need more heat in order to grow. Also keep in mind the moisture content of the soil in which you plan to plant. Do your homework when deciding what to plant, and research the varieties that are suited to your area.
If you do plan to harvest your seeds indoors in the fall, you can use a chaff spray at the beginning of September to help prevent the chaff from having time to sprout. The chaff can sometimes get so heavy that it causes the seeds to germinate and then fall off. This is why the chaff spray needs to be used before the chaff has a chance to become too heavy. Harvesting late fall or in the winter is better done with the chaff spray on top of any seed sowing in early fall. Also be sure to fertilize as needed throughout the season.
There are other ways to harvest lettuce seeds. If you are planning to plant seeds indoors, there are two other popular methods of Lettuce growth: seed Drill and flower head. Seed drill is a common technique used by most beginners who wish to try growing their own vegetables. Basically, seed drills are hollow tubes filled with plastic that contain seed. The seed is inserted into the hole and allowed to pass through the tube to germinate and then harden.
The flower head is a method that is often used when growing Lettuce. The idea of collecting lettuce seeds in a paper bag is a nice one, however, it does have a couple disadvantages. Collecting lettuce in a paper bag can become messy if not done properly (especially if seeds are mixed in with the paper). Also, if the garden space is small, flower heads may take over the usable space that you would otherwise use for other plants.