Harvesting lettuce seeds from your garden is very simple, economical, and enjoyable. If you become into the daily habit of collecting lettuce seeds each year, you will never have to purchase them again. You can also share them with friends, or swap them for others seeds.
Lettuce flower heads are ready to harvest as early as the first day in late summer or early fall. If you have a garden and are interested in how to save money, and grow your own organic vegetables, lettuce seeds are the best choice. They can be harvested about two weeks before the peak of their flowering season, making these a perfect crop to help fertilize your garden. When the flowers appear they provide bright, tasty color to your salad or eaten on their own as a vegetable.
When planting Lettuce seeds, the type you plant is very important. There are many types of Lettuce to choose from. Most are European, but there are also some Native American varieties that grow well in warm climates. If you want to grow them indoors, ensure you plant them in an area that receives light and moisture. Although they are not prone to freezing, you will still need to provide adequate space if you are planning to plant them outside. Fertilizer will also play a large part in their growth, so pay attention to recommendations for amounts when shopping around.
If you plant lettuce with seeds, rather than planting them in your garden, it will take much less time to harvest them. Since you will be harvesting seeds, the plants will begin to grow a few days after you plant them. When harvesting seeds, it is wise to move the plants as soon as they are ripe in order to guarantee a larger crop.
The most popular variety of Lettuce seeds sold today is the Lettuce romaine. This delicious Italian herb has become a favorite among gardeners because of its taste, color and texture. The romaine starts to come up in spring, about a week before the first sign of spring, when the weather is warm and moist. Harvest the leafy greens just after the first set of leaves appear. They will be pale green instead of bright orange and the flavor will be mild rather than strong.
In order to collect the lettuce seeds from the flower heads, use a sharp knife to snip off the long leaves at the base. These can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook with them. Some varieties of the romaine have a strong flavor and are best harvested immediately. Others will grow to full maturity and have a milder flavor. Look carefully at the flower heads before harvesting and make sure there are no large pieces of seeds stuck in the leaves or neck of the plant.
To harvest your Lettuce seeds, separate the plant into small pieces. Harvest the small pieces, while the leaves are still attached to the stem. You will need a handful to harvest each plant. If possible, remove all or at least most of the leaves on the plant. If you have a hoe to use, dig the soil up a bit so the fertilizer can reach all of the plant's roots.
When the Lettuce seeds are in smaller pieces, wrap them individually in cheesecloth and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. In order to preserve the freshness of the salad dressing, wrap the Lettuce seeds in paper and add them to a collection container. When you are ready to use the salad dressing, take care to only remove the seeds from the collection container and store them in the refrigerator. Before you re-use the dressing, take care to remove the seeds from the collection container and store them in the refrigerator.