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Gather seed heads: Every 2-3 days gather dried seed heads from the lettuce plant. Alternatively, you can wait until all seed heads are dry and then remove the entire flower stalk. Flower heads will look fluffy and dry when they are ready to be harvested.
Harvest seed: Shake dried seed heads over a bag or bucket to dislodge ripened seed. It is important to separate the seeds from the fluff and chaff. This can be done by using a gentle fan to blow away the fluff and chaff or blowing with your own breath.
Label and Store: Label your seeds and store them in a cool, dry place. Properly stored lettuce seeds can remain viable for up to 3 years.
Lettuce can be sown in spring or fall. In spring, sow seeds in cold frames or tunnels 6 weeks before last frost, or start indoors and move outside after 3 weeks. In fall begin planting eight weeks before first fall frost. Lettuce does well in nutrient rich soil that is loose and drains well.
Lettuce is self-pollinating, so isolation distance is not a huge issue. We recommend about 25 feet of separation between varieties to ensure seed integrity.
Note: Lettuce flowers continuously throughout all stages of maturity, meaning that it will have flowers and seeds throughout all stages.
Sources: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-lettuce-zmaz08amzmcc.aspx ; http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php#lettuce
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