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Are there lettuce, rocket and other similar crops in your garden? Then set aside i seeds of lettuce it could be an inexpensive and very effective way to get a better harvest next year. But how to make lettuce seeds?
Let's start by remembering that taking care of the seeds will allow you to choose the varieties that have the best yield in the garden, in order to distinguish them from those that have more difficulty. In short, how much better is there to ensure a fruitful harvest!
Choosing the seeds
Before planning the effort involved in saving lettuce seeds, you need to make sure that only identify seeds that belong to those varieties that can best suit yours specific cultivation conditions. Try to prefer "pollinating" seeds, as hybrid seeds will not allow you to obtain effective follow-up crops.
Wait for the seeds
Observe small and tender lettuce leaves that are emerging from your garden is a beautiful emotion, so much so that you fall into the easy temptation to eat them. It is ... the exact opposite of what you have to do, because your effort will have to be aimed at ensuring that the plant goes to seed.
So try to wait for the end of the vegetative phase: you will see lettuce change its appearance and structure, with the appearance of a reproductive phase in which the leaves become hard and leathery. A small stem will then start from the center, the flower axis, which will lengthen reaching 60-130 centimeters, ending with some yellow flowers.
So far, the bad news: you have to wait a bit and you have to live with a creature that has little to do with the aforementioned lettuce leaves. The good news is that you don't need a lot of plants to produce the seeds you need to produce a great crop for the next year. Just select two or three plants for this purpose!
Read also: Sow salad
Remember that the reproductive stage of most lettuces it begins when summer temperatures get hot. Once this scenario is created, the leaves of the plant will become bitter and hard, making them unpleasant to eat. Shortly after this evolution, the plant will begin to bloom, producing small clusters of flowers that contain the plant's pollen and which, if you do not intervene, will disperse in other parts of the garden.
Hence, a little attention. If you are growing more than one variety of lettuce and all varieties are flowering at the same time, you run the serious risk of cross-pollination. To avoid this, isolate each plant with a plastic bag or cover to create a mini greenhouse on each particular species. You can also build a cage covered by a panel, and place it on an entire plant to isolate it from the others: this attention ensures that the pollen of a flower is not passed to another variety to create a hybrid seed.
Collect the seeds
Returning to today's focus, once i yellow flowers they begin to become flower heads whites and fluffy, you can cut the plant and put it to dry on paper. Once dried, you can then rub the flower heads in your hands and collect the small seeds that will emerge.
Take the seeds and put them in paper bags, inside airtight containers. Keep them in a cool and dry place, and in these conditions you will be able to use them even after 2-3 years!
To get a best seed cropYou can also take extra care by pouring the seeds into a shallow dish or tray, and gently running a nearby fan. The breeze from the fan should blow away any residue. If you don't want to use a fan or don't have one on hand, you can place the seeds in a bowl or saucer and blow gently. Once the residues have been removed, remember not to leave the seeds in the air too much, but put them in a plastic bag for food storage or in a glass jar. Seal the package, label it, and store it in a cool, dry place. You will reopen it when you need seeds, finding them in full shape and ready to guarantee you a fantastic seasonal harvest!