Lettuce is another good candidate for #seedsavingformarketgrowers
It needs NO isolation distance. That’s right, lettuce is a SUPER SELFER. It is exceptional to see any crossing in lettuce. Even if the plants are grown side by side.
And pretty much all the lettuce varieties you use are open pollinated. I don’t know of any hybrid lettuce varieties readily available for market growers.
This means that any lettuce you grow from your own saved seed should look just like its parent.
But there are 3 things that might frustrate you about growing lettuce to seed if you’re growing in a wet climate like us.
- Lettuce is susceptible to all types of diseases. And the longer the plant is in the ground the more chance you have for your lettuce to go full jelly. Some varieties might get you decent baby leaves, or even a decent head but will melt before you can get the plants to flower and set seed.
- Seed yield can be lower under rainy weather.
- Lettuce seed can be frustrating to clean when you have any amount of moisture clumping the little fuzzies to the seed.
Part of the solution is to trial lettuce varieties for good seed yield in your climate.
As for not perfectly clean seed goes. Part of the secret is making sure the plants are real dry. We’ll talk about this more this summer.
Now, if you’re ready to save some lettuce seed, all you have to do is let some plants go to flower. (You can harvest leaves from these plants for letting them bolt.)
You could leave the first 20-30 plants in your lettuce bed, go to seed.
Or, you could flag the best plants as you harvest lettuce leaves. Then when the bed is finished for salad greens, you can dig up the flagged plants to replant them into a seed saving area.