Saving F3 lettuce seeds

Each bucket has the seeds from 1 lettuce plant.

These were quickly cleaned in the field and then put in separate bins.

These are the seeds of our 7 favourite lettuce plants from an F2 population of a cross between Jericho Romaine and  Deer Tongue lettuce. The seeds I collected are the F3 generation.

We culled the population to these 7 plants by tasting them and looking at them and pulling out any we didn’t like. Nature also did a little selection by turning a couple into jelly.

 I brought the buckets back to our seed cleaning area and I screened each lot with a 5/16” screen.

This screen is pretty close to the size of lettuce and gets most of the big bits out.

Then I winnowed each lot a couple of times. The seed in this bucket came from one plant. Plants can be quite generous.

All the seed from one plant foes into 1 envelope. 2201 was the number I gave the the population when I planted it this year. The “-1” means this is the first selection of 2201. 

This is the seed from another lettuce plant. This was actually the team’s favourite lettuce plant. However, it was not nature’s favourite plant and had a bit of a rough time. We’ve got enough for another generation but if nature is just as tough on this plant next year, we probably won’t keep working with it.

Here are the 7 envelopes from the plants I chose. Next year when we grow these out, we’ll call them 2301 through 2307 to indicate they were grown in 2023. Of course I’ve got a spreadsheet that lets me quickly track down which envelope the seed will have come out of.

And now I get to dream about what next year’s lettuce will look like.


My next free online workshop is on Thursday Sept 22 at 2pm Eastern …

More details coming soon!


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