Gardening in the heat- Lettuce Seed Collection

It’s super hot here in Northern California but I can’t skip out on taking care of the garden. Your best bet to deal with the heat and keep the garden intake is get out and about first thing in the morning. Make sure you water the garden either the night before or the very morning during hot days. If you happen to skip out because you are feeling to hot that weather can kill off the garden in a couple of hours and there will be no saving it. Once a plant wilts, the sun easily burns away at the weakened leaves and it’s over. So get out there and water it up before the heat takes all the hard work you put in the garden away!

Moving on to Lettuce. The last batch of Winter Lettuce a wild mix of small salad greens has finally gone to seed. If you let a batch go to see you will  see the weed like stems and yellow flowers stick up nice and tall in the garden. I have my lettuce right up front so when you walk by the garden you just see buckets of tall lettuce stems and tiny yellow flowers. To any outsider it’s a weed, to the person on the inside like me, I’ve been on edge waiting for them to go to seed. Finally!

The pods and stems are coated with a milk like sticky residue so collecting seeds can be tricky. Don’t let the seeds get wet and be sure to wash your hands after collection it can get very sticky.Just pick the dried pod, and store in a cool dry place.
 The pods can hold up to 15 seeds so don’t be skipping them! 
 I find collecting seeds easier in the morning. Just as flowers open in the morning so does the seed pods. When the pod is closed and are collected that way they tend to rot very fast. Be sure to collect when they are opened and dry or else the seeds will not save correctly. 

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