This year I grew a kind of lettuce I’ve never grown before. Green Salad Bowl. I got the seeds from Territorial Seed Company. For growing in our tubs a mile inland from the coast in Mendocino, Green Salad Bowl lettuce is a wonderful lettuce for both taste and prolificacy.
We harvest our lettuce by cutting the leaves when they get big enough for salad greens rather than waiting to harvest whole heads. In this way, the plants continue to produce new leaves for several weeks, and a small patch of lettuce plants will produce dozens of salads, the leaves constantly tender.
One of my pleasures is letting varieties of vegetables we like go to seed so I can harvest those seeds and sow them next season. If the vegetable is not a hybrid, the seeds will breed true and we’ll get the same vegetables unless during the growing season the plants happened to cross with another related variety growing nearby. Then we might get nothing or something quite different than the original.
This season I let one patch of the Green Salad Bowl lettuce go to seed. I’m now in the process of harvesting seeds from those plants. We had two unusually early rains in September, which we’re glad about, except the rains came right as the lettuce flowers were in the latter stages of making seeds.
Thus most of the lettuce flower blooms succumbed to mildew before they could produce fully developed seeds.
Fortunately, every day in early October I’ve been finding white puffs amidst the mildewed growth that are the end stages of flowers successfully gone to seed.
I pick these puffs and carefully extract the seeds.
Will they germinate next spring?
We shall see.