Neither one of us had ever saved seed from any of our
plants, so we thought why not? The process sounded simple. All fruits and
vegetables are angiosperms, flowering plants. People are used to seeing tomato
or squash flowers which then turn into the fruit, but many people do not
realize that all of the greens also have flowers. In the case of the greens,
the flowers turn into seeds.
We let a number of the vegetable plants we had growing in
yoghurt containers “go to seed”. The plants first put up a central stalk, and
then put flowers out from the stalk.
In the above picture, two deer tongue lettuce plants
flanking an oak leaf lettuce plant are starting to put up central stalks. Note
also that the leaves are getting smaller and more plentiful as the plant
matures and starts into its seed production cycle.
This picture show two deer tongue plants whose central stalk
has gotten very tall. This is about two weeks later than the earlier picture.
Now, another week later, some flowers are opening up.
The yellow flowers turned into these white puffy balls, like
a dandelion, in two to three weeks. [The purple flower buds in the foreground
are from another plant.]
If you pull the puffy mass apart, you get the individual seeds.