It's a lot of work to separate lettuce seeds from the chaff! So I am hoping someone else has already tried saving lettuce seeds by saving and planting the whole unopened flower head.
Has anyone tried this, and if so, did it work?
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You question appears to be asking about unopened flowers rather than seed heads, I'm not sure that's what you mean really, you have to wait for seed to form, which necessarily means the flower has opened and been pollinated. If you collect or plant lettuce seed when its immature, it won't grow, which suggests burying the immature seed heads won't do a thing, if that's what you're asking. Immature seed is usually flatter and greener than mature seed. It's mature when it gets darker, the plant starts to dry out and is in danger of keeling over - that's the time to get the seed, before its dispersed by the wind. If you can't be bothered to faff about, just shake the mature seeds free from the plant before the wind blows them away and let them fall where they will, if you're growing more the same year. Otherwise, collect the seedheads when mature and save them somewhere dry - whether you leave the chaff in place or not doesn't really matter, provided everything is very dry; if its not all bone dry, storing it like that could ruin the seed, in which case, its best to separate the seed out.