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Old March 25, 2017   #26
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 292

Originally Posted by Zone9b View Post
I read this thread and get the opinion that if I pick mature, bulging, green pods off of my Snow Pea plants and let the peas dry off the vine, the resulting peas will not be viable seeds for next season. Is that correct?
I’d like to pull the vines so I could grow a crop of Lima Beans in the space, before it gets too hot.
Ditto on Keen's comments. When wet weather threatens, I often harvest bean & pea pods which are not fully dry, to prevent losses due to spoilage. Last year was a wet one, probably 1/3 of my bean & pea seed was harvested that way (sometimes literally walking through the mud between storms to do so). Pods with ripe seed often change color or appearance, and become dull or translucent... but the best indicator of ripeness is to feel the section of pod between the stem and the first seed. When mature, this section will become soft & flexible, or feel leathery. (This is also the stage where shelly beans have their best color.)

As a rule, I try to dry ripe pods indoors before shelling, unless they were already wet when harvested. It is my opinion that the seeds will continue to draw nutrients from the pod as it dries. Regardless of whether 'green' seed is dried in the pod or shelled first, good air circulation is a must to reduce the chance of mold or mildew. I dry mine under a ceiling fan, in an air conditioned room. I'm assuming that in central Florida, central air is fairly common. Dry the pods in a single layer, and watch carefully for signs of mold.

Pods which were harvested before fully ripe may still have viable seed, but the storage life will be less than normal, perhaps a lot less. I would recommend that such seed - after being properly dried - should be stored refrigerated, in an air-tight container.
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