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Old July 8, 2016   #1
gardencat999
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Default Trouble Germinating Pigeon Peas

Does anyone here grow pigeon peas?

I got some in a trade last year, but I haven't been able to germinate a single one. I guess the seeds may not be viable, but the seeds haven't molded or gone mushy like beans usually do when they are dead.

For germinating seeds, I put them in a tupperware container with moist paper towels, and I put the container somewhere warm (usually on top of the fridge).

Am I just doing something wrong? Any insight would be helpful!
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Old July 10, 2016   #2
Zeedman
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Beans have better germination in the presence of soluble nitrogen, especially when old or weak. A solution of 1 oz. of liquid fertilizer per gallon gives good results. Organic fertilizers may require more to get the same nitrogen concentration, and I recommend boiling those unless they indicate that the solution is sterile. I get my best results germinating difficult beans in fine sand, with the above solution.

Pigeon peas are tropical, and won't mature in my climate... so I have not tried growing them. However, germinating them in a warm place is a sound strategy. Provided there is enough seed, you might also try soaking the seeds over night, and planting only those which expand.

If the seed turns out to be dead, you could probably find some in a local grocery which sells Asian or Hispanic dry goods. I've seen them here, and if they are present even in my hole-in-the-wall, chances are you could find them just about anywhere.
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Old July 10, 2016   #3
MarianneW
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You might want to try starting them in sterile potting mix instead of a wet paper towel.

I just direct sowed a whole bed in 110f and got 100% germ, with no presoaking or germinating inside. Why not try to just direct plant a bunch? It works!
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Old July 20, 2016   #4
gardencat999
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Thank you for your advice, Zeedman and Marianne!

Since I was down to five seeds, I went with Zeedman's method. I doubt my setup was sterile, but I did get one to germinate!

I'll probably still go to the store and get a bag of them since I really would like more than one plant, but I enjoyed the experiment

Thanks for your help!
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Old July 20, 2016   #5
Shrinkrap
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Trying it! I love "peas and rice" with pigeon peas, but have to get them from my MIL in ATL.
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