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General information and discussion about cultivating peppers.

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Old June 13, 2014   #1
Stvrob
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Default Any tips for saving pepper seed?

Last year I was so impressed with Jimmy Nardello that I saved more than enough seed for any conceivable need. But this spring, my germination rate was absolutely horrific; less than 5%. (Even worse, I shared a huge amount of seed with people here at Tomatoville before I realized).

All the fruit was red-ripe and harvested August and September of 2013. (still crisp, not over-ripe/mushy), I simply pulled out the seeds as we were preparing meals, set them on a paper plate, and let them air-dry inside in and air-conditioned living area for a few days. Then I put them in a clean babyfood jar and set them in the lower drawer of my desk till early this spring the AC. Can you tell if I have done anything wrong? Luckily, I had a number of plants overwinter, but I need to get this right if I'm going to grow this every year and be able to share seed with my friends without worrying about wasting their time.
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Old June 14, 2014   #2
heirloomtomaguy
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Im thinking that you did not allow them to dry long enough before you sealed them up i a baby jar. I leave them air drying on that same paper plate for at least 2-3 weeks but usually about a month. If you seal them inside an airtight jar when they are still moist inside it makes for some tough germination.
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Old June 14, 2014   #3
Stvrob
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Default Any tips for saving pepper seed?

Well, I can certainly dry them longer.
I could take the grate off one of the AC return vents and tuck them in there to let cold wind blow over them many hours per day. You think that would be a good way to dry them out quickly?

Last edited by Stvrob; June 14, 2014 at 03:15 AM.
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Old June 14, 2014   #4
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I put my seeds in water and let them soak for about an hour. The good seeds will fall to the bottom and the bad seeds will float on the top. Pour those off and put the good seeds in a strainer and rinse several times. Put the seeds on a coffee filter to dry. Let them sit at least 15 days before storing. I know some people think that is extra work but I am a contract seed grower and when the seed company did the germination test last year it was 100%. It is worth the extra effort.
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Old June 14, 2014   #5
recruiterg
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I think when you save pepper seeds, you need to let the pepper get very ripe on the vine. Then cut the pepper in half lengthwise and put it on a paper plate. Let the pepper completely dry out for 2-3 weeks. Then remove the dried pepper flesh and save the seeds. Let the seeds dry a little more. Then put them in bags and you should be ok.

With a bell pepper or any pepper that has a more pronounced cone where the seeds are located, you can make a cut around the top of the pepper and all the way around the pepper. Remove the flesh and keep just the top of the pepper with the cone bearing the intact seeds and just dry out the cone with the seeds. You can probably google saving pepper seeds and someone will have a picture of this if you don't understand what I am trying to explain.
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Old June 14, 2014   #6
heirloomtomaguy
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I put all my seeds on top of my cupboards in the kitchen to dry. Its warmer up there and they dry faster in the heat. Just dont put them above the stove there is to much humidity from cooking.
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Old June 14, 2014   #7
kath
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I let mine get super ripe on the vine; spread the seeds on a paper plate; put plate in the basement where we've got a dehumidifier running all summer; in 7-10 days put the seeds in baggies/envelopes and keep in the seed can in the basement until next season. Germination has been close to 100%.
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Old June 14, 2014   #8
saltmarsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stvrob View Post
Last year I was so impressed with Jimmy Nardello that I saved more than enough seed for any conceivable need. But this spring, my germination rate was absolutely horrific; less than 5%. (Even worse, I shared a huge amount of seed with people here at Tomatoville before I realized).

All the fruit was red-ripe and harvested August and September of 2013. (still crisp, not over-ripe/mushy), I simply pulled out the seeds as we were preparing meals, set them on a paper plate, and let them air-dry inside in and air-conditioned living area for a few days. Then I put them in a clean babyfood jar and set them in the lower drawer of my desk till early this spring the AC. Can you tell if I have done anything wrong? Luckily, I had a number of plants overwinter, but I need to get this right if I'm going to grow this every year and be able to share seed with my friends without worrying about wasting their time.
Steve, I received seed from your offer and thanks again. I planted 50 seeds and 12 sprouted for a 24% germination rate. They are growing fine.

First 12 plants on the pepper row are your Jimmy Nardelos. Claud
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Old June 14, 2014   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input. I think I will let my seed peppers overripen, do the sink/float test to sort them, and allow them to dry out longer then I have been.
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Old June 14, 2014   #10
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I can often improve germination of many types of seed by meticulous winnowing. I might lose 20% or 50% of the seeds, but that's OK if it turns marginally germinating seed into high germinating seed.
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Old June 14, 2014   #11
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I can often improve germination of many types of seed by meticulous winnowing. I might lose 20% or 50% of the seeds, but that's OK if it turns marginally germinating seed into high germinating seed.
He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. ..... You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away.

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Old June 21, 2014   #12
Ken B
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Getting peppers ripe as possible is the main thing -- with many varieties, getting the fruits to where they're wrinkled and leathery is needed -- but since not all varieties do this, you usually have to just leave a few fruits on the plants and watch them to see if the ripe fruits will turn to mush, or if they'll continue to mature and dry down to that nice leathery state.

Another useful thing is to save a few separate seed lots -- improves your chances of having at least one lot with good germ. Often the seed from the first lot that's harvested from a plant isn't as good as later lots -- I don't know if that's because there's a human tendency to pick the first lot a bit underripe, or if it's because the plant's first lot of seeds just isn't as good.

I'm with SESE, what we always do (and what we have our seed growers do) is to keep pepper seed lots separate for doing germination tests. If we have, say, 10 different lots, and 9 lots are at least 70%, but one lot tests at only 30%, then we can set aside that poor lot of seed and not mix it in with the other 9 lots that were better.
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Old July 10, 2014   #13
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Has anyone experimented with "Feldon30's" OxiClean method for saving tomato seeds - on Peppers? I have some New Mex Joe Parker now growing that I would like to save for next Season.

Raybo
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Old July 10, 2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewste View Post
Has anyone experimented with "Feldon30's" OxiClean method for saving tomato seeds - on Peppers? I have some New Mex Joe Parker now growing that I would like to save for next Season.

Raybo
Why would you need to do anything with pepper seed besides drying them?
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Old July 10, 2014   #15
rnewste
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Quote:
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Why would you need to do anything with pepper seed besides drying them?
Ray,

Several of the above posts talked about relatively poor germination rates. I was wondering if the OxiClean method might "clean" and preserve the seeds better - thus improving germination percentage the following year.

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