Post by 12540dumont on Jan 28, 2015 0:17:17 GMT -5
Are you picking the peppers when they are at the full maturity state? The pod 'sets' to a final colour as it reaches full maturity, and this is the best time to harvest for viable seeds. The final colour is generally red or yellow, but may also be brown, white, pink/orange, orange, or ivory. The pod may also change to other colours whilst maturing. An immature pod is unlikely to provide viable seed.
Healthy looking pods, are a source of viable seed. Cracked, discoloured, and insect damaged pods are more likely to become diseased/rotten and should be used as a last resort. However, if not diseased these pods are also a source of viable seed.
Avoid saving seeds from diseased plants, diseased pods, or pods which have softened with rot or are moldy. Some diseases/viruses can be passed down to the next generation in the seed.
When I put my seed on the silicon paper, I turn them every day and make sure there is plenty of space between each seed. You really need to make sure they are completely dry before trying to store them. When you bite them, they shouldn't dent. I always put a silica gel packet in the envelope with pepper seeds.
I'm wondering if there is a difference between ones that ripened in the garden in summer and ones that ripened in winter after I brought pots inside. Some from the past several years from summer fruits are sprouting nicely from pale seeds, while other newer ones from this winter are not sprouting and are turquoise.
The kitchen, which is where I dry them, may be more humid in winter, though it is warmer in winter as I have the heat on.
And old dried seeds I keep in Lee Valley watchmaker tins which may not be as air-tight as the little ziplock bags I am now using.
So many variables! Good thing I'm not trying to run a seed business.
Post by flowerweaver on Jan 28, 2015 8:58:07 GMT -5
I've never seen a turquoise pepper seed. However, the mold penicillin is that color and often takes over food products. I usually soak my seeds briefly in a weak bleach solution before drying them and make sure there's good air circulation wherever they are placed to dry.
Drip irrigated gardening in the arid southwest on a beautiful pile of alluvial rocks where the hill country meets the desert. It's a food desert, too: a 3 hour round trip to the grocery store.
Like 12540dumont, when I harvest seed from sweet peppers, I allow the pepper(s) to get as ripe as possible on the plant. You need to watch for internal mold, though... some varieties are very susceptible (Cubanelle for example). The mold may not show until the pepper is opened. If you find mold, you may need to harvest the remaining ripe peppers for that variety at less than optimal ripeness... such seed may only be viable for a few years, and should be regrown as soon as possible (hopefully under better conditions). When I brought potted peppers indoors before frost to ripen, I had more problems with mold than I did with peppers ripened outdoors. I would not save seed from peppers that have begun to mold, unless that was the only seed I had... and then I would use the bleach treatment mentioned by flowerweaver.
I wash the seed from sweet peppers immediately after removal, with a final rinse in purified water. If you wash pepper seed, you need to dry them as quickly as possible. After wicking away excess moisture from the strainer with a paper towel, I spread the seed out on newspaper, stir them around for a minute or two to remove most surface moisture, then place them under a fan (a ceiling fan on 'low' works great). After drying on the newspaper over night, I transfer the seeds to a tray to finish drying.
There is another method some seed savers swear by, which is to carefully cut the flesh away from the seed ball - leaving the stem attached - and allow the seed to dry on the stem. You need to have good air circulation around the seeds to do this. My indoor humidity tends to be fairly high during the time when my peppers are ripening, so I've never tried this with larger peppers. I've used this method with small- to medium-sized hot peppers, though, and it works pretty well for those. The seed can be removed and dried further once the stem has dried.