Well, it’s a couple weeks later than I usually start (Valentine’s Day has always been my tradition), but today I started some seeds for the 2011 pepper patch!
There’s a bit of a story here about some of the seeds… you see, I put a bunch of bhut jolokia and aji chombo pods in a shopping bag to deliver to some people at work and forgot about them… all last fall and all winter. I found them today, moldy and mushy in the bag in the garage. They STUNK! But I figured it would be a worth-while experiment to try and see if I could actually get the seeds from a few of these putrid-pungent-pods to germinate.
I selected two bhut jolokia pods and two chombos and harvested some seeds from them. After cleaning them off a little bit, they looked none-the-worse-for-wear. So who knows? Maybe they’ll be just fine.
I also started seeds that had been saved from last year in a more traditional way, including several Indian and Pakistani varieties.
I’ll update this blog as things progress! Have you started your seeds yet?
Well, since the seeds went in the “ground” one week ago, there has been some change. Last night I noticed the emergence of the radicle on several of the seeds!! WOO HOO!!! We have germination! The radicle is the first root that emerges from the seed, “digs” down into the soil and takes hold as well as starts pumping nutrients up into the rest of the plant as it develops.
A couple of people have asked me why I don’t cover or bury my seeds when I start them. I’ve got a two part answer:
First, when you’re starting seeds indoors, there are no critters who can come scavenge your seeds away. No birds, no squirrels, mice, etc. They’re safe! And, when wild pepper plants self-sow, they don’t have the ability to cover their seeds, so I almost think it’s a more natural method.
Second, I love watching the stages of germination!! You can watch the seeds plump up as they take in moisture, then, as yesterday, you can watch everything happen directly with the emergence of the radicle, then the cotyledons next and you’d miss all that if it was happening underground!
Another exciting update is that I got more seeds!!! My friend, Hemant, sent me a bunch of Indian peppers! I sent him a couple of big bags of bhut jolokias last season, it was a great swap if you ask me! I sowed these new seeds and we’ll have them to watch as well moving forward! Here’s a list of what he sent me:
I don’t know much about these varieties, but I’ll be digging in and doing some research on them soon, I’ll let you know what I find out. If any of you have any info on them, post a comment and share!