Serrano Pepper Seed Harvesting/Germinating - Knowledgebase Question

gilbert, Ar
Avatar for kellytabah
Question by kellytabah
January 4, 2011
Today I harvested the seeds from 2 red serrano plants from my garden and I have a few questions:
1. Do I need to dry them before I germinate/plant them? basically can I just plant them fresh like they are?
2. SHould i soak them overnight to soften them before I plant them?
3. I am in Zone 13 and would like to germinate/start them indoors...what is the most efficient/cheapest way to do this?

Answer from NGA
January 4, 2011
If you grew only serrano peppers in your garden, the seeds will probably come true but if you planted several varieties of peppers in your garden, the seeds of the serrano pepper you're saving may not produce serrano peppers, but a cross of different peppers. (Just a caution - the seeds will grow peppers, but they may not come true. However, they will still be tasty.) For saving seeds, there are two methods, dry and wet, to process pepper seeds. The dry method is adequate for small amounts. Cut the bottom off the fruit and carefully reach in to strip the seeds surrounding central cone. In many cases, seeds need no further cleaning. To process the seed from large amounts of peppers, cut off the tops just under the stem, fill a blender with peppers and water and carefully blend until good seeds are separated and sink to bottom. Pepper debris and immature seeds will float to the top where they can be rinsed away. For either method, lay the clean seeds on paper towel and dry in cool location until seed is dry enough to break when folded. While you can start your seeds indoors, they can generally be planted directly out in the garden in late February after the soil has warmed a bit. They will grow and produce peppers before hot summer weather arrives. If you want to start them indoors you'll need trays or pots, potting soil, and a source of artificial light such as gro-lites or fluorescent lights. Best wishes with your peppers.

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