Saving seeds

Saving seeds for next year


Which Chillies are ready?

At this time in a normal Chilli growing season, most Chillies should have ripened. Unfortunately, in my case, this hasn’t happened this year. Many  haven’t matured yet.  I have had to move my plants either indoors, or into heated enclosures. It is the only way I have of

prolonging the season. Not doing so would mean the plants would die after the first frost, which is predicted to be around mid-November in our area.

Not all is lost though. I do, at least, have some Chillies that have started ripening. These were plants I brought indoors about a month ago. I placed them under grow lights, because I was concerned they wouldn’t ripen in time. This was a good move, as all the Chillies I placed under lights have done well. They are all ripening nicely.

My Apache F1 Chillies, in particular, have ripened well. They are a bright red colour and fully mature.  For seeds to be successfully saved, Chillies must be fully mature. So to start with, I will use some of these Chillies to start my seed saving for the year.

Saving seeds is easy.


How to save seeds

I use an art knife to slit the Chilli open. I then scrape the seeds away from the inside onto a paper towel sheet. From there, I fold the paper towel in half and label it. I place the folded towel with seeds in a  room temperature area, out of direct sunlight. About a week later, the seeds will have dried. They should then be put into seed packets and placed into a refrigerator. It is important to remember to

note on the seed packet what variety it is and the date when the seeds were saved.

The seeds can be kept in the refrigerator until they are to be sown. Before sowing the seeds, ensure they are brought to room temperature, and then prepared for quick germination using the methods  recommended in a previous post.

Savings seeds is an excellent way to save money.  Not only is it possible to reduce the cost of seed purchases, but it also makes it possible to swap seeds. There are seed swapping groups, like the Chilli Seed Savers Exchange  where members swap seeds at no other cost, except for postage.

In this way, it is possible to grow different varieties with minimal cost input. Many members of these groups are expert growers. By following or creating threads on the forums in these sites, it is possible to learn a great deal about growing Chillies,

Final thoughts


Seeds from a supermarket

Seeds from my Apache F1 plants have now been saved using the method described above. My Barak Chillies will follow in a week or so, as will my Thai demons and Chi Chien  Chillies. The rest are going to need a lot more ripening before I can do the same with them.

What I will be doing, however, is saving seeds from Chillies I bought from the supermarket. I have saved seeds from store-bought Chillies successfully in the past.   The varieties might not be as varied as you might find from a seed supplier, but Chillies like Jalapenos , Bell peppers, Scotch bonnets and Birds-eye Chillies are freely available.

Doing this is also an excellent way to save money on seed purchases. A single Chilli often yields more than fifty seeds. When considering that seeds often cost over two pounds for only ten seeds, this is a bargain. A whole packet of Chillies from a supermarket (with ten whole Chillies) doesn’t cost much more than what you could pay for a single packet of seeds!  You then get to save seeds and eat the Chillies as well.

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Harvesting Chillies

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