There are already results to report from my Feb 4 planting of slow hot peppers and eggplant. The following varieties have germinated as of this morning - NuMex Halloween, NuMex St Patricks Day, Pretty Purple, Variegata, Vietnamese Multicolor, Long Bird, Pequin and Pequin Chiapas (all hot peppers), Eggplant Batu, and Cossack Pineapple ground cherry. The speed of germination surprised me a bit!
Yesterday I undertook a complicated planting, and it is something I've wanted to do for some time. I've had many hot pepper varieties for years, and, unfortunately, waited too long (perhaps) between growing out a number of them. So there is now a new flat of 50 germinating (fingers crossed!) cells on a heat mat in my office germination room.....a whole selection of pepper varieties of various ages, in the hopes of saving fresh seeds from any that choose to germinate for me.
This is what I planted yesterday:
Varieties that I've received over the past half dozen years or so, but have yet to try: Purira, Aji Dulce, Amazon Chile Roma, Padron, Aji Dulce red , Aji Dulce Red, Aji Dulce Yellow, Aji Dulce big fruit, Texas Bird.
Varieties that I've found growing here and there, or from plants purchased from garden centers or varieties purchased from seed companies or from SSE transactions: Medusa saved in 2001, Home Depot Multicolor fruit saved in 2001 and 2002, Home Depot Purple saved in 2001, Largo Purple saved in 2001, Purple Cayenne saved in 2003, Chilhuacle Negro saved in 2001, Ember saved in 1994, Sable from 1993, Black Cluster from 1993, Red Candle from 1993, Valentine from 1993 and 1994, Davis Bolivian from 1993, Candlestick from 1993, Wreath from 1994, Luteum from 1994, Cap. Chacoense from 1994, Aji Escabeche from 1994, Bayleaf 1 from 1994, Bayleaf 2 from 1994, Bayleaf 4 from 1994, Bayleaf 5 from 1995, State Fair Red from 1995 and 1996, State Fair Rainbow from 1999, Buchenberger Orange from 2006 and 2009, smaller black Pearl type from 2003, 2004 and 2005, Capsicum Baccatum from 1993.
Varieties that I've saved relatively recently but need more work: 16d from 2011, Islander Project 08-19, Medusa (I think - or a similar ornamental type) saved recently from plants in front of a commercial establishment, my own selection called Lollipops saved in 2003 and 2009.
This is an important planting - I will learn about the true longevity of pepper seeds that were saved with no special storage conditions, and may, sadly, find out that many, if not most, of these (especially if older than from 2003) are now dead. If so, I will be greatly simplifying my seed collection by tossing lots and lots of apparentl dead seed.
Stay tuned! I am actually going to do the same type of planting with some older beans and corn in early April.