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Old 10-01-2021, 07:48 PM   #1
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Starting seeds in the Instant Pot

I thought that I'd start a thread on this, to continue my results on it, and maybe other's results, if they try it!

Sounds crazy, but it should keep the seeds surrounded by the heat better than sitting on a heat mat. Just wanted to try now, long before I need the plants, next spring.

At noon, on 9-29, I started the seeds for some seeds for Longhorn, Craig's Jalapeño, and Maui purple peppers, plus 2 curry tree seeds, in the Instant Pot, on yogurt mode, on low, and the temp stays around 90°, or just under. And yesterday, after soaking in 500 ppm GA-3, I started some Eggplant seeds around noon, so they are just a day later. Here they are before the eggplants:
Longhorn, Craig's jalapeños, and Maui Purple peppers, plus 2 curry tree seeds, planted 9-29 in IP by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And today, a seed of one of the longhorns sprouted, after just 55 hours! The one on the right, touching the one below, is the one sprouted. This is unheard of for peppers.
Longhorn pepper seed, in the IP yogurt low mode, sprouting in 55 hours. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

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Old 10-02-2021, 11:32 AM   #2
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I just checked the seeds again, and some of the EP seeds have sprouted in 3 days, and both of the curry seeds in 4 days. No more of any of the peppers have sprouted, but it is still early, for peppers.

Both of the curry seeds sprouted, but one is most visible:
Curry tree seeds, sprouting after 4 days in the IP, one most visible. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

3 of the eggplant seeds sprouted in 3 days in the IP. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 10-02-2021, 01:19 PM   #3
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Cool, I mean, Warm! I did read about people using the IP for germinating seeds. Peppers take 11 days in a normal room temperature, it always seems sooooooo long to wait! That's neat that they are germinating early this way. I appreciate you trying it and sharing it.
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:04 PM   #4
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This evening, I put those sprouted curry tree seeds in the stray with 6 others, that I put directly into the seed starting mix, after squeezing out of the berry. So they have already been in 4 days - I'll see what grows better. And I started soaking some bitter melons - 3 in water, and 3 in 500 ppm GA-3, to see if this heat helps, and if either is better. In each dish I soaked 2 of this year's variety - Sayonara - and one, Comet, which is a variety that I just ordered. I've had trouble with these sprouting in the past, and I just thought about them today.
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Old 10-02-2021, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
This evening, I put those sprouted curry tree seeds in the stray with 6 others, that I put directly into the seed starting mix, after squeezing out of the berry. So they have already been in 4 days - I'll see what grows better. And I started soaking some bitter melons - 3 in water, and 3 in 500 ppm GA-3, to see if this heat helps, and if either is better. In each dish I soaked 2 of this year's variety - Sayonara - and one, Comet, which is a variety that I just ordered. I've had trouble with these sprouting in the past, and I just thought about them today.
Im watching closely with the curry tree seeds, I got 2 ripe seeds that I want to germinate.
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:10 PM   #6
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Here's an old seed, sprouting in just 4 days.
One 5 year old Craigs Grande Jalapeño seed sprouted, 10-3 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:36 PM   #7
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And I forgot to mention - all but one of the 8 eggplant seeds had sprouted when I checked everything at noon - and they were started a day later!
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Old 10-03-2021, 07:51 PM   #8
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Are you just testing the seeds viability? The process of germinating them in an IP? or are you going to plant them/ grow them indoors over the winder months under lights ?
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Old 10-03-2021, 08:49 PM   #9
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I'm just testing the method, with some old seeds, the curry tree seeds, just because I had them at the time, and those bitter melon seeds because they are notoriously difficult to sprout. Peppers and eggplants are also slow to sprout, and most benefit from the heat. That Maui Purple is even older than the Craig's jalapeño, and is the one I'm hoping germinates, as I want to get some of those - I have not been able to find another variety that has leaves and peppers as dark as this one.

I have never had good luck with peppers inside, over the winter, but I might try to keep one of these, if a seed germinates, so as not to take a chance.
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Old 10-03-2021, 08:58 PM   #10
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I have never had good luck with peppers inside, over the winter, but I might try to keep one of these, if a seed germinates, so as not to take a chance.
I watched a video about overwintering pepper plants on YouTube.
In theory, the next year your starting with a more mature plant and will get and earlier, bigger harvest.

I tried it, and it basically consists of aggressively pruning the pepper an repotting it ...

The pepper is now on its 3rd year ( I over wintered it twice).
The harvest is about the same, and if anything, it produces later than the other peppers.

Not worth the amount of time and effort. Just easier to start or order new plants each year.

But, this thing is a troop, having had several near death experiences and brought back to life each year, so I make an exception and repeat the process each year.

As far as starting seeds and growing fruiting plants like peppers, tomatoes, eggplants ... inside, Ive never had luck and stopped trying.

In the winter I focus on Herbs, Leafy greens and mushrooms ( and trying to keep my tropical plants alive )
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Old 10-03-2021, 10:47 PM   #11
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I have found it's easier to just start the peppers earlier, and re-pot them, so I have much larger plants when they go in. Problem is not enough space under lights to do that with all of the peppers! And I never need peppers real soon, given all the frozen and dried ones!

Now, I just do this with a few of the late chinense varieties - the reason some of those are almost as tall as I am now!
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:26 AM   #12
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I would love to have a year round greenhouse, to house some of my tropical plants so they dont take a hit during the summer months, and do some year round real gardening, but I just dont have the land to do it. Also, I dont think may wife would ever see me if I was able to be in the garden/ green house all year long ( although that might be an incentive for her to get me one , especially since I just threw her under the bus in another thread about her baking capabilities).
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:14 PM   #13
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Still no Mauis, but some of the bitter melon seeds sprouted in just 2 days, plus the overnight soaking. The ones in the GA-3 didn't do any better than plain water, in the Sayonara - the Comets didn't sprout yet.
Both Sayonara bitter melon seeds sprouted in 2 days. Didn't make much difference for the GA-3, the lower dish. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:39 PM   #14
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Still no Mauis, but it's been a week, and often peppers have taken longer my usual way, keeping them around 85-90°. The Comet bitter melons haven't sprouted, either, but the other sprouts are over an inch long, with a lot of roots! And the ones soaked in water are the largest.
Sayonara sprouts on steroids! Comets not sprouted yet in 3 days. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here are some smaller petri dishes I have a bunch of, that would fit in the IP in a larger number, though to label them I'd have to put a piece of tape on top, to make them visible from the tops. Just over 1", so I think they were 35 mm.

I thought of some other things I've had trouble with, that I decided to test - herbs. At least some of them are notoriously slow, like parsley. And I thought of others I had trouble with this last off season - za'tar and hoja santa. I got a new batch of cutting celery, which is slow, like parsley, and I'm soaking a few of those two in 500 ppm GA-3, then putting on a pad of PT soaked with the GA-3. I have some in a regular dish already, to compare. The celery seeds are smaller, so easy to differentiate, so I put them in the same dish. The 4 za'tar were the last, and the hoja santa are the smallest, almost dust size. I might add a few of those to the parsley/celery dish, with GA-3, just to see, since I have more of those.
More seeds going into the IP experiment - parsley, zaatar, cutting celery, and hoja santa. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:45 PM   #15
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Three things....
I love the germinating seed photos.
I wish the photos were smaller so they didn't use up so much bandwidth.
Some questions for you. Do you see any reason this wouldn't work in a dehydrator, at 90 degs F or a little lower, if the seeds were in a closed plastic container? Would they need fresh air once a day? Does air matter at that stage?
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:13 PM   #16
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blissful You could try that with the dehydrator - maybe put an external read thermometer, to see how well the temperature is staying at 90°, or whatever you are aiming for. And if you want to try it in a broad plastic container with a lid, you could do the spoon sprouting, with the damp PT in a bunch of spoons, in a small ziploc, if you don't want to buy a bunch of petri dishes. As for the air in those dishes, checking them every couple of days can give them fresh air, plus, those tiny seeds won't be using much air! The larger ones, maybe, but that kind I usually wouldn't try in here - the bitter melons are the only ones I've had trouble sprouting before, which is why I tried them.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:22 PM   #17
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blissful You could try that with the dehydrator - maybe put an external read thermometer, to see how well the temperature is staying at 90°, or whatever you are aiming for. As for the air in those dishes, checking them every couple of days can give them fresh air, plus, those tiny seeds won't be using much air! The larger ones, maybe, but that kind I usually wouldn't try in here - the bitter melons are the only ones I've had trouble sprouting before, which is why I tried them.

Thanks pepperhead, I think we may try it in the spring. All our plants start outside in feb/march in a winter sown method. It's where we use say a milk carton or vinegar bottle, cut it across the middle, leaving a hinge, filling with 4 inches of soil, putting in a seed, or a few, watering it, then taping it closed but leave the cap off for air and to add moisture if needed.


The only seeds we don't start outside are peppers and germination gives us fits taking 7-11 days, it really is a pain and we double plant them and replant as needed until the trays are full. My husband mostly suffers the waiting and it would be great to have a different method to try. Him and I branch out often trying new methods in the garden so I imagine this will work with him in the spring.



Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2021, 02:53 PM   #18
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Still none of the Mauis or the Comets, but when I checked everything at noon, the za'tar was the only one of those herbs that had sprouted in just about 36 hours. Soon I'll have some spots set up in my hydro for some of these, but I'll plant some za'tar and hoja santa (which hopefully will sprout) in some of the seed starting mix, and see which will do better.
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Old 10-08-2021, 03:40 PM   #19
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Pepper head, I thought za'tar was a mixture of sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, herbs undefined, and salt. Are you referring to sumac? I just happened to process some sumac berries last week, so I have enough to make the spice mixture.
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Old 10-08-2021, 06:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Pepper head, I thought za'tar was a mixture of sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, herbs undefined, and salt. Are you referring to sumac? I just happened to process some sumac berries last week, so I have enough to make the spice mixture.
That was my first reaction too. I looked it up. Apparently, the name of the seasoning mix comes from a herb called za'atar. Za'atar
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