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seeds The Simple Case Of The Seed Cases: A" Noobie" Question With A Little Bit Of Banter And Backstory For

Hello,
 
I've been refraining from asking questions, and instead reading through all the posts in the "stickies". It's become my version of reading Tolstoy's War and Peace, but with more characters, tangents, funny one liners; and less plot. So far, I haven't come across any talk of the problem I'm looking at, so I will ask.
 
Most of my chili seeds have been germinating well, and looking good so far. I've started to pot on a bunch of the easy bastids, and I'm sure they will be okay. However, the one I'm really struggling with is Aji Charapita. I'm trying to grow these for the first time, because I love a good bush and a decent spread to appreciate, aesthetically.
 
The germination rate is way down compared to other seeds from the same source, but as of now I have another week before I'm inclined to give a little dig in the soil. But, the few that have poked their head out still have their seed case clinging to the cotyledons (?). I've been wetting my fingers and gently applying water to the seed case as many times a day as I can outside of work and sleep. No give so far, and the stems have stopped growing (about 10-15 mm high). Should I go in with more moistness and maybe tweezers?
 
Any advice would be very welcome and appreciated.
 
Regards
 
P.S. Not sure about my wording with regards to seed "case". Seems legit to me in describing my concern, but I don't know.
 
 
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
woodlouse said:
 
Hello,
 
I've been refraining from asking questions, and instead reading through all the posts in the "stickies". It's become my version of reading Tolstoy's War and Peace, but with more characters, tangents, funny one liners; and less plot. So far, I haven't come across any talk of the problem I'm looking at, so I will ask.
 
Most of my chili seeds have been germinating well, and looking good so far. I've started to pot on a bunch of the easy bastids, and I'm sure they will be okay. However, the one I'm really struggling with is Aji Charapita. I'm trying to grow these for the first time, because I love a good bush and a decent spread to appreciate, aesthetically.
 
The germination rate is way down compared to other seeds from the same source, but as of now I have another week before I'm inclined to give a little dig in the soil. But, the few that have poked their head out still have their seed case clinging to the cotyledons (?). I've been wetting my fingers and gently applying water to the seed case as many times a day as I can outside of work and sleep. No give so far, and the stems have stopped growing (about 10-15 mm high). Should I go in with more moistness and maybe tweezers?
 
Any advice would be very welcome and appreciated.
 
Regards
 
P.S. Not sure about my wording with regards to seed "case". Seems legit to me in describing my concern, but I don't know.
Taking off the seed husk is difficult. Keeping it wet is good.
If it persists for more than a couple of days, then I use a nail
clipper to very carefully snip the edge of the seed. Then with
a tweezer or forceps or pliers (small) squeeze the seed on the
edges to try to open up the slit. Nail clippers or very fine
scissors are the tools off choice.
 
Charapita seeds are small, if I remember correctly, so that
makes it more difficult. Whatever you do, don't tug on the
seed case!
 
woodlouse said:
Hello,
 
I've been refraining from asking questions, and instead reading through all the posts in the "stickies". It's become my version of reading Tolstoy's War and Peace, but with more characters, tangents, funny one liners; and less plot. So far, I haven't come across any talk of the problem I'm looking at, so I will ask.
 
Any advice would be very welcome and appreciated.
 
Regards
 
P.S. Not sure about my wording with regards to seed "case". Seems legit to me in describing my concern, but I don't know.
 
Always ask questions as all here are willing to help!
 
Basically what you describe is generally called Sandia Seed Company - Hot Pepper Seeds: Helmet Head . Here's a few threads to read after War & Peace:

helmet head
Helmet head factors
Don't you hate "helmet head" seedlings?
Helmet Head
 
woodlouse said:
I'm trying to grow these for the first time, because I love a good bush and a decent spread to appreciate, aesthetically.
As I'm reading this, it makes me wonder how my English mate felt the first time he was around American parents who threatened their child, by telling them they were going to "paddle your fanny".
.
Good thing you mentioned banter, cause I don't know anything about growing stuff... ;)
 
Hi folks,
 
My apologies for not getting back to you earlier. Sad things happened in my world and, well I was distracted for some time. I'm not a social media narcissist so I don't feel like "sharing". :(
 
At the time I posted my question, I took the advice given. I tried wetting my fingers and letting the droplets form on the seed case every 20 or so minutes, when I was off work, but it didn't play out. Even the few that seemed like they were giving after a whole afternoon of ritual dainty soaking, I got tweezers ripping off the cotyledons... I figure I left it too late and they seemed fused with the seed case, after I examined them. But, I very much appreciate your responses and links. Damn, I love reading this site. So many characters and fun remarks, but also loads of personal experiences and stories about any given subject. But...
 
Given the shit I've had to go through with family members (nothing C-19), and neglect of my whole 2021 grandiose pepper plans, I am honestly surprised how hardy these guys actually are at such a young age. Obviously not the best circumstances for any young plants to be in... under fake lights (which I was too distracted to turn off at night for a very long time, so 24/7), and no watering for maybe two plus weeks, when most of them were so ready to "pot on" into mid range receptacles?
 
A few days ago I rushed to check on them and it wasn't a wholesome sight. All my plants were droopy as can be, and most had shed their lower leaves, and upper leaves were curled up in protest of their conditions. I lost a few, to be clear, but I immediately gave them a deep watering, so as to be more amiable to re-pot. I gave it a day, fearing the worst (too late in the UK to start again) and - this was yesterday - the beautiful swines have seemed to have come back to me. I'm going to start re-potting them into their medium containers tomorrow, and hope I can win them back.
 
I lost one Charapita (my number one goal for this amateur second season idiot), but I have two left that are looking okay. As for the others and everything... I'm sure yields will be dictated by the British weather (last year lockdown early spring was fire for growing, this year not much so far), but the fact that I've treated all my chili plants like shit for over two weeks, and at such a young state... to see them bounce back when I thought I was almost certainly done for this season. Wow, they really showed me. It would seem chili plants can take a few serious hits... even at the small pot stage.
 
Again. thanks for the info and links. So many questions I have right now, but I enjoy the dig and the delve, so I'll refrain.
 
Much appreciated.
 
solid7 said:
..."paddle your fanny".
 

CraftyFox

Extreme Member
I've been struggling with helmet head this year too.. My guess is I'm planting them too shallow. Like many issues, I read up and learn only to forget later. To remedy, I carefully hold the stem so I can counterpoint and then, once soaked.. I soak it by trying to spray just the very top of the stem and husk, leaving the medium dry, when possible. I've thought about applying with a swab or something, but I'm trying to cut back on the fiddly meddling this year.. Somewhat.

-Crush the sides in on the head a bit to get them to flare open more.. 
-Gently peel back the opening ridge slightly by catching the edge with my nail.. Like you were trying to find a small sliver in your hand.
-Grab the edges of the seed again and give an even lighter squeeze as you then try to pull it off the cotyledon.. Never letting go of that stem.

If it doesn't come off easy, give it an hour and repeat the process.. Some have taken me as many as 4 attempts. I have done almost a dozen like this so far this season and only ended up with one headless pepper.. None have died! The off one was because I kept pulling instead of giving it more time and retrying. When they are ready, they will slide off like butter, not like a wet sock. 

Charapita and Omnicolor have been my big continuous fails with peppers.. I'm starting to think they might be bias. 
 
Go all around the edges of the helmet with a pair of fingernail clippers, or one of those little manicure tools, that looks like a cross between a pair of electrical dykes, and some sort of surgical tool.  It's a pain in the ass to crunch, tug, whatever.  Even if you end up with a little slice of green, it's going to be just fine. (but if you have any hand-eye coordination at all, you won't have a problem)
 
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