Author Topic: Problem with Pepper Seedlings  (Read 4240 times)

winecap

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • Jon's Allotment
Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« on: February 26, 2016, 21:06:05 »
I have started off some peppers in a propagator, sowing three varieties in lines across a tray. Two varieties have done well, with near total success, but with the third, the leaves seem to have struggled to get free of the seed case and I just have stalks with the seed still on top. Only one successful seedling for that variety. Does anybody know what causes this to happen and what I need to do to prevent it?

Tee Gee

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,748
  • Huddersfield - Light humus rich soil
    • The Gardener's Almanac
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 22:07:31 »
I think it is variety based I regularly get this happening and usually the plant overcomes this and eventually discards the seed case.

I have sometimes removed the seed case manually but I  have to be very careful how I  do it.

I sometimes remove the case by nipping it off between my nails but I  have to use two hands. That is I carefully hold the pair of leaves between one pair of fingers then nip  the seed case off with my other hand.

At other times I hold the leaves in a similar manner and snip the leaves just under the seed casing with a pair of manicure scissors.

I also think that this event happens in dryish air conditions which hardens some  seed casings more than others.

Although I have never done this, I guess you could soften the casing by lightly spraying them with clean tepid water and this might aid the natural process.
 
The choice is yours really but I wouldn't worry too much the seedlings will eventually overcome the situation, as with me it depends how impatient you are.

galina

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,286
  • Northants/Beds border
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2016, 22:40:45 »
As Tee Gee said.  I have also heard the suggestion to soak the seeds before sowing, but only for a few hours.   :wave:

pumpkinlover

  • Global Moderator
  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,619
  • Chesterfield
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 08:13:08 »
I get this with cucurbit family as well. Was wondering if it is when the seed is a bit old so the seeds a bit less vigorous.



ed dibbles

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • somerset/dorset border. clay loam.
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2016, 09:19:34 »
Perhaps there is something in moistening the seed to enable the seed coat to detach. I have had great success this year pre germinating pepper seeds on damp kitchen paper within small food containers/sandwich box etc.

Once the first root appears they are carefully transplanted into pots and a few days later break the surface, the seed coat detaching without problem.

So possibly as the seed coat was moist for all the pre germination period caused it to detach well from the seed leaves. :happy7:

winecap

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
    • Jon's Allotment
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 19:03:18 »
Thanks for the various thoughts. Now you mention it, Pumpkinlover, I have sometimes helped courgettes and the like out of their seed case when It gets stuck. Problem with the peppers is that they are so small I can't do it. I have tried spraying extra water around to help, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Not sure I understand how the seed can be moist enough to germinate, but not to make it free from the seed case. Unless its drying out part way through maybe.

Tee Gee

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,748
  • Huddersfield - Light humus rich soil
    • The Gardener's Almanac
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2016, 20:43:24 »
 
Quote
Problem with the peppers is that they are so small I can't do it.

Hence the reason I mentioned using two hands where one is to support the stem and the other to remove the casing. If you find your fingers are not nimble enough to remove the casing you could consider using tweezers.

Quote
I have tried spraying extra water around to help, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

Be careful with the water or you might induce damping off.

Quote
Not sure I understand how the seed can be moist enough to germinate, but not to make it free from the seed case.

I know where your coming from but I think the edges of some  seeds can be quite hard thus needing more moisture to soften. In such cases only part of the seed splits and allow the seedling to emerge leaving the remainder of the casing  to emerge on top of the seedling.

BTW this is only my theory of what happens !

brownthumb2

  • Quarter Acre
  • **
  • Posts: 72
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 19:02:42 »
 When this happens to me I wet my fingers and put the moisture on the casings This seems to do the trick

Jeannine

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,315
  • Mapleridge BC Canada
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 19:12:45 »
Just noticed this. It is called helmet head . It is not variety specific  but it does seem to be associated with   with older seed . Try not to take the case off as the tip could be damaged. Give it a chance, if need be moisten the head with saliva on a cotton tip, you may need to do it a few times but the saliva will eventually  loosen it.
When God blesses you with a multitude of seeds double  the blessing by sharing your  seeds with other folks.

Vinlander

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,172
  • North London - heavy but fertile clay
Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2016, 11:16:32 »
I read somewhere that commercial sowers snip a sliver off the edge of seeds of the cucurbit family to weaken the case without touching the embryo. If you've got a magnifier and nail clippers to hand you might try it on pepper seed...maybe next Feb.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Allotments 4 All

Re: Problem with Pepper Seedlings
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2016, 11:16:32 »

 

anything