Quick question

When harvesting seeds from fresh veggies (bell and jalapeno peppers, in this case), how long do I need to dry the seeds before planting?
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Shanghai wrote:

i've had sprouts from bell peppers sprout in the worm bins so i'd guess it doesn't matter.
if the seeds are fully developed in the peppers then they should be ok.
i've had plants like butterfly weed and beans sprout right in the pods if enough water manages to get in there and the temps are right.
songbird
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wrote:

There's a difference between "fruits" (anything where the seeds are inside the item you eat - squash, cucumber, tomato, melon, etc) and "vegetabled" (chiefly leafy stuff, roots, tubers, or immature flowers such as broccoli). The former can be planted wet, because seed maturity is reached when the fruit itself is ripe. The latter though, you need to wait until the seeds dry on the plant, otherwise they're not actually mature.
The premise of drying seeds (after they're mature) is for _storage_ (so they don't host molds and rot). You can take a fresh, mature seed and plant it.
I too have had some ripe vegetables (er, fruits), particularly winter squash, with sprouted seeds inside - the seed cavity is a moist environment, not dry. When you plant seeds, you keep the soil moist, not dry...
Speaking of winter squash, I still have 150-200 lbs of Rouge Vif D'Etamptes ("Cinderella" Pumpkin) in my garage. Last year, we finished the last of the prior year's harvest in June, about the time I was seeding the 2011 garden crop.
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Sean Straw wrote: ...

ooh! :) *all ears*
what it is like and how do you store it?
songbird
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wrote:

It is the large round red-orange (thus the "rouge" in the French name) pumpkin that has been flattened in the middle. Harvest when ripe, leaving a 3-4 inches of stem on (never cut squash stems short if you intend to store them or they'll start rotting near the stem). Wash off, then wipe down with a dilute bleach solution, which helps to mitigate bacterial issues on the skin while in storage.
Store in a cool dry location. My garage is fine, though I could store them in the barn. Periodically check and rotate storage in case something starts to go bad. I usually plant a 6-12 or more plants of this variety each year. I have others of course, but this is such a great pumpkin, it's always there. We'll let the kids etch patterns into the skins of a few while they're still yellow-orange, which causes them to scar over as they ripen - rather than growing somethign we've got to cut open and waste (though yea, we still do that with some others once in a while - the kids like "Dill's Atlantic Giant", which is worthless as an eating pumpkin).
They are excellent roasting pumpkins - cut them into large wedges place into a roasting pan and smear them with some olive oil and bake them (which my wife deals with - I don't know the specifics of temp or time on this). Resulting roast squash is good as a side with a meal (a smidge of butter perhaps), or for pumpkin risotto, squash soup (delightful, especially during the winter months), pies, etc. When we use in squash soup, we usually pull a few pieces out a bit early from roasting so they're firmer when we blend the soup base.
A medium "fig" (or teardrop) shaped red-orange pumpkin called "Potimarron" is also a good cooker, but I didn't find it to be all that prolific.
For something different, you could try growing Blue Hubbard (which has a grey-blue skin). That's capable of producing some whoppers, though the skin and flesh is quite firm which makes it more of a chore to cut up. Makes great pies, but I didn't find it to be as good for soup.
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Sean Straw wrote:

we haven't had rot be a problem yet, but we've not grown many kinds yet either.

is 60-70F cool enough?
how long does it take to go from seed to harvest? we get pretty long days here (mid-michigan). if the harvest date is into the fall far enough then the storage temp wouldn't be too hot, but if they are ready in late August we might still get pretty high temperatures.

we don't have that kind of situation so it would be for long term storage of eating. it also helps if the seeds are good to eat too.

*nods*
most times here for cooking we clean them out and then microwave them with a little water in them. steamed i guess. quicker than baking or roasting (but i do like the carmelization that happens with roasted squash a lot).

we need about two to three dozen storable squash or pumpkins per season. though at first when they come in storage isn't as big a requirement (we'll eat them :)).

we have grown Hubbard before as they are what we buy at times at the store and then the seeds go through the worm bins and some sprout when the worm poo is used in the gardens. we call these volunteer squash, but they are mostly volunteering to be eaten anyways. :)
songbird
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wrote:

house is between 55 and 65 most of the time), but that should be okay.

I believe it's supposed to be about 90 days. They do well enough in the climate where I'm at - about 40 miles north of San Francisco. We get some hot days and absolutely no rain during the summer, but as squash vines develop very large leaves, the squash themselves are often in some amount of shade.
Open the first two links below in separate browser tabs, and scroll to the bottommost image of each (there's only two images on each page), and switch between the tabs -- that's just _10_ days of growth. You'll also note that the topsoil is DRY. While I drip irrigate much of my garden, most of these were simply done in small 'wells', filled with shredded straw as a mulch (when the plants are young) - see the "berminator" link for how I make them (prior year had been done by inverting a large terra cotta pot and pushing soil up to it, but the 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out works really well.
http://www.professional.org/snaps/index.html?dirname=gardening/20100903 / http://www.professional.org/snaps/index.html?dirname=gardening/20100913 /
http://www.professional.org/snaps/index.html?dirname=gardening/20110705_berminator /

Then you plant them a bit later, no problem. There's usually somewhere you can store things that's cool - make a root cellar?

Yes. Those are, BTW edible and quite meaty in the Dill's Atlantic Giant pumpkin, even if the pumpkins are not. The potimarron makes for small seeds, not so good for roasting.
I have a squash type that Jerre Gettle (of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) recommended to me for use as a seed squash - "Lady Godiva". The seeds are virtually devoid of shell (it's more like the film you find on dried squash seeds), so are edible without shelling.

Indeed, this is a huge plus with the flavours - the squash becomes sweeter.

I had a very prolific Delicato squash a couple seasons ago (it's in the background of the above images - the vines are to the right of the folded-over kiddie gate (used as a short trellis for something else), and extend clear over to the handful of corn plants* - it was over 12 feet across. One day, it started withering up, and I found that a gopher had decimated the roots. That was drip irrigated in a well as described above, and although there were MANY developing squash on it that were aborted because the plant dies, we still managed to harvest, as I recall, _32) squashes in the 1.5 - 2 lb size from the thing. Those, like butternut, store extremely well.
*birds decimated my germinating corn earlier that year - I've since gone to germinating in a screen-covered planter and xplant the corn after it's a bit more hardy - 3-4" tall shoots.
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BTW, in the periodic check of things, found a couple that were starting to turn, so brough them in from the garage, cut off the failing parts and roasted them last night. Wife has made a large pumpkin pie, and has, I kid you not, about 5+ gallons of pumpkin puree. Freezing some, making squash soup with some (roasted corn and bell peppers, carmelized onions and garlic, diced bacon, etc).
Can't wait for supper...
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On 3/27/2012 9:33 AM, Sean Straw wrote:

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