Slow germination in Italian Heirloom peppers

I ordered a group of Italian heirloom peppers from Felco Pruners<http://www.felcopruners.net/Pepper%20Seed-%20Sweet.0.html this year. The seed packets are enormous, they all have 100 to 200 some seeds. I ordered Corno Di Toro Red and Yellow, Melrose, Shepherd's Ram's Horn, and Nocera Giallo.
They've all been very slow to germinate, and I've had poor germination in the Corno Di Toro yellows. I'm beginning to wonder if the large number of seeds they send is because they have germination problems. Has anyone else ordered from them?
I grow Corno Di Toro peppers every year, and I've never noticed them as being especially slow to germinate, but all of these are Italian heirloom bull horn-type peppers, so it's certainly possible that they would all have similar germination times. And it's certainly possible that they have slightly different strains of the Corno Di Toros then I usually order. They seem to take great pride in getting a lot of their seeds from Italy.
My pepper seeds are in peat trays with eight 3 inch cups, four of the peat trays/per larger drip tray. They're on seed heating mats that keep the soil temperature between 75 and 80 degrees. The Italian varieties are not all in the same drip tray, and some are toward the middle, while two are on the ends of trays. I used a soil thermometer, so I know they're getting even heat. The slowest of my other peppers were up almost ten days before any of the Italian heirlooms.
Does anyone else grow these peppers, and have they germinated slowly for you? Have you ordered from Felco Pruners?
Penelope
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Penelope Periwinkle wrote:

When I've grown pepper seeds that were old, or collected from dried peppers that had been heated in a dehydrator or were of unknown age, they germination has been *very* slow and poor. When I then collected the seeds from that generation and planted them the next year, they practically jumped out of the ground in just a few days.
I have some collected pepper seeds that I planted over a month ago that are just now coming up. I am excited to get anything from these peppers because they are unique, and I didn't know if the seeds were good or not.
So, I would say that they know the germination rates on that batch of seeds is low and they compensate by giving you a lot of seeds. (I wish Thompson & Morgan would do that.) If you save the seeds, germination rates may be quite different next year.
Best regards, Bob
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I have noticed that seeds from Harvest Moon are slower than normal to Germinate, but thus far they have germinated. but just about two weeks behind US supplied seeds. Melrose (from Underwood gardens were the first up) but Celigia Picante (Harvest Moon) was quite late to germinate, ditto with an Italian Eggplant from Harvest Moon. In all fairness, they came up fine but slow. This company buys packaged seeds from European vendors and sells them in the original packaging. Interesting if you are not conversant with the cultivar and cannot read the language. By doing it this way, the seeds are probably a year older, than seeds bought in bulk lots and packaged by the Vendor. Most American vendors sell some European seed, but buy fresh seed in bulk and repackage. Harvest Moon sells a lot of unique cultivars, but I don't buy readily available cultivars from them.
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On 16 Mar 2006 13:49:57 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net"

Ah, this makes a lot of sense. The seed packages are all in Italian.
Thanks
Penelope
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wrote:

I think putting this together with what farmer dill said makes the most sense. The seeds packs are from Italy, and are probably from last year.
Thanks,
Penelope
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