Corno di Toro seed problem

foose4string(z7 MD)March 20, 2010

I know Corno di Toro is a sweet variety. I hope you all won't mind me posting this here, but maybe some of you pepper experts can give more insight.

This will be my second year in a row trying to start Corno Di Toro seed. I have successfully grown many other types of peppers from seed for the past several years like, California Wonder, Big Dipper, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Anaheim, Sweet Banana, etc...the typical stuff. For some reason I'm more adventurous when it comes to my tomatoes and have dozens of tomato seed varieties on tap, including some popular and not so popular heirloom varieties. My pepper seed usually comes straight from the Burpee rack. I generally have good luck with starting pepper seed, but the Corno Di Toro are not cooperating.

Last year, I called Burpee to tell them of the difficulty I was having with these seeds, and let them know I was not a total newb when it came to starting seed indoors....especially, peppers and tomatoes. She offered to send another pack Corno di Toro of seeds, ensuring the lot #'s were different. I happily accepted.

A few weeks ago, I tried starting seed from the replacement pack that was sent to me last year. And this year, same thing, no dice on germination. All the other varieties I normally grow have sprouted, but not the Corno Di Toro! I tried poking around in the soil with a pencil to see what I could see, and I don't see any hint of a plants starting to emerge. Is there something special I should be doing to start this variety? I've always had good luck with Burpee seed and can't imagine having two bad packs of seed from different lots. Has to be something I'm doing wrong. Any suggestions?

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Sorry, I have no idea why that particular variety is not germinating. If you would like to try again, I have a few 2010 Corno Di Toro seeds from Park that I would be happy to send to you. I didn't plant any of these seeds this year, so I don't know how well they'll germinate. I had 100% germination on my other Park peppers.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 12:45PM
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Peppers germinate best with bottom heat, and some varieties take longer than others. If you can keep the soil temp around 80-85 degrees it might help them to germinate. Maybe for the Corno Di Toro you could use 'the baggie method' and set them on top of your computer or water heater.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 1:38PM
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I'm trying CdT for the first time this year, along with a couple of other varieties of sweet pepper. CdT lagged well behind the others in terms of germination to the point that I started a new set of seeds.

I recommend trying what I did the second time around (the 'baggie method' mentioned by noinwi): use a moistened coffee filter or folded paper towel, spread out the seeds so they lay flat (you may want to use twice as many seeds as desired plants to ensure you get enough). Put the coffee filter/paper towel into a ziplock bag, and leave it somewhere warm. In about a week or so, you should see some of the seeds starting to germinate, though it could take a bit longer. Carefully remove them and place them in your growing medium, and things should go from there. Just be patient!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 9:57AM
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I think CdT's are just hard to grow. I got 0 % germination last year on those, so I went out and bought the plants locally. 1 of the 3 died. One set no fruit. The other set 3 fruit. I gave up on them.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:00AM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Thanks for the replies...and thank you for the seed offer, Karen, that is very generous of you. I think I'll try again with the seeds I currently have and do the wet napkin in a baggie thing to see if I can wake up the seeds. I haven't had to do this with seed in a long time. I generally stick seeds in the plastic celled seed trays filled with starter mix or soil covered with the clear plastic dome and always have good germination rates. I can' figure out why this variety is so stubborn.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 10:17AM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Megachili, I'm starting to have doubts about this variety. Sounds like they might be more trouble than the are worth. I was hoping to try a large sweet this year that would be good grilled or on my steak sandwiches. It's starting to get a little later than I would prefer for starting seed, but not totally out of the question. Can you recommend another variety with more vigor, better production,and equal or better taste? I was thinking Giant Marconi or something along those lines?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 1:16PM
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Foose, exactly my thinking this year - replace the CdT with something more vigorous and better-growing. I'm in fact now growing the Giant Marconi, and germination was 100 % at 8 days. Am also growing the Italian Roaster and Jimmy Nardello - don't know much about them, except that they are apparently good-tasting and easy to grow. These seeds have all come from Tomato Growers, which is my favorite vendor of the week, since germination of their seeds is coming up on 100 % now. I would also recommend checking out the Godfather at Burpee's - they are HUGE, the plants are strong and vigorous (mine grew to 6 feet last year), and tasted fantastic on steak and grilled and such. Speaking of Burpees you might want to check out the Mariachi, which is not exactly a sweet pepper but not a hot either, kind of in-between, with extremely thick flesh and eminently useful grilled, stuffed or for pretty much anything else that involves a pepper. It's a Santa Fe type - very vigorous, you'd have to actively try to kill it to make it not produce peppers. But in the end I think the Giant Marconi or Godfather is probably what you are looking for. Good luck...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:04PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Very helpful info, Megachili. Sounds like the Giant Marconi and the Godfather are what I am looking for, then. The Mariachi might be a definite prospect. I actually don't mind a little kick and the sound of a tweener like that is making me salivate!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:24PM
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If you really like the size and shape of the Bullhorn, you might try Italia. Easy to grow and prolific.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:08PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Wow, those look tasty farmerdilla! Another good suggestion.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 6:11PM
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hello foose

wow sorry for all the problems your having,i had great luck with my cornos, in fact they all germinated, send me an sase with 2 stamps and a specific request for the corno di toro seeds and i will send you some that i am almost positivly sure will sprout, they will be from the same lot i got mine from, email me i will send you my info

thanks your friend joe

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 1:14AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Which color? CDT's in the red and purple are usually not a problem, but the CDT gold is very problematic, frequently the seed is not mature.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 6:43PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

I'm pretty sure they are the red least, that's what the package shows.

Joe, I'm trying the wet napkin n baggie to see if I can wake these up. I'll give it one more shot. I want to make sure I've done everything I can do before accepting charity. Sometimes seeds are just plain stubborn and need a little extra TLC(those little bastards!). I appreciate the offer and may take you up on it before all is said and done!

I picked up some Carmen seeds this afternoon from the local feed and seed. They might fit the bill too. They aren't giants but look to be in the same general family of peppers we are discussing. I would love to work out a trade for Godfather and Giant Marconi if anyone is willing. Then, I'd have several bases covered and can determine which would be best to concentrate my efforts on next year.

BTW, I noticed Burpee isn't offering CdT on their website this year. I wonder how many others complained about poor germination?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 8:26PM
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My CDT seeds from a pack eight years old wouldn't sprout either, and they wouldn't sprout when the pack was only two years old either.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:25AM
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crispino(Boston - 6b)

Hi all,

Very interesting . . . I'm like ajijoe in that my CdT seeds have done really well - 7 out of 8 germinated. I got them from a friend so I don't know where they come from originally. They are supposed to be the yellow variety, so it's even more interesting that the yellows are supposed to be the most difficult variety.

Best of luck, foose. If you want, I will check and see if I have any more seeds when I get home from work today.

- Chris

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:24AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I'm probably opening a can of worms here but what was your seedling mix? Some peppers can be finicky in peat....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 6:34PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Nope, not peat. Just MG in plastic celled trays. Not a big fan of peat pellets.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 7:55PM
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I am growing Corno's (Red) this year too. Within three weeks everything in the heated propagator was moved out and re-potted except for the lifeless Corno's. I then added in the ornamental s to germinate and left corno's there just in case.

Two weeks later, I finally had life from them. They all sprouted except one. So, for me it was a very long germination time for them. Sure hope I get some peppers from too.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 9:07AM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Sounds like many folks have simply found them to be slow starters...painfully so. I placed some CdT in a baggie almost a week ago when I started this thread. I don't see any sprouts yet. They have plumped up some, so it might not be far off. I'll probably stick them in soil tomorrow and see what happens. It's getting rather late to start peppers, but I have nothing to lose I suppose. I think I'll put a few Carmen seeds in while I'm at and see what comes up first.... or if I get anything at all from CdT.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 4:14PM
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foose4string(z7 MD)

Well, I started six of the Carmen seeds(straight from the seed pack) and six of the CdT seeds that were soaked/baggied a week prior to planting. 5 of 6 Carmen seeds popped up and only 1 of 6 CdT sprouted. It's been 16 days since I planted them. The Carmen, up in 10. I know it's very late to start peppers, but I think the warmer weather will get them going. Not impressed with the viability of CdT and will probably never bother with them again...Carmen seems like a great alternative.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:04PM
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dandirt(z8b MS)

I grow a number of hot and sweet peppers too. I also had problems getting the CDT peper to sprout and develop. I thought about requesting a replacement from Burpee. For now, I going to try this one again.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:02PM
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You should try the cubanelle peppers, they start every time and even take some weather abuse. They are very tastey too!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 12:31PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Soak your seeds in water for 2 days ,then plant them,try to keep them warm. Soaking really speeds them up and helps to get the shy going

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 11:05PM
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