4th Annual I.E. Pick-A-Peck of Peppers Swap

highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)January 5, 2013

It's that time again!!! Welcome to the 4th Annual Incredible Edibles Pick-A-Peck of Peppers seed swap!

So here are the rules (every swap's gotta have them):

* No deadline on signing up, but ALL seeds must reach me no later than February 8th. I will do my very best to have them back out by February 15th. That's almost three weeks earlier than last year!

* Seed packets should be labeled as commercial, or harvested/hand collected.

* Seed packets should have minimum 12 - 15 seeds per packet.

* Limit of packets per variety = 3. If you send in more than 3 of a variety, the rest will be considered extras.
This will increase the variety in the swap. More variety sent in = more variety received back : ) If you have something very rare, or in high demand, contact me privately, and I may wave the 3 pack limit for that item.

*** This being my fourth year to host, I am still tweaking the rules a bit. Due to having way too many of certain varieties in the past, I've created a list of peppers that will NOT be accepted in this swap. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, but they are very common varieties, that are available at any Walmart or Lowe's, so therefore, not on anyone's wishlist. If you send these in, I will return them to you.

Cherry Peppers
Big Jim
Sweet Banana
Corno di Toro
Hungarian Wax
Hot Lemon/Lemon Drop
California Wonder, or any Unnamed Bell Peppers (very few people had Bells on their wishlists at all)
Seed Mixes of any kind

If you have a rare, named variety of one of the items on this list, email me, and I may make an exception.

*** NEWBIE RULE. Anyone just getting started is welcome to join the swap, just post that you are new to growing peppers and only have common seeds to share. Newbies will just send in the bubble mailer, with a return address label, and plenty of stamps and little seed baggies, along with a wishlist, but NO SEEDS. Between donations and my own stash, you should get a nice variety back.

* Limit of total packs = 40. I've lowered it from 50. In previous years I had a couple of folks send in 50 different varieties. Do you know how hard it was to come up with 50 varieties OTHER than the ones they sent in?

* Please put your GW name on the seed packet. This will ensure that you don't receive your own seeds back.

* Include a list of what you are sending in. This will also ensure that you don't receive the same thing you sent in.

* Please include a wishlist, or at least me know if you prefer Sweet/Mild, Hot, Superhot, or a Mix, so that I can send you things you will enjoy, even if I don't have items specifically from your wishlist. You may also indicate if you prefer OP/Heirloom types, or Hybrids. I can't guarantee what you will get back, since it is dependent on what others send in, but I will do my best.

* Commercial seeds should have an expiration date of '12 or '13. If hand collected, they should have been harvested in '11 or '12. Please put this information on the seed packet.

* Canadian GW members are welcome to join, as long as their seeds reach me by the deadline. Be aware that it can take up to two weeks, since the envelope has to make it through customs. Canadians are unable to post on the Round Robin forum, so you will need to email me to sign up.

* And last but not least, please include a return address label, and enough postage, for the return trip. If you are sending cash, please send in at least as much as it cost to get the envelope to me. Also, if you want me to send your package with a delivery confirmation, you need to send enough $ to cover it.

* I will email you privately with my mailing address once you have posted here to sign up for this swap. You must make sure that your GardenWeb profile has your email address listed, and it's visible to other members, so I can contact you.

I apologize if that sounds like a lot of rules, but this will keep the swap fair and fun for everyone.

Let me know if I've forgotten anything.

Your hostess,

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    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 3:00PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

This is the first year that I haven't had anyone from this forum sign up for the swap. It is the biggest group so far though. There are 35 swappers, and 25 + newbies signed up!!!

The deadline for seeds to reach me is this coming Friday, so you have until the end of the weekend to sign up!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

I would like to join. I have gardened for 2 years now and hope that I still count as a newbie. I wouldn't know any other peppers than what is listed on your black list-except for pimentos. I was told that not all peppers do well on the Front Range and my california wonders didn't grow- just jalapenos and anaheims. I know this swap isn't front range specific, but I hope some peppers in the swap will do well here.

I am excited to learn what varieties are out there!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:43AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I know, Bonnie! I'm glad you're getting a good response. I just don't have anything but the common varieties.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:59PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Lesuko, there are LOTS of peppers that you can grow here. Trust me on this!

I'm including a link to last year's pepper thread on this forum, which will give you some idea of what's possible around here.

Also, I will send you an email with the information about the swap.


Here is a link that might be useful: Peppers '12

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:30PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Lesuko, did you get my email?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Yes. I replied yesterday to the email address you mentioned. I mailed the envelope yesterday too with everything you requested. In case it takes a few days, my wishlist is a mix, I like sweet and medium hot and would really like a paprika and pimento if there are any left.

Thanks. I'll send the email again.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:09PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Leslie, your envelope arrived today. Still waiting on a few envelopes, but I hope to have the packages sent back out, by the end of next week.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:57PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Great thanks Bonnie!

So, would it be helpful for me to save seeds from the peppers I receive from you to donate next year? Or, would you not want the same ones? Unfortunately, I don't know any exciting pepper varieties.

And, if I collect seeds from a pepper, do I need to wait until they are very ripe as in red, or should they be harvested when they are green but mature? Actually, I don't know when a pepper is considered mature if you can eat it when green or wait and eat it when red.

But, I would like to contribute next year so let me know how I can do that.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:31AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Good questions, Leslie! Yes, please save seeds from the peppers you grow this coming season!!! A green pepper is not ripe, and the seeds are immature, so let it change to whatever its final color is - red, yellow, or orange, if you plan to save the seeds. People eat jalapenos, bells, and NuMex types of peppers green, for example jalapeno poppers, or canned diced green chiles, but to me they all taste better ripe.

Just be sure the seeds are completely dry, before storing them, or they could mold/rot. I usually give mine a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks for clarifying that. I will save seeds from each of the varieties to donate next year. I will let a few of the numex turn red- we tend to eat those up so it will be hard :)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:06PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Leslie, your package went out today. You should have it by the first of the week.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:21PM
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david52 Zone 6

Not worth a new thread, but I am having trouble germinating some of my saved seed - its not my technique, all the others are up and running, this particular variety is obstinate.

Any ideas? Like maybe do it with tissue paper first?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 11:31PM
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If paper towel won't do it David, then that variety doesn't have good seed viablity (whether from last year or two years). That's how it goes - you never know. The Amendment 64 folks will learn that soon.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

When I want to proof old seeds I use paper towels too, David. I just cut small pieces, dampen them, put a few seeds on a piece and fold it in half so the seeds have damp paper towel on both sides, and stick it in a smallish zipper baggie and put it in a "fairly warm" place out of the sun and check it every few days. If you don't have germination in a week or two with tomatoes, something is wrong with the seed. I've used tomato seed that's 20 years old that worked just fine! As a matter of fact the NEW Sungold seed I bought last year turned out to be RED so I'm gonna pull one of my olde packs out again this year and use that!

Good luck with your seeds! Hope they're ok!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:55AM
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david52 Zone 6

These seeds are from one of my saved "custom genetics" peppers, its some cross between Gypsy (a hybrid itself) and jalapeno, the result is a very thick-walled, 2" wide, 6" long pepper that looks sorta jalapeno-ish, and when it turns red it has an intense, not-hot, sweet pepper flavor. Its really something, which is why I'm going through the hassle.

I do have a plant that I saved over the winter, but I'd sure like to get some seeds going.

Can I take the tissue-proofed seeds and plant them? Any ideas? I still have another hundred or so seeds I can try with.

I do have maybe 6 seedlings started, out of an awful lot of seed planted.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Yes! I was gonna put that in last nite and forgot it till after I had submitted it! Was falling down tired and heading up to bed or I would have done a second post!

If you just want to see if they're germinating you can usually hold the baggie up to strong lite and tell well enough if they're growing, but if you plan to plant them in soil when they germinate I recommend you wait a little less than peppers usually take to germinate and then unfold the paper towel to actually look. To move them into soil it's easiest if you do it immediately when you see germination or else the root can start to grow into the paper, making it hard to pick up! Obviously do it carefully when you move them--you're good with Plant Things, shouldn't be a problem for you! I have a tweezers with a long, very pointed end I can move them with (a craft tweezers), but (if they're not imbedded in the paper) you can often just "get" them with the tip of a toothpick or unbent paper clip or something. Usually easier to use something besides just trying to pick them up with your fingers! And if you make a very slight indentation in the soil you can just sort of lay them in (sideways works!) and push a BIT of soil over them. Virtually all of them should make it!

A couple times I've "planted" seeds in paper towels that I knew were hard and took a long time to germinate so I could easily see when they germinated and not have to try to keep pots of soil "the right wetness" for a long time--without ever knowing if I should "wait longer" or not! When I had enough that germinated and I had them successfully planted in soil, I just threw the rest out! Worked well!

With that many seeds it sounds like you should easily find as many good ones as you want. But one thing I do! When I'm putting them on the paper towel I make sure the seeds aren't touching each other. Don't know if that's necessary or not, but I do it because of the "rotten apple in a barrel" effect!

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:41AM
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david52 Zone 6

Ok - I put 30-ish seeds in a ziplock with wet paper towel, slightly open for air.

we'll see how it goes.

What I generally do for peppers is fill the 6 packs, then gently tamp that down, put down the seeds then use a sieve to cover them with fine soil. Then fill the bottom of the tray with water and use a fine spray watering can or mist sprayer to soak the top. Then a clear dome, and onto the heat mat until I see peppers.

With these iffy seeds, I see one pepper in about a week, and take off the dome, and then maybe a week or so later, another shows up, and then two weeks later, out of a 100 seeds, maybe 4.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:47PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Don't know if this would make a difference, but I leave the dome on until the majority of the seeds (80+%) have sprouted.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:14PM
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david52 Zone 6

Well, I think I found my problem. Of the 30-ish seeds I put in the paper towel zip lock, all but about 4 turned into little dark rings of fungus.

Do you suppose that I could dust the remaining, dry seeds with sulfur, and then try planting them? Or may be just plant them all, individually in cells, and just run with the 4% or so germination.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I've never tried this and don't really have any idea if it would help or not, but if you have sulfur you might try dissolving some in water and then using that to moisten the paper towel with--and maybe rinse the seeds you're gonna try with some sulfur water before you put them on the paper towel. That's the best thing I can think of to try! Just try it with 8 or 10 seeds to see what happens, and if it doesn't help I guess there's nothing lost by just planting them in soil to see how many you get.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 1:48AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Hi Bonnie,

I haven't received the package yet. I'm hoping USPS is just slow. I'll let you know once I get it.

Thanks- looking forward to it.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 1:39PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

If it makes you feel better, Leslie, there was one envelope that I forgot to put the participant's return address label on, and it took a week to go from the next town over where I mailed it, back to my house 8 miles away!!! So yeah, I'd say the post office here is pretty slow, LOL!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)


I got the package today! I owed postage and the P.O. held it for me, which I didn't think they did that. I'm very excited about the seeds and am looking some of them up now. I think I may start my starts in the next few days. It's going to be warmer sooner this year and it would be good to be ready.

I will save some seeds too to contribute next year. I hope I don't get any diseases! Since I have so many seeds, I may have to sneak some in my front yard flower garden :)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:18PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Leslie! Glad to know you got your package, but that really upsets me about the postage due!!! I took all of the envelopes to the post office and had them weigh each one, and decide how much postage was needed. I am so fed up with each post office charging different rates for the same size envelope! The one in my town always charges me more than the next town over. It doesn't seem right that the post office where you live can just decide to make you pay more when another postal employee was the one that determined what the price would be. It would be different if I had just stuck the stamps on myself and dropped it in the mailbox. They should have to live with whatever price the post office it was sent from decides is appropriate.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Oh, I didn't know that. I can see how it can be frustrating and thank you again for organizing the swap. With your labeling and organization, I understand that a swap is very time consuming. I was just excited to get the seeds. It was almost lost in the mail. They couldn't find the package originally when I took the notice in and it took 3 days of searching at the PO before I finally got it.

No doubt the post office is a mess.

It is really amazing that you take the time to organize the swap. I would never have known about most of the peppers. My only problem is space. I want to plant one of each (and I will) but as I looked up the peppers online, some were highly recommended for canning or making jellies and I know you have to plant many of one kind to have enough for canning or jelly. Still, it's a fun "problem". But, I will probably decide which peppers I like the most and then plant more of those next year.

Thanks again! Leslie

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:19AM
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