Saving Pea Seeds, Hanging Head in Shame

blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)July 31, 2012

... because I have a feeling they are about the easiest (THE easiest?) seeds to save, but here goes: Do I have to wait till the pods are brown and withered before plucking them off for seed saving purposes? These are French petit pois and the pods are hugely swollen with what must now be big ol' lumps o' starch. They are in no way brown or withered. The vines have collapsed on the ground and I'm concerned that if I wait until they are truly sere, our cool and cloudy weather here in the Seattle area (yes, our area is represented by a teeny tiny green line on the weather map of the Lower 48, amidst the giant swash of red and reddish brown showing the heat wave the rest of you are facing so bravely) will be the ideal environment for mold and mildew.

Must I wait?

Impatiently AND shamefully,

Rain

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remy_gw

Hi Rain,
Yes, you must be patient and wait. The pods will get very dry, sometimes they still have a dull green coloration to them as opposed turning brown, but they will be crispy. You shouldn't be harvesting them until then.
Think of the seeds like a baby growing in a mother's abdomen. To have the most potential to be viable, they must stay in the pod until they are completely ready. If you harvest them early, it is like a premature birth. The farther away from the due date, the less chance of survival.
I know cool, moist, cloudy weather isn't idea for seed saving, but I'm going to go out on a limb in my thinking that it will be ok since peas do well in England and are saved all the time, and England is known for summer weather like yours.
In any case, peas in still moist seed pods won't be viable, so you need to wait :)
Remy

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:20AM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

Thank you so much for the advice, Remy. I can tell from your posts you are an expert!

Pea pods still bright green and bulgy.

*sigh*, scuffling my toe in the dirt.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:32PM
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remy_gw

You're welcome

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:01PM
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