The first step in the process of saving pepper seeds is to grow a mature heirloom pepper to harvest the seeds from. Note that I said the pepper has to be mature and an heirloom. This is important because if the pepper is a hybrid it probably won't be recognizable the next year. If the pepper is not mature, the seeds harvested from it will not be good enough to grow a plant the following year.
Planting heirloom pepper plants is pretty self explanatory (grow plants that say heirloom!) but growing mature peppers may be a challenge especially if you live in a colder climate like I do. Don't worry though, if you do not have mature peppers and a freeze is in the forecast, uproot the plant and hang it in your basement. If the peppers are far enough along the fruit should mature enough to provide good seeds to harvest for replanting.
|sorry for the pic quality but here are two different types of pepper hanging.|
Once the peppers have turned good and red like in the picture above, it is time to save the pepper seeds. To do this, the first thing to remember is to wear gloves if you are dealing with hot peppers. I repeat... Wear gloves. I did not do this the first time I saved seeds. How much heat could one pepper give off? When I went to take my contact out at night, I found out the hard way!
Now that you are gloved up. Here is how I saved my seeds.
|Start with a few mature peppers.|
|Slice the top off the pepper to reveal the seeds.|
|After the seeds dry for a few days, put them in a plastic bag and store in a dark space.|
That concludes how I saved my pepper seeds this fall. I learned how to do this from a person I work with that has been saving them this way for many years. He even gave me some of his own peppers to save so I hope to repay the favor to somebody else next year. Tune back in the spring when I start these seeds in my grow room to get ready for spring planting.