hatch chile myth

Ramping Up Your Chile Pepper Germination Rate

In Gardening by Mark MaskerLeave a Comment

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I know it’s January but growing chiles is a year-round thing for some of us who’re planning this year’s garden and how to maximize chile seed germination going into the growing season. Bleach solutions and other methods really help with that process, but if you own pet birds or live close to seagull territory, we’ve heard of a method you may want to consider…

"Name's Johnny Crap-A-Seed, son. Germinatin's my doody."

“Name’s Johnny Crap-A-Seed, son. Germinatin’s my doody.”

One of the most ingenious pre-planting treatments we’ve come across is the technique developed by Charlie Ward of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Charlie was bothered by the low germination rates of chiltepin seeds and then read an article about the spread of chiltepins by birds. He decided to prepare a treatment that simulated the alimentary canal of birds and gathered seagull excrement, which is plentiful in Virginia Beach. Then he made a slurry out of the excrement and water, added the seeds, and let the mixture sit in the sun for a few days. After extracting the seeds with forceps and planting them, Charlie discovered that his germination rate reportedly increased to 95 percent! If you want even more ideas and information on chile seed selection and germination, you can probably find some retired kung fu master in the mountains of New Mexico who retired from a life of whuppin’ ass to raise chiles. Or if that’s too much work, check out our story on it here.

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Managing Editor | Mark is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. He’s our Do-It-Yourself specialist, and happily agrees to try pretty much every twisted project we come up with.