Seed Germination Rates

Seed Supplier - Germination Rates 

We thought this might be an interesting read to customers.  

People always ask us where we get our seeds and which seed supplier is the best. Here are germination rates from last years seed.

We calculated it out by counting the number of seeds we purchased from our suppliers and then worked out the percentage of the number of seeds that germinated (all similar conditions / electric propagators at 25-27 degrees).   

Last year we grew over 8000 plants.  We just cannot afford to waste time and effort on poor quality seed.

1)  Simpson Seeds    97% germination rate
Seeds Purchased - Aji Hot, Aji Lemon, Aurora, Bolivian Rainbow, Cobra, Elephants Trunk, Georgia Flame, Habanero Caribbean, Habanero Condors Beak, Madre Vieja, Nepali Orange, Orozco,Pasilla Bajio, Portugal, Prairie Fire, Riot, Red Missile, Rocoto, Thai Mound, zimbabwe Bird

Matt Simpson is one of the nicest guys in the chilli industry.  We love the variation of seeds that he supplies. There are some superhots but masses of amazing looking chillies with different colours, flavours and textures.  

The germination rates from Matt's seeds were simply outstanding.

2) Seaspring Seeds
Seeds Purchased - Superchilli, Sparkler, Rooster Spur, Stumpy, Coffee Bean, Aji Limo, Apricot, Dorset Naga

Michael & Joy Michaud are one of the reasons why we started our business. They are a super couple, really friendly but also extremely knowledgeable about how to grow chillies, problems to watch for and which varieties to recommend.   We love their Dorset Naga.  Still our favourite superhot because it grows so well in our climate without needing additional lighting and specialised heating systems.  In 2011 we picked over 50kg of Dorset Naga pods.

Alot of their varieties have been developed by Joy & Michael.  They have some absolute belters including Fairy Lights (looks like a Numex Twilight but much prettier and nicer on the palette), Stumpy - a brilliant windowsill plant and Apricot - a Habanero lookalike with virtually no heat)

Fantastic Germination rates.

3) De Ree Seeds
(See seed section)
Seeds Purchased  - Jalapeno, Cayenne, Habanero Orange, California Wonder and Yolo Wonder  (Only five types available)

A dutch company who specialise in seeds for vegetable crops. Good germination rates but not enough varieties offered.   
We have started reselling DeReed seeds on our website.  

4) Chilli Pepper Pete
Seeds purchased - Trinidad Scorpion, Red Marouga, Habanero 7 Pot

Chilli Pepper Pete is another legend of the industry. His shop in Brighton tends to specialise in the "hotter" end of the scale.  We had good success last year with the Habanero 7 Pot. The Scorpions and Marouga's germinated well but you really need to give them optimal growing conditions.  A windy polytunnel on Dartmoor is not the ideal place.   Ironically though, the chillies  from the Morouga plants which podded were extremely vicious! 

5) Premier Seeds 
Seeds purchased - Jalapeno, Habanero White, Habanero Fatali, Centennial, Scotch Bonnet Red/Yellow/Orange, Habanero Chocolate/Red, Tabasco, Filius Blue, Royal Black, Anaheim, Pinata, Uba Tuba, Bulgarian Carrot, Jamaican Red/Yellow, Santa Fe, Numex Twilight, Fresno, Tepin, Hot Wax, Caloro, Costeno Amarillo

Good value seeds sold through their ebay shop.  Lots of weird and wonderful varieties including a couple of superhots.   20+ years experience in supplying seeds and due to the lack of overheads, their seeds are fantastic value for money.

6) Kings Seeds
Cayenne Long Slim, Apache, Demon, RedSkin, Long Red Marconi

These guys specialise in herbs, vegetables and Sweet Pea and flower seeds.   We only had a few varieties from them but Apache is a variety which we grow in the hundreds.  It is a early podder and very hardy. A good beginners chilli as it is hard to kill !     

 7) Sutton Seeds
Apache, Cheyenne, Corni di Toro, Redskin, Cayenne

Well known by gardeners and growers alike.  They specialise in vegetable and flower seeds. They have couple of sweet pepper and hot chilli varieties.  A good place to get garden equipment.

Other recommended seed suppliers

We have heard good things about 

Bountiful Seeds is run by Ivor Davies from Devils Garden fame - anything run by Ivor is going to be good. is Gerald Fowler from the Chilli Pepper Company - home of the Naga Viper. If you want superhot varieties, this will be a good place to look)

The bottom line is to always use a quality seed supplier.    

Buying your seeds from just anywhere and them carefully sowing them, giving optimal growing conditions over a number of weeks, just for a few to germinate, is simply not worth the hassle. We obtained only 36% germination rate from a big supplier not on this list in the 2009-2010 season. We haven't use them since.

If you are just going to use one supplier, we would use Simpson Seeds with Seaspring Seeds a very close second.  Both are utterly fantastic.
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