Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

Post by Zasso Nouka »

starting_the_dream wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:54 am
Is there any way to know which ones they repackage? I don't remember seeing anything on the website or ordering form.
It's quite disappointing when it happens and actually stopped me from buying from them for a while as I felt like we were just wasting our time and money but we started again recently and now just buy seeds we think haven't been divided up.

I think if you stick to Franchi, Villmorin or the other big European companies or where you can see a picture of the seed pack then you get better results with germination but even then it's not a guarantee. I can't say for sure and this is purely supposition but I suspect they might not keep seeds in a refrigerator with silica gel so that they are subject to either high temps outside a fridge or moisture if kept inside one. All our opened seed packs are kept inside our vegetable coolers in ziplock bags with silica gel sachets inside so they are maintained at a constant temperature and low humidity through the year.

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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@Wolfsong013
I would love a picture if you have one! Last year was my first time saving seeds, so I have no idea if any of them will germinate. I need to have a backup plan in case they don't or my son will be heartbroken. He was very excited to have pumpkins last year.
I recommend planting them later than the package states, because all my pumpkins were ready in late August.
I agree! I think most of ours matured in mid to late September, but it was still way too hot and humid and we started to get soft spots. Waiting longer to plant is a good idea. I found the stems of the ones I harvested in September started to rot quickly, which continued down into the pumpkin. Do you have any tricks to prevent rot or did you leave them on the vine until Halloween? Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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but we started again recently and now just buy seeds we think haven't been divided up.
Thanks for the advice. Probably sticking to the more popular crops is a safer bet.
All our opened seed packs are kept inside our vegetable coolers in ziplock bags with silica gel sachets inside so they are maintained at a constant temperature and low humidity through the year.
Do you do this because Japan is so humid? Or is this common practice in agriculture? I need to go home tonight and check my pumpkin seeds. The paper bag probably isn't the best place to store them. They might be covered in mold!

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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starting_the_dream wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 am
but we started again recently and now just buy seeds we think haven't been divided up.
Thanks for the advice. Probably sticking to the more popular crops is a safer bet.
All our opened seed packs are kept inside our vegetable coolers in ziplock bags with silica gel sachets inside so they are maintained at a constant temperature and low humidity through the year.
Do you do this because Japan is so humid? Or is this common practice in agriculture? I need to go home tonight and check my pumpkin seeds. The paper bag probably isn't the best place to store them. They might be covered in mold!


This is the packet that I bought last year. Everything grew beautifully, and I didn't have problems with soft spots. Most grew to a decent size, being around 3kg each. I had trouble with powder mildew, but that was probably a user error.

For seeds, I thought as long as they were dark and dry they would be ok? I've kept seeds in an envelope, stored in the closet (which has moisture absorbers) and my seeds seem to be fine this year. Tochigi is more cool than most prefectures though (our summer topped off at 37 last year, being up in the mountains)

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

Post by Zasso Nouka »

starting_the_dream wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 am
Do you do this because Japan is so humid? Or is this common practice in agriculture? I need to go home tonight and check my pumpkin seeds. The paper bag probably isn't the best place to store them. They might be covered in mold!
It's standard practice to maintain germination rates, particularly if you are wanting to store for several years but we do it because Chiba summers are so hot and humid. If seeds are properly dried and you are just storing them till next year then a paper bag is probably fine.

An alternate strategy for growing foreign pumpkins that don't like the hot humid Japanese summers is to plant them now so that they finish fruiting before the rainy season brings too much humidity and fungal diseases. To lengthen storage time for pumpkins wash them down with a 10% bleach solution to kill any fungal spores on the skin then place in a cool dark space, well as cool as you can considering the summers we get here.

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

Post by Wolfsong013 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:33 pm
starting_the_dream wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 am
Do you do this because Japan is so humid? Or is this common practice in agriculture? I need to go home tonight and check my pumpkin seeds. The paper bag probably isn't the best place to store them. They might be covered in mold!
It's standard practice to maintain germination rates, particularly if you are wanting to store for several years but we do it because Chiba summers are so hot and humid. If seeds are properly dried and you are just storing them till next year then a paper bag is probably fine.

An alternate strategy for growing foreign pumpkins that don't like the hot humid Japanese summers is to plant them now so that they finish fruiting before the rainy season brings too much humidity and fungal diseases. To lengthen storage time for pumpkins wash them down with a 10% bleach solution to kill any fungal spores on the skin then place in a cool dark space, well as cool as you can considering the summers we get here.
That's good to know about saving the pumpkins! I wouldn't have thought of saving them more more than a week or two!

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

Post by Zasso Nouka »

We sell most of our butternuts and other pumpkins through the winter so they get stored for up to 6 months using this method. Ideally after harvest wash all the dirt off and leave out to dry and mature somewhere sunny for a couple of days but cover at night to stop the dew from getting them wet (which can activate mould spores) then we spray them with the bleach solution and pack them away for storing.

An organic solution for powdery mildew is spraying them with sulphur but it's not very effective outside as it tends to get washed off the leaves by rain.

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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Thank you Wolfsong013! I see you got them from Komeri online. I might just buy a pack as insurance.

I checked my saved pumpkin seeds and they seem to be fine. No rot or mold. But I finally got around to researching what I bought last year and found that the pumpkins I purchased were an 'F1' variety. Unfortunately this means there's no telling what I'm going to get this year. The only way to know is to plant them and see! I do have a lot of space,so I'm hoping I get a few that come through. I read somewhere that it takes 7 generations to become a pure line. I'm in this for the long haul!

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

Post by Wolfsong013 »

starting_the_dream wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:24 am
Thank you Wolfsong013! I see you got them from Komeri online. I might just buy a pack as insurance.

I checked my saved pumpkin seeds and they seem to be fine. No rot or mold. But I finally got around to researching what I bought last year and found that the pumpkins I purchased were an 'F1' variety. Unfortunately this means there's no telling what I'm going to get this year. The only way to know is to plant them and see! I do have a lot of space,so I'm hoping I get a few that come through. I read somewhere that it takes 7 generations to become a pure line. I'm in this for the long haul!
Make sure to show us what your F1s look like as you grow them out! The komeri seeds grew well, and I had several really nice pumpkins, even though it was too early for Halloween pumpkins. The dog did enjoy destroying/eating them though :lol:

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Re: Importing Heirloom Seeds (Importing in General)

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starting_the_dream wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:24 am
But I finally got around to researching what I bought last year and found that the pumpkins I purchased were an 'F1' variety. Unfortunately this means there's no telling what I'm going to get this year. The only way to know is to plant them and see!
An exciting journey begins :D and eventually you'll have your own unique pumpkin variety, have you thought of a name yet ? To be honest I actually quite like things like this, we now have our own varieties of patty pan squashes that originally came from some F1 seeds we bought. They come out a little different each year but the colouring is unique to us and no one else has anything quite like them.

One thing to bear in mind when creating your own pumpkin variety is that cucurbits are incredibly promiscuous and will cross pollinate with just about any other cucurbits nearby so any zucchini, pumpkin or even cucumber plants can potentially mix in there if you let the bees do your pollination for you.