For softening seed coats, instead of bleach, try salt peter. This is recommended by The Pepper Gal (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), and it works like a charm. Again - bleach will severly retard seed germination. In trial applications, per the No. Va. Master Gardeners - Va. Tech Extension Service - this impaired germination by as much as 75%. Scarification (scraping off the seed coat with a file) also works well for getting seeds with hard coats to germinate. And J.L. Hudson recommends giberellic acid. R.