Trees From Seeds Experiment

These are some of the seed planted and sprouted in 2022.
From top left clockwise, we have chestnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts.

These are a few examples of trees I’ve started in pots in the greenhouse. Some others are apples, cherries, peaches, English and black walnuts, grapes and plums. Now before getting too excited, the apples will not come out true to the tree I got them from, but we get them started and then use them for root stock.

Three years ago, I started several apple and plum trees from the seeds from fruit trees on our property. I’ve also used seeds from apples and plums I’ve purchased at the farmers market when we didn’t have any fruit due to frost. I’m afraid this will be true again this year due to the warm January and February weather we’ve had. Those apple trees were planted last spring in one of our smaller orchards and probably next year we will graft them if the rabbits, deer and vermin don’t eat their bark or roots first.

To plant the nuts and fruit, I take the seeds from their parent and store in the refrigerator until the following spring. If the nuts have shells which most do, I crack the seed out of the shell and place in a four-inch pot that has fresh, moistened potting soil in it. I cover the seed and keep the soil moist but not wet throughout the summer months into the fall. If they sprout, I take them into a protected room in the cellar of another house on the property, wet them down and leave until the following spring after any expected frost. Most of the ones that have been through this process will grow another 6-8 inches in the small pot. In mid to late summer, I transplant them into 10–12-inch pots with new soil added, fertilize lightly and start introducing them to the out of doors until fall arrives and then they go back into the cellar one more winter where they go dormant again. The following spring, they are brought back to the greenhouse to sprout again and midsummer they will be planted in an orchard to get a good root system going prior to winter. We water them well throughout the summer and fall until weather turns cool and then they’re on their own and hopefully thrive.

Last summer three almond trees were planted behind my greenhouse. At the moment I have about thirty seeds, mostly fruit, in the cellar waiting to move back to the greenhouse. It’s very gratifying to grow this produce from seed just like we do in the garden.

Preparing for Spring Greenhouse

Seeds for Christmas and seeds not used last year put me way ahead of the game. Winter has not been nice though so there are repairs to do and changes inside to think about. I’m ahead of the game in other aspects though! I sterilized all of my pots, every last one of them, and that’s a big chore in the spring.

I love it when the seeds arrive.

Needs are few, including Pro Mix, new shade cloth, repair the roof and one window, and kill two sand briars that made it through the four-inch layer of gravel last summer and are still alive after scalding them with boiling water, spraying with vinegar and pouring salt water all around the base of the weeds. Nothing worked, they’re still alive!!! Those are hateful weeds!! Deciding on which heat system to use, when to actually start the growing processes and making a canning and freezing plan are things also on my mind every day that the sun is out.

Spring can’t get here soon enough!!

I’m still sifting through my seed catalogs for four new plants to try this year which is a project on my Bucket List. I know what vegetables we like and that do well here so the new plants will probably be in the form of flowers or herbs and I’m leaning towards the herb group.

I have lots of fruit and nut seeds that I’ll probably start first because they’re simple and quick to start. They are in the dormant, dark and cold area now to give them a good start. I got apple root stock and almond trees started and planted last year. This spring I’m leaning toward more apple, blueberries and hazelnuts, three of each. I’m not planting as much of this for 2023 because it does take up a lot of space and need to be watched just like anything else in the greenhouse. Of course, the big problem is I have all of these good intentions that seem to fly out the greenhouse doors once I get started!! I do love to play in the dirt and grow anything and everything!!!

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