Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I'll save the best for last so I'm starting off with the bad news, we have to redo all our apple plants. This only applies to plants, not seeds. Our Granny Smith seeds are still in the picture. One by one they just started dying. We think they might have died from a combination of root rot and fungus. Apparently living in the greenhouse was the perfect place for fungus to grow and we forgot to give them their weekly spray of fungicide.
Learning our lesson from the apples, we decided not to give the pears the greenhouse, and they are doing quite well. So far, 5 out of the 6 plants have sprouted.
2 of the 6 loquat pits have sprouted. You can also see roots at the bottom of the clear container so more to come soon. So far what I have seen from the loquats are that they are slow growers.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
This is the method we used to get our kiwi seeds
You Will Need
- Sharp Knife
- Butter Knife
- Bowl of water
- Coffee Filter
- Cut the kiwi into quarters
- Remove the middle white line
- Gently scrap the seeds off with a butter knife
- Rinse the seed covered knife in the bowl of water
- Let most of the seeds settle to the bottom
- Put a coffee filter in a sieve and the sieve in a bowl. Gently pour the water/seed mixture into the coffee filter. The coffee filter will drain the water but keep the seeds.
- After the water drains leave it to dry overnight.
- You should be able to easily scratch the seeds off of the coffee filter once it is dry. Now they are ready for use.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I found 2 methods of growing apricots on the Internet so it's experiment time.
First step is to crack the pits with a hammer or nut cracker. I used a hammer. I found putting a pit on it's side and hitting the edge works best.
We have 18 seeds so 9 of them will be put in between a moist paper towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The other 9 are in a jar with moist soil in the refrigerator. The seeds need a 30 day stratification period so after 30 days in the fridge we will check for sprouting.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As I said a few days ago we have to redo the Gala apple seeds. Well we were scooping out the bad seed starter and apparently one more seed survived so we have 2 gala apple plants right now. We still plan on continuing with our experiment once we have enough seeds.
So far the only citrus that has grown has been the grapefruit and the lemon. We dug up an orange seed a few days ago and there was a root so hopefully the orange will be sprouting soon.
We did notice a something a little "odd" with the lemons and grapefruit. In several compartments it looked like there were 2 or 3 trees growing. I remember when we were trying to germinate grapefruit seeds in the paper towel, the seed broke apart and each piece seemed to behave like a separate seed. So it's experiment time again.
One of our lemon plants looked like there were 2 trees growing so we dug it up. It looked like 2 lemon trees growing out of one seed. They were easily separated and planted into seperate pots. For the next few weeks we are going to be keeping an eye on both plants. If both plants make it to their next set of leaves we will do the same thing to the grapefruits. (We currently have a compartment of grapefruits that looks like 3 are growing)
The pineapple growing in the pot is growing quite well. It hasn't increased in size but new leaves have grown. Unforunately, the one in water wasn't so lucky. The bottom part of the head fell off and we had to toss it. We have 2 more pineapples which we cut up today. We cut the heads off this time leaving the fruit and cutting off all the dead leaves and dead parts of the leaves.
Getting seeds is quite easy. You can either press the fruit towards the side of a glass bowl the fill the bowl with water. The fruit will float while the seeds sink. Scoop out the fruit. Place a coffee filter in a strainer and gently pour the water in. The coffee filter and strainer will prevent the seeds from seeping through.
The way we did it however, was a little bit more simplified. Whenever we ate raspberries or blackberries we had a paper towel handy. Anyone who has eaten these berries know that you get a lot of seeds stuck in your teeth. Gently remove the seed with your finger and wipe it on the paper towel. Leave the seeds overnight to dry. Place a coffee filter in a strainer and gently pick off the seeds. Rinse the seeds.
The seeds need to be stratified. Place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least a month. When you are ready to plant the seeds they will need to be scarified first.
- Get a large sheet of sandpaper and place the seeds on.
- Fold up a corner and rub the seeds between the 2 sheets.
We will be doing an experiment when it comes to growing these seeds. I found this method to soften the outer part of the seed by soaking them in bleach for an hour. Then add 4 cups of water for every tablespoon of bleach used. Using the coffee filter-strainer method, drain the seeds. In a large bowl add 4 tbsp of baking soda and 1 cup water. Soak the seeds for a few minutes to neutralize any remaining bleach.
For the experiment half the seeds were soaked, while the other half weren't. For the blackberries, half of both kinds were planted in seed starter, while the other half are going to be in a paper towel. The raspberries were only planted in seed starter.
We will see if soaking the seeds in bleach will make their germination time any sooner.
I have heard anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months for the seeds to grow so we'll you up to date.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Four weeks later, on May 23, the first of the seeds germinated. More seeds are germinating everyday so I expect to have a full tray by the 6th month. Right now the blueberries are too small to take pictures of but they are growing nicely.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
As for the Granny Smith apple seed that was already sprouted, it is doing quite well. We'll have updated photos up soon.
Something I have noticed so far with all our apples. They have all gone through the stratification process. Maybe not directly as seeds but definately as the apple. When we bring the apples home they go straight into the fridge. So in a few months Trevor and I will be trying a different experiment, "Is Stratification Absolutely Necessary For Apples?" In August or September we will be going to a nearby apple farm and picking apples directly from the tree. We are going to make sure they don't get refridgerated.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Loquat pits germinated
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
I had to move the pit that was in water from the cup to a jar. There is a small shoot.
Avocado Pit in Water
The pit grown in soil has a longer shoot and the root found its way out of one of the drainage holes
Avocado Pit in Soil
Apparently, there is no difference whether you grow the avocado pit in water or in soil, just leave the skin on. But I did realize, putting the pit in water, it was much easier to see it's progress and when it needed more water.
Side by Side
Well I'm going to transfer the soil pit to a larger pot but I'm going to keep the water pit in water. I will make my decision when to transfer it to a pot when the jar is full of roots or when the shoot is 1 ft tall, which ever comes first. Like how most Internet instructions say, once it reaches 1 ft I will trim it down to 6 to 8 inches.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
2 of the remaining Gala apple seeds are growing very nicely. They'll be planted soon.
Gala apple seeds germinating
Well that Granny Smith seed that was starting to germinate within the apple has now started it's leaves.
Granny Smith Apple Plant
Due to a really bad mold problem we had to throw away the grapefruit seeds in the paper towel. One no skin seed germinated though. The seed had seveal pieces and each seed sprouted a root.
On the otherhand, last week one of the no skin seeds in the pot germinated. A few days ago a skin one did too.
Left: No Skin Right:Skin
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Sprouted Granny Smith Apple Seed
Almost like the one we found in the Fuji apple. We currently don't have enough seeds to start planting but we have already planted this one and hopefully in the next few days it will germinate.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Gala Apple seeds that have germinated
Just like the Fuji apples, we have another mold problem. The fungicide seemed to delay it but didn't stop it. So we choose 9 of the strongest seeds, starting off with the ones that have green, then the ones with the longest roots, and we planted them in the remaining 9 compartments of the 12 compartment seed tray. As for the remaining 7, we changed paper towels, soaking it with fungicide again, and placed them there. Doing my online research, I was told that it would take 4 to 6 weeks for apple seeds to germinate and there would be a 30% germination rate. At the rate things are going, it's been almost 2 weeks and I have an almost 70% germination rate. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I will keep the remaining seeds in the paper towel for the next 2 to 4 weeks (To complete the 4 to 6 week cycle) to see how many of them grow.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
This year I decided to save some of the pits for myself in an attempt to grow my own tree. Instead of putting the put in a pot of soil or burying it in the ground, I am putting the pits between some paper towels. Nine days ago I put 9 pits between a paper towel, and put the paper towel in a plastic Ziploc bag. Keeping the paper towel moist, put the bag in a nice sunny window.
Well today, one of the pits finally started to sprout. It wouldn't surprise me if in the next few days the other ones start as well. When the roots get a little longer the pits will be potted.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
They said it would take 7 to 28 days for the strawberries to germinate. Well it's been 9 days and upon inspection, I found 2 seeds that have germinated. They still have their seeds attached so they don't have their leaves yet, but this looks very promising. We'll see in the next 19 days how many of the remaining strawberry seeds germinate.
The Fuji apples are doing exceptionally well. The one in the middle already has 7 leaves while the one next to it has 5. Before long the plants are going to be too big for the minature greenhouse and are going to need to be potted.
Fuji Apple Plants
So far only one seed has a root but it's still early.
The lemon plant now has 2 visible leaves. We also found a bump in one of the other compartments which appears to be a seed so hopefully we will have another lemon plant real soon.
Lemon Plant's First Leaves
Plants To Listen For Soon
Blueberries, Honey Tangerines, Nectarines, Peaches.
In a previous post I mentioned that after we find out with the Gala apples that if apple seeds can grow in room temperature we'll do a comparison with the Granny Smiths. I have now realized that we have about half a dozen Gala apples but only 3 Granny Smith so well be conducting the experiment with the Gala apples. Just like the pineapples I will be comparing days of growth.
Monday, May 24, 2010
We have all probably heard of the way to make a pineapple plant. Cut or pull the head with the leaves off. Make sure all the fruit is cut off. Tear some of the bottom leaves off, then put it in a cup of water or in moist soil and wait for roots to grow.
Just like my avocado experiment I am conducting an experiment to see which method is faster. Unlike my avocado experiment I cannot start both heads at the same time. Instead I will be comparing growth on experiment days. (eg. Day 7 of pineapple in water compared to Day 7 of pineapple in soil)
On Saturday I started a pineapple head in water. Today I started a pineapple head in a pot of soil. The one in water has a 2 day head start. I will keep them watered and check on their progress at least once a week.
I have heard to either germinate them in soil, or between wet paper towels. Also I have heard of leaving the skin on and peeling it off.
Peeling off the skin is fairly easy. Look for the small point on top of the seed and bend it. A part of skin will come off as you peel it downward. It should leave small flaps at the top. Use those flaps to peel the rest of the skin off.
Over this past week we have been able to get 14 seeds. Using our greenhouse seed trays, and wet paper towels in a Ziploc bag:
- 3 were planted in soil with skin
- 3 were planted in soil without skin
- 4 were placed between wet paper towels with skin
- 4 were placed between wet paper towels without skin
It will take 7 to 28 days for the seeds to germinate.
We will be repeating this experiment with the honey tangerine seeds but on a larger scale. We were able to get 20 seeds from just one fruit today and we have one more left.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The seeds are between a folded moist paper towel in a plastic bag, but this time we have decided to see if the seeds will germinate at room temperature. This is mostly due to the fact that the seeds started sprouting much quicker once they were in the soil and exposed to heat. Due to the mold problem that we had with the Fuji apples, the paper towels are moist with our homemade fungicide. The fungicide is 99% water but hopefully this time it will mean no mold.
The next apple on our list is Granny Smith. If the seeds germinate at room temperature for the Gala, we will probably run a comparison with the Granny Smith. Does the cold have any effect on the germination of apple seeds?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Last week I was quite surprised on how many of the kiwis have sprouted. Well this week, most of the seeds had their first leaves.
Germinated kiwi seeds
They will continue to grow inside the greenhouse seed tray until the roots get too crowded or the plants get too big.
The apple seed that already sprouted is starting to grow it's third and forth leaves. In another compartment another seed has sprouted and is in the beginning stages of growing more leaves. Apparently it is the compartment where we placed 2 seeds. Upon closer inspection we noticed that the other seed is also growing.
Apple seeds growing
The next apple seeds we will be planting are Gala apples. This time they will not be place fridge. They will be placed between wet paper towels in a plastic bag but at room temperature.
3 weeks ago we went out to eat at a local restaurant. We ordered water and hot tea. My water came with a lemon wedge and so did Trevor's tea. Both lemons had seeds so we carefully picked them out and wrapped them up in a napkin. We got 6 usable seeds total.
A few days later we washed them and planted them in my greenhouse seed tray. Because of the sugar content of fruit, they were given a spray of fungicide every few days. We put them in a sunny window and waited. Today during our watering we noticed that one of the lemon seeds had germinated.
Sprouted Lemon seed
Today we also decided to plant our mandarin and orange seeds.
Most of the mandarins and oranges grown in my area are seedless but we were able to obtain one good mandarin seed, and 5 good orange seeds. We believe the oranges to be Valencia oranges. In the remaining 6 compartments of the greenhouse we planted the orange and mandarin seeds using the same process as the lemons.
They say it takes 1 to 4 weeks for citrus seeds to grow so we'll keep you updated.
In the mean time, we are currently collecting grapefruit and tangerine seeds. We seem to be getting a lot more of these seeds than we had with the lemon so we'll be running a few experiments to see which method grows faster.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Obtaining pits is simple. Just eat a few cherries and save the pits. Make sure you wash the pits very well and not leave any fruit residue. The sugars can cause molding and fungus.
Using our 12 compartment seed trays, using potting soil, 6 compartments have pits, the other 6 compartments contain cherry seeds. We cracked several pits open with hammers to obtain the seed. Unlike previous seeds, they are not inside a greenhouse. Doing some research online, I have found that the greenhouse is too hot for the cherry and may harm it.
Seed tray with cherry pits and seeds. One side is pits, the other side is seeds.
In The Refrigerator
One method I have been reading online is to get a jar or bag and fill it with moist soil and seeds. Keep the soil moist and leave it in the refrigerator for up to 90 days. During those 90 days check to see if any sprouting has occurred.
Trevor and I are using jars. One jar will have 20 pits, the other jar will have 20 seeds. We will see which one grows faster.
Me spraying the cherry tray
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I placed 6 asparagus seeds between a wet folded paper towel and I put the paper towel in a Ziploc bag. I had to wait up to 3 weeks before the seeds germinated. The first seed germinated within 2 weeks.
In my 12 compartment seed tray I placed the 6 seeds that I germinated between paper towels. As an experiment, I placed 6 seeds in the other 6 compartments. I'm just going to see if the paper towel speeds up the seeds compared to planting them directly in soil.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Getting Strawberry Seeds
You can gently pick the seeds off the strawberry or you can slice up several strawberries and throw them into a blender. Add enough water so they are just barely covered and puree the strawberries for about 10 seconds. Wait a few minutes afterwards. The "bad" seeds and the fruit will float to the top while the good seeds will sink to the bottom. Scoop out the top layer of strawberry. Put a coffee filter in a sieve and the sieve over a bowl. Pour out the remaining seed water mixture. Rinse and repeat with the remaining seeds. Let the coffee filter dry over night. Now you have your strawberry seeds.
- Place the seeds in a folded paper towel then into a Ziploc bag. From what I read online the seeds need to be put in the freezer anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months. A majority of the sites said 1 month so I froze the seeds for 1 month to stratify them.
- After a month place the seeds in lukewarm water for 1 to 3 days. This softens the outer coating. To keep the water warm place the container on top of a refrigerator or anywhere else that feels warm.
- We used a 12 compartment seed tray greenhouse. Fill that with seed starter. Over a sink, gently pour the water containing seeds over the soil. Try to evenly spread it. You will also have to rinse the remaining seed out.
- Place the greenhouse cover and put in a sunny window.
- They say it takes 7 to 21 days for a strawberry seed to germinate so we'll keep you up to date.
For the seeds being soaked in water we place the container on top of Trevor's computer. At one point it seemed the water was getting so hot that it was evaporating. Getting too hot might have killed the seeds but we won't know for sure for another 7 to 21 days. If these seeds fail to germinate we will be replanting them. Next time instead of soaking them in water we will try scratching them with sandpaper.
Monday, May 17, 2010
After several months the pits where the skin was peeled off made no growth so I tossed them. The ones with skin both had roots. The one in water had a small root but it had cracked significantly while the one in soil had a much longer root but not much cracking.
Next step is to see which will grow a shoot first. I will keep you updated as soon as I get results.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I found this recipe online. We are still experimenting with it. It is starting to show promising results but time will tell
- 2 tbsp Baking Soda
- 2 tbsp Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1 gallon Water
- Liquid Dish Washing Soap (Only if you plan on spraying this on leaves)
- In a dry, clean gallon jug mix baking soda and peroxide.
- Move it around until baking soda is wet with peroxide
- Add water.
- Shake until everything is dissolved.
- If this is for leaves, add to spray bottle and add one drop of dish washing soap for every quart. Shake well.
Friday, May 14, 2010
A few weeks ago we bought some Fuji apples and took out the seeds. One seed in the apple already had a pretty long root coming out of it so we planted it in one of the compartments with seed starter. After doing some research online we decided to place the seeds in a wet, folded paper towel, in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator. It would take about 4 to 6 weeks before the seeds would germinate. Apple seeds also have a germination rate of 30% so we needed at least 10, luckily we were able to get 15. The seed that was already planted was also placed in the fridge.
Well 3 days ago we came across a problem, mold. There were little black spots of mold growing all over the paper towel. Apparently we hadn't washed all the sugar and apple parts off the seeds. We doused the paper towel in fungicide and sprayed some more in the bag. Since the already planted seed had shown no progress, we decided to remove the already planted seed from the fridge to a sunny window. A greenhouse was also placed on top.
Today the mold problem was worse than before. Luckily 3 of the seeds had already shown promising growth. One had a significant root, another showed the beginnings of a root, while a third showed the beginnings of a root and leaves. As we went to get the apple seed tray we noticed that the seed had already sprouted leaves. Quite a bit of growth after 3 days.
The seed that had a significant root was placed in a compartment while the other 2 were put in the same compartment. If both seeds grow one will be pulled out.
Today we also decided to start some pear seeds. Pears are in the same category as apples so they will be planted the same way. We did make one modification. Instead of soaking the paper towel in water, we soaked the paper towel in our homemade fungicide. The fungicide is 99% water anyway. Hopefully this time we won't have a mold problem.
Native Apple Tree 20 Seeds - Be Johnny Appleseed -Malus
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Online I found 2 techniques on growing kiwis from seed. (In a later blog I will show how to get seeds from kiwis) One method is to place the seeds in the fridge for 4 months to stratify them, then plant them in some peat moss. The other method is the same except the seeds don't need to be placed in the fridge. Two weeks ago my boyfriend, Trevor, and I decided to try both methods. We got 2 kiwis. The seeds from one kiwi went into the fridge while the others were planted in a miniature seed tray greenhouse. We made sure the greenhouse soil was always moist and we sprayed it once a week with fungicide. (The greenhouse is very warm and moist, perfect conditions for fungus to grow)
Today I decided to give the kiwis their weekly fungicide spray and was amazed at how many kiwi seeds had already germinated. None of them have leaves yet, all still have their seeds attached but hopefully by this time next week there will be a tray full of kiwi sprouts.
Now I've decided to experiment with growing trees and bushes from seeds. Usually you would cut off a branch or dig up a sucker and you'd have your own. Well I'm going to experiment with different techniques I've found on the internet and see how they work.