Growing Pines From Seeds: Next attempt

Unfortunately, my pine tree (or rather sapling) has died over the winter. I did some research and it seems that I did everything wrong that I could do wrong. NO direct sunlight! Use pine bark as soil.

I got eight new seeds on Ebay and followed the instructions here. Well, I tried. Of the eight seeds, I could only use two, because I smashed the others trying to open their shell. Oops.

But the remaining two, I put into the fridge for about 10 days and then onto tissue paper and they germinated after about a week. I didn’t check the calender, because I didn’t know I was going to write about it and I didn’t really believe I would be successful. But I was! See:

Pine Seedlings

Pine Seedlings

I couldn’t easily get proper pine bark without ordering online and I had to go to a hardware store/ garden center anyway, so I got orchid soil, which should come close to the required stuff. Fingers crossed for the two new pine saplings!

All Loquat Seeds Have Germinated

Today I discovered that the last loquat seed has germinated. That means that 100% of the 20 seeds actually germinated in a period between 30 and 56 days. Not too bad.

loquat seedlings

Loquat Seedlings

I had dumped the three I had germinated in vermiculture, but I still have 20 seedlings. How’s that, you might wonder. It’s because loquat seem to be polyembryonic, just like lemons. You might be able to see that with the one on the bottom right corner. Three seedlings grow from one seed there.

New Seeds: Pistachio

Finally, I could convince myself to get some pistachio seeds on Ebay. One might ask – why don’t you just buy them at the supermarket? – Easy: because those are always roasted and half of them even salted, so they won’t germinate. They were offered as “Persian Pistachios”, which basically means that they’re from Iran. Iran is the largest exporter of pistachios, as far as I know.

So, those are not actually Mediterranean, but pistachios are grown in Sicily, and that’s my excuse.

So I ordered 10, but actually got 12, which is always nice. I read about how to get them to germinate and just followed the instruction: Soak them in water of room temperature for 16 hours. I might have soaked them for 20 hours and the colour of their shell did actually change, as you might be able to see in the pictures:

As you can see, I used an empty ice cream container. They are very useful and it gives me yet another reason to buy ice cream.

After they had soaked, I put them in the remaining vermiculite and covered them up. I only used five of the seeds so far, in case they all germinate (they probably won’t), I won’t get too many.

There’s only as much water in the box as the pistachios had on them.

I also got new plant labels, of which I taped one to the box. Because I have other projects in other ice cream boxes and I will have forgotten which is which after a couple of weeks.

In the article about pistachio germination, I found the information that soaking the seeds in solution of 1 percent potassium nitrate might help the germination rate. I want to try that with cheaper seeds first. I still have seven pistachio seeds left for later trials.

First Medlar Seeds Germinated

I went away for the weekend and when I returned, four medlar seeds had visibly germinated! Yeah! I had bought fresh medlar loquat fruit a month ago, had eaten the pulp and put 17 seeds into ordinary soil and 3 into vermiculite.

Today, I checked again, and found that two seeds in the vermiculite had germinated as well. At least I think they’re two, because the roots are quite a bit apart. Also, another of the ones in soil had germinated. You can see the progress on the site for Germination periods.

PS: I just realized that those aren’t Medlars at all. They’re Loquats. The German name “Mispel” is sometimes used for both species, sorry.

Germination Period for Mandarin Pips Over

On March 5th, I had started a new project to determine the germination period for mandarins/ tangerines. I think all the pips came from the same mandarin, but I’m not sure any more, because there wouldn’t have been a lot of pulp in that mandarin: I had put 16 pips in vermiculite and 6 into ordinary soil. I wrote down 6 at the time, but now I have 10 seedlings, so it seems one seed yielded several seedlings.

mandarin seedlings

Mandarin Seedlings

It took them between 24 and 50 days to germinate. The seeds in vermiculite started germinating after 24 days and the ones in normal soil 33. The leaves look darker than the ones from the lemon trees.

EDIT:

I have re-potted the seedlings into single pots and it actually IS the case that one seed can yield several seedlings. There’s plenty of proof:

Re-potting on the balcony

I got myself a coffee table for the balcony which I can also use for re-potting and other jobs like that.

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

One of my co-workers wants some of the seedlings (stone pine and ginkgo so far), so I prepared them for her. I got some bonsai soil, too, because she wants to give it a try and I will need it anyway. The pine seedling on the photograph is the one from the video.

One of the Granny Smith’s Apple seedlings came out nice after the first pruning, so I’m keeping it as well.

I had actually planned on sowing rapini (broccoli raab) – I had ordered some seeds and they had arrived yesterday – but the sowing period is July to September. What a disappointment.

Watering Can From Recycled Plastic Bottle

Bottle caps

Some days ago, I saw these bottle caps that turn an ordinary water bottle into a watering can – on amazon. What a great idea, I thought and almost ordered them, but then the shipping cost was higher than the actual cost of those thingies (2,95 €) and I thought better of it. If I would see them in a shop, I would buy them at once.

But then I thought that I could just drill some holes in the ordinary cap of the water bottle I already use for watering my plants. I tried that and it works just fine. The water might not go 100 % precisely where it is supposed to go, but I haven’t made a complete mess.

So here is how I did it:

If you consider yourself a bit clumsy and are afraid you will knock the bottle over and you happen to have a second cap, you can drill a hole in the side of the watering cap, attach a string, attach the string to the neck of the bottle and use the other cap to close it properly.

Attach a string to both caps, actually, so you won’t lose either.