New Growth in English Oak and Almond Tree

Some days ago, new buds had developed in my English Oak and Almond Tree seedling. I was especially glad about the Almond seedling, because the leaves had turned quite red due to the amount and heat of the sun on my balcony. Of both species, I only have one, so new leaves means they are still going to live.

I’ve started with new almond seedlings, though. They are still in the soaking phase. Fingers crossed for more little almond trees.


Germinating Seeds in Vermiculite

moulding soil and almond

Yikes! Moulding almond

Some of the seeds in my pots (especially almond) have developed mould, so I had to dump them. They won’t germinated and it’s a health hazard for me, because they live (or try to live) in my bedroom. I thought to try something else to get them to germinate and than I got a date from my co-worker. 😀

Germinating Date Seeds

I got a date seed from my co-worker, who had been to the Green Week in Berlin (a trade fair for agriculture, horticulture and food industries). He had brought a box of three dates from Saudi-Arabia and offered me one. I ate it and kept the seed. He dumped his and I didn’t want to get them off his waste paper basket. So, I only took that one date seed home and soaked it in lukewarm water for four days. They don’t actually need four days, two or three are apparently enough, but I had to wait for the vermiculite.


Vermiculite close-up

Prevent Moulding With Vermiculite

I had done some research on how to germinate date seeds and found a website that recommended vermiculite. That’s a silicate mineral, very much comparable to cat litter. I got a litre on Ebay, just to test it. It comes in different grain sizes, you can see that I took a rather small one.

You put some of the vermiculite into a plastic box (luckily, I discovered 300 ml ice-cream boxes at my supermarket!), add some spoons of water, add the seeds and cover it up with more. Or you just put in more at the beginning, mix it and press the seeds into the vermiculite. Date seeds need a rather high temperature of 25°C (77°F), according to the website I consulted.

Date and Almond Seeds in Vermiculite

Date and Almond Seeds in Vermiculite

I have also put 7 almonds into vermiculite to make up for the rotten ones I dumped earlier. Fingers crossed!

I didn’t plan on growing a date tree, but like with the apples – I cannot resist any seeds anymore!

Addition February 9th:

Take great care not to add too much water or you will see this after some days:

Moulding Vermiculite

Moulding Vermiculite

New Seeds: Almond (Prunus dulcis)

Where to Get Almond Seeds

I don’t remember how it came to me, probably while eating almonds, but I had the idea to try and grow almond trees from seeds. I thought about where to get almond seeds. The obvious idea was to get it from the baking department of the supermarket. But then, who knows how long they would’ve been in the shelf. On the other hand, I thought, the weeks right after Christmas would be the ideal time, because many almonds are sold during Christmas time and the supermarket probably just restocked. So I bought a bag of organic almond seeds (with skin). But I remembered that sometimes they are sold with their shell still around. So I went to an organic supermarket and got five of these.

How to get almonds to germinate

Then, I thought that the shells seemed really hard and that I should try and crack them at least a tiny bit. That’s why I bought a nut cracker last week! However, it (or I) wasn’t strong enough to crack them with the nut cracker, so I took my good old mortar and pestle and hit them hard. Too hard, because I didn’t manage just to crack the shell a bit – all of them where shattered. I even crushed some almonds. But those fed me well. I had 5 shells with 7 almonds, but could only use 3 further.

soaked almonds

Soaked Almonds

I watched some videos of people who had more or less successfully gotten almonds to germinate and tried to follow the instructions of the more successful attempts. I soaked the almonds in water for four days and then put them into potting compost with the pointed end down.

I put the ones from the shells into bio-degradable pots and the “baking almonds” into a plastic bowl. I had cut some holes in the bottom and put the perforated bowl into another bowl, so the water could drain. Don’t let the photographs fool you – I added a layer of soil onto those pots.

Now waiting time begins. Some people wrote about three months of germination period for almonds. I hope that’s not true! We’ll see and I will keep you updated.

Almonds as Part of the Prunus Genus

When I did some research on Wikipedia on Almonds, I found out that they belong to the Prunus genus- as do peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, cherry laurel, and blackthorn. It’s a vast genus! And so many of them are delicious.