Growing OIive Trees from Seeds – reloaded

After being so successful with my attempts to grow lemon and pomegranate from seeds, I had grown a bit impatient about my olive seeds (and many of the others, but that’s a different matter). I have also watched some videos about germinating seeds and one was about olives. The guy in the video suggested to crack the seeds for better chances of germination. A happy coincidence has it that I had just bought a nutcracker today (for different purposes – but that story is for another day).

If you have read more of my blog, you might know that I had brought olive seeds from my trip through Turkey – three from Gümüşlük (or Gumusluk) and three from the Asclepeion in Pergamon/ Bergama. So, I turned the pots over and tried to find each tree seeds in the soil. I cleaned them under running water and carefully cracked them open. The tree from Bergama seemed fine, but two of the ones from Gumusluk had disintegrated. The photograph shows the three olive seeds from Bergama.

Cracked olive seeds

Cracked olive seeds and shells

You can see that one seed is still half covered by the shell, but I didn’t dare cracking it more for fear of hurting the seed. Anyway, if it germinates, the root will need less effort to get out.


Starting the Blog

Seeds from Turkey

This October, I spent 12 days in Turkey with two friends exploring the Aegean coast and especially the ancient sites. I wanted to bring souvenirs, but as taking potsherds and fossils isn’t allowed, I collected some seeds instead.

From the beach in Gümüşlük, I got three olive seeds, another three from the Asklepeion in Pergamon, an acorn from Troy (more about that one later), a chestnut and some seeds of a fruit, but I don’t know which, from Kaplan Köyu (or Kaplan Villages). I also took an olive twig from near the Temple of Athena in Priene.
The olive seeds I put in my purse, but the other seeds into a plastic bottle with water I could easily carry around with me.
When I arrived back home in Germany, I put all the seeds into water, carefully trying to remember, which olive seeds I got from where.

Bonsai Starter Set

Two or three days ago, I ordered a Bonsai starter set on the internet.

It contains a mini green house, a book about Bonsai, several planters, soil, fertilizer substrate, three bonsai glazed bowls, 23 olive seeds, 33 dwarf pomegranate seeds and 32 myrtle seeds as well as some mimosa seeds (for marketing reasons). The seeds came with instructions of their own and I followed those. It said to water the seeds (with the olive seeds previously having been treated with sand paper) in room-warm water for 12 hours/ overnight/ 24 hours.

It was 28 €, which I for now consider a very good price. We’ll see how many seeds actually germinate…

The Turkish Seeds

Because I considered the acorn and chestnut to be watered sufficiently after at least a week, I already put them into water. It says in the book that acorns should hibernate in sand, but it had already broken its shell when I picked it up in Troy, so I didn’t follow that instruction. Fingers crossed!

The Experimental Setup

I put all seeds into the mini greenhouse and put them under surveillance:

I attached a webcam to the wall, so it can take pictures every 12 hours (for now). Problem is that it needs to be connected to the laptop at all times, which rather limits my range of my using the laptop. I have thought about getting a Raspberry Pi solution, but that would be another project altogether, because my “programming skills” are limited to HTML and CSS.