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.

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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:

Canned Herbs – Illustrated Instruction

Some weeks ago, my sister brought me these herbs in cans by Inspirion GmbH, but I’m sure there are other companies that sell those. What a kind and interesting idea.

Canned herbs: Mint, Oregano and Basil

Canned herbs: Mint, Oregano and Basil

Today, with it being the last but one day before a colder period, I decided to do some can gardening. I tried to follow the instructions in English first, because they were the first given. Soon, I discovered that the English (as well as the Italian) instruction are a bit faulty. So, I switched to German, which was almost perfect. And I decided to make an illustrated instruction, because I know that my sister got some cans for herself.

New Seeds: Medlar – and others too

Yesterday, I got one of the medlar fruits from their stratification container on my balcony, because it is too warm during daytime anyway to call it stratification. I put the seeds into water overnight and sowed them today.

I also gave the ginkgo seeds from the egg carton pots proper pots, because the egg carton had started to rot and I was a bit concerned about my health. And I put the date seed that had germinated in vermiculite into a proper pot with proper soil. (Sorry for labelling the medlar seeds as “quince”, I had forgotten the name in English.) I only cut the egg carton “compartments” apart and put them into the new pots with the soil and the seeds.

medlar, date and ginkgo pots

medlar, date and ginkgo pots

Then I prepared a little something for my co-worker from Sicily. He had shown interest in the lemon seedlings, so I’m giving him one and one of the two pine seedlings. They’re his favourite tree.

pine seedling lemon seedling

Pine and lemon seedlings

 

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

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