Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to germinate fruit seeds

My mums seedlings

My mum has been growing her own seedlings in Jiffy pots of late, which are going quite well. So I have decided to have a go at growing my own seedlings.
I have been collecting the seeds from the fruit I eat (actually, more like I've been eating fruit purely to get the seeds - Seems gardening is good for both your soul and your health) and have looked up on the web how to germinate them (I found the website Mostly Maths to be quite helpful - A step by step guide of how they germinated their own seeds).
I remember being told that Maple seeds need to be frozen first in order germinate, recreating their natural icy habitat in Japan, and not surprisingly it's the same when it comes to other seeds - Basically you just need to recreate the plants natural habitat and germinating season. Rather quite logical when you think about it.
After soaking all the seeds for 24 hours (to help soften the outer shells and remove natural germinating-inhibitor enzymes), I wrapped each set of seeds in moist paper towel, which I then put in zip lock bags. And that's pretty much it!
The only other thing to do, is to figure out if the seeds need a warm or cold germinating process, and how long for.
Citrus generally needs a warm germinating process (lemon, orange, mandarin), and should spend generally 10 days to 3 weeks outside in the baggie, before planting.
Apples and strawberries favour a cooler climate and should be put in the fridge for 2 weeks before planting.
Stone fruit needer a cooler climate again. Apricot kernels need to be refrigerated for a month to 6 weeks and cherry seeds should be refrigerated for 3 if not 4 months to achieve germination. They would probably prefer a climate slightly cooler than the fridge, but it will suffice as the freezer may be a little too cold.

Fun Fact:  It's documented that apricot kernels contain the vitamin B17, which is said to both prevent and destroy cancer cells. In Mexico, they have cancer treatment centres dedicated to B17 treatments, and are said to have the highest success rate in the world for treating cancer, although these stats, nor even the treatment of cancer through B17, has never been acknowledged by most doctors or scientists in the Western world. Apricot kernels also contain a natural form of cyanide, which in small doses, has no effect on the human body, except to destroy cancer cells, but it is said for this reason, that apricot kernels are illegal in Australia (America and UK too I believe). Australian business 'Happy High Herbs' was actually raided and charged with possession and intent to sell apricot kernels. What would ever possess someone to perform such a criminal act? Shame on them! Everyone knows the only way to treat cancer is through pumping dangerous, all cell and immune system killing drugs, or radiation through your body ...Eating seeds... tsk tsk. In fact, Australians, all let us rejoice - Australia is leading the way in the criminalisation of alternative treatments, banning more plants and plant matter than any other country in the world. Hoorah! Another win for the drug companies! However did the human race survive before drugs?! Using natural herbs and plants for medicinal and health purposes... Pffft!

The only problem is, according to the information I found, even if you do successfully germinate the fruit seeds and grow seedling, you can't guarantee the plant will produce the same fruit in which the seed came from. You can't you even be sure the plant will produce fruit at all! And if it does, it could take years. Apparently a lot of trees that produce fruit, citrus and stone fruit especially, involve cross pollination processes and/or grafting the plant to another already mature plant of another species of fruit - Processes I'm not even going to pretend to understand.
But it's fun to try growing the seeds, and the plants should make lovely ornamental pieces none the less.

I will update my blog as the germinating process progresses.

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