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Super cheap perennial fruit plants

 
Renate Howard
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Grow them from SEED!!! You don't even need to buy seeds, just use seeds from the ones you get to eat! I've been looking around online and I've seen instructions to grow grapes from seeds, blueberries, strawberries, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, & lots more.

I'm having fun sprouting the seeds in a moist paper towel kept in a plastic baggie until they sprout. The seeds from Pink Lady Apples are giving about a 95% germination, with no cold stratification needed. In fact, the aprictot seed needed no cold stratification either. I found one woman who said to just crack the "nut" and remove the kernel and plant that. I think she said she got around 75% germination.

First year seedlings are pretty small so it's best, IMHO to plant them in a nursery bed for a year then move them to their permanent location. Watch out for escaped piglets who seem to love pulling them all out and chewing up the roots!

You can also grow popcorn from the popcorn kernels, beans from the bags of beans off the shelf, and tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, etc. from the seeds in your veggies.
 
John Elliott
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This also works for mangoes, avocados, cherimoyas, and citrus. But sometimes the citrus give you an 'unusual' variant, as the seed is not true to the parent.

Can you tell I'm in a warmer climate zone?
 
Jordan Lowery
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ive got about 300 little pomegranate seedlings from a tree on the side of the road. hardy genetics, free trees.

dont forget cuttings and root divisions. i grow my own rootstock and graft fruit trees for around 2 cents. and i get higher quality trees. scion wood can be collected almost anywhere, anyone will let you clip a branch off a tree.
 
Amy Saunders
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Jordan Lowery wrote:ive got about 300 little pomegranate seedlings from a tree on the side of the road. hardy genetics, free trees.

dont forget cuttings and root divisions. i grow my own rootstock and graft fruit trees for around 2 cents. and i get higher quality trees. scion wood can be collected almost anywhere, anyone will let you clip a branch off a tree.


I'd like to know how to do this!
 
John Elliott
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Amy Saunders wrote:
I'd like to know how to do this!


Then get out there with your clippers NOW! The peach and plum trees are starting to bloom here in Georgia, so there isn't much time left to take "late winter cuttings" for those in colder climes. If you see a tree that looks interesting, take a foot long cutting, dip it in some rooting compound (or willow tea if you averse to buying an industrial product), and stick it in some wet dirt. Starting figs, grapes, and any type of cane berry is very easy. The best way to learn is to learn by doing. Just snip, dip, and plant and see what happens.
 
John Saltveit
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It's usually useful to make a long slit along the lower portion of each side of the cutting so that the roots can get out.
John S
PDX OR
 
Renate Howard
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Oh yes! I've got asian pear, hawthorn, and hazelnut cuttings that I'm trying to root as well. None have grown roots yet but I've read it takes 5 weeks or longer so I'm still waiting.

Figs are ridiculously easy to root, just put some cuttings in water and in a couple of weeks they'll be growing roots. Or you can put them in soil and keep them moist but I like to see them rooting. With mine the leaves all dropped off before they grew roots then they grew new leaves when they had roots again.

I've never grown grapes from cuttings but I do have a grape vine that's getting too much shade now... Does anyone know if you can grow grapes on field fencing with cattle on one side? Would the cows eat the vines too much or would you get grapes on the side away from the cattle?
 
Michael Cox
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Jordan Lowery wrote:ive got about 300 little pomegranate seedlings from a tree on the side of the road. hardy genetics, free trees.

dont forget cuttings and root divisions. i grow my own rootstock and graft fruit trees for around 2 cents. and i get higher quality trees. scion wood can be collected almost anywhere, anyone will let you clip a branch off a tree.


Jordan - do you grow rootsock from seed, or are you using a commercial rootstock cultivar? I've been thinging about getting some malling rootstocks to propogate from for my apples.
 
David Livingston
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I planted some peach seeds three years ago First flowers today

David
 
Renate Howard
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Michael, Antanovka is a standard apple rootstock that can be grown true from seed. I've seen seeds for sale online for this one, too. It's also supposed to make a decent eating apple on its own.
 
Cris Bessette
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John Elliott wrote:This also works for mangoes, avocados, cherimoyas, and citrus. But sometimes the citrus give you an 'unusual' variant, as the seed is not true to the parent.

Can you tell I'm in a warmer climate zone?


I'm in a colder climate, but I grow citrus and other "exotic" things from seed.

I had a Surinam cherry (eugenia uniflora) that I grew from a seedling and its been fruiting for the last three years or so.
I accidentally let it freeze outside this winter and it died. ;-(

Luckily, I have a seedling Surinam cherry that I grew from a seed from the first tree- so life goes on!
 
Natalie McVander
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This is a fun project. I've grown lots of things from seed. It's just nice to be able to see something growing in your window, even in winter.

Just be aware that you will not get the big juicy grocery store type fruits from these seeds.

Most seeds come from highly hybridized stock that does not reproduce true to the fruit from which it came.

You might end up with something fairly decent, you might end up with something inedible.
Mostly likely you will fall somewhere in between.
It's genetics - each seed will carry original DNA and you won't really know for sure what you will get.

If you can get cuttings, that's a more sure way.

 
Renate Howard
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I'd like to ask people on this thread not to pass along any negativity unless it's from direct personal experience. Because some things are often quoted but wrong and it just spreads ignorance or worse, keeps people from trying things that they may succeed at. No offense intended, Natalie!

For instance, on this post http://lifeonthebalcony.com/save-yourself-the-heartache-dont-grow-fruit-trees-from-seed/ she very strongly discourages anyone from trying to grow fruit trees from seed. But scroll down (way down) and read the comments and you'll see that when people have actually TRIED it, they say the fruit is good. Some of it VERY good!

In the old days there was a myth, much passed along that cows had a disease called "Hollow Horn" and they needed their horns sawed off (very painful for the cow) to save their lives. Lots of people sawed off their cow's horns to find out that they were, indeed hollow, thus proving that the dread menace was affecting local herds and people needed to be on the watch for it. Well, it turns out, cows just have hollow horns. Naturally.

I just read that with the Pink Lady apples, the seeds germinate often inside the apple and can be planted while you enjoy the fruit. The trees are self-fertile, so they don't need crab apples to pollinate (and actually I've not seen crab apples in apple orchards to serve as pollinators, I see rows of different varieties of eating apples, all there to bear fruit!) so the risk is very low that the resulting trees will yield small bitter crab apples (which, even if they did, would feed wild birds through the winter so not a terrible thing, IMHO).
 
Michael Cox
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Also, trees that don't end up bearing really nice fruit can be easily top grafted to a variety (or multiple varieties!! ) of you choice.
 
David Livingston
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I have noticed here in France fruit orchards where one in three rows of espaliers were grafted on top above where the apples where to be picked with crab apples.

David
 
Jordan Lowery
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Michael Cox wrote:
Jordan Lowery wrote:ive got about 300 little pomegranate seedlings from a tree on the side of the road. hardy genetics, free trees.

dont forget cuttings and root divisions. i grow my own rootstock and graft fruit trees for around 2 cents. and i get higher quality trees. scion wood can be collected almost anywhere, anyone will let you clip a branch off a tree.


Jordan - do you grow rootsock from seed, or are you using a commercial rootstock cultivar? I've been thinging about getting some malling rootstocks to propogate from for my apples.


both, using commercial rootstock sticks and rooting them, they come from my "rootstock tree" basically a mm-111 cutting i didnt graft and coppice to keep bushy with new cuttings for grafting. on the other hand i grow a lot of trees from seed, and if in turn they are not as good as i want or for animal use, i graft it over. ive taken 30-40 year old crab apple trees and now they are beautiful fruiting apple trees(converted trees grow SOOOOO fast, i grafted 2 inch long pencil thin scions and within a year they are 4-5 inches thick and 6-8 ft long). i also have a rootstock plum tree(for stone fruits), pear tree, quince, and cherry. which i can root cuttings each year and graft the next.

keep in mind that all perennial plants have a different method of propagation. some things need cuttings, others root divisions, some seed and some grafting. take note of the plant you want to propagate, determine its inherent traits of propagation and use those.

 
Natalie McVander
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So sorry, Ranate.
I apologize for offending or sounding like I was trying to be discouraging to you.

It wasn't meant to be negative - as I also enjoy and have done this, as I said.
I actually used to host fruit seminars on my farm with experts coming in a sharing teaching, so I'm not without experience.

Just trying to give a heads-up to people who may think that they will be able to propagate an entire fruit orchard by collecting seeds from the store.
It was from experience of my own - I am a huge experimenter and like to learn from my mistakes and share what I've learned with others.

You can do this with some, but not all.



 
Renate Howard
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Natalie, I'm not offended at all, just want to get to the truth, because so many say to just not even try it, and that is a discouraging message.
 
David Goodman
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I've grown lots of trees from seed and greatly enjoy it. In my greenhouse/on my windowsills right now, from seed:

Dates
Japanese persimmon
PawPaws
Mango
Papaya
Avocado
Pomegranate
Coffee

And out in my yard I have 1.5 year-old peach trees that actually bloomed this year. They're 8' tall. The vigor of seed-grown trees planted before they spend much time in a pot... it's hard to grasp. They're monsters.

Absolutely worth doing.
 
Victor Johanson
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The "don't waste your time" perspective on growing fruit trees from seeds is based on the fact that only a tiny percentage of seedlings meet the numerous criteria important to industry (shipping, keeping, machine harvesting, narrow flavor profile, etc). This has translated itself into the conventional wisdom that it's a waste of time. However, my criteria are quite different from those of industry, and one of the most important is biodiversity. I don't want a bunch of identical clones; I want individuals. I don't care if all my apples are big, crisp, juicy, and sweet; I have a myriad of uses for other kinds of fruit (and frankly, I'm sick of the uniformity that has been imposed on us--what about apples with melting flesh that will never ship properly but taste awesome?). Besides, I live in Fairbanks, and no one breeds for us. I've embarked on a campaign to plant gobs of seeds and do my own selections. I don't care if what I get is competitive with commercial sources. I do care if they survive the winter and bear usable fruit. I know a guy up here who planted apple seed from a local orchard and so far the only one that has fruited is eminently usable. The reason we had so many fruit varieties in the past was the common practice of planting trees from seeds. There was a project done in Geneva in 1898-99 where intentional crosses were made between 10 parents. Of the resulting 148 seedlings, 106 had fruited by 1911. Of these, 13 were considered acceptable enough to name and release (Cortland was one of these), and 14 suitable for additional testing. Even though they were intentional crosses, those odds ain't that bad, and many of the fruits we enjoy today originated from open pollinated seedlings (like Red and Golden Delicious apples).

Check it out:

http://turkeysong.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/apple-breeding-part-1-everyone-knows-you-cant-do-it-right/
 
Renate Howard
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Also to consider is that some apples need a few days or longer for the flavor to develop after they are picked. I have a green apple tree like that. Even when the fruit falls from the tree it can be bland/tart but let it sit out a week and all of a sudden it's bursting with flavor and develops sweetness to match the tartness. So even among the 75% that are considered not so good, there could be winners that didn't make the grade due to being unfairly judged.

My house came with 4 mature apple trees. Of those only 2 are really worthwhile, 1 I cut down and 1 has nasty bitter apples (and these were bought/grafted ones!) - I think the bad one is supposed to be Red Delicious - which often is anything but delicious. So the odds aren't much worse for growing your own, LOL!

Another thing I've seen references to is that trees grown on their own roots are naturally more disease-resistant, drought-resistant and have higher brix (and higher nutritional content, higher antioxidants, etc.). There were some Europeans who were working on a concept garden of growing apples on their own roots in among the vegetables and coppicing them whenever they outgrew their space. They point out another virtue of growing fruit on its own roots - if the tree gets damaged you can cut it down, pick a healthy shoot from those the roots will send up, and start over. For apples, which have very desirable wood for anything from smoking meats to making hand-carved spoons, that might be another benefit.
 
John Polk
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I have known people planting numerous apple seeds. True, some were exceptional, some OK, and a few 'spitters'.

The exceptional ones are for table use.
The OK ones are perfect for cider.
The spitters are gladly accepted by pigs and chickens - lots of free winter fodder.

And, as was mentioned earlier, apple wood is great for smoking meats or cheeses.

 
David Goodman
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Yes, yes and yes. This is why I love permies.com.

What is the loss in planting a seed?

The seed is free and bursting with potential. And here are your options:

1. The tree makes delicious fruit
2. The tree makes so-so fruit
3. The tree makes lousy fruit

In all three cases, you can feed livestock with the fruit. In cases 2 and 3, fruit often becomes delicious when dried or processed. And, of course, if you don't like the fruit of any tree that you grow... simply use the tree for wood. Or graft onto it. Or compost it. Or leave it for the wildlife.

I tell people all the time: plant lots and lots of trees. More than you possibly need. Then thin out the ones that underperform. Nature does it... why not you?
 
Roger Taylor
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Renate Haeckler wrote:Grow them from SEED!!! You don't even need to buy seeds, just use seeds from the ones you get to eat! I've been looking around online and I've seen instructions to grow grapes from seeds, blueberries, strawberries, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, & lots more.

I've tried planting two different apricot kernels directly in potting mix, and sitting them outside, and both struck. And I've two hass avocados on the window sill sprouting at the moment. And a few kiwifruit seedlings looking promising.

Has anyone themselves actually planted out a sprouted avocado seed? I've read that you should let the trunk grow up six inches then snip it off, then plant it out. I'm tempted to just plant it out now, as the roots are somewhat constrained in their current coffee mug.
2014-02-23- Avocado, Hass, Sprouted Pit - 01.jpg
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2014-03-12 - apricot from bought fruit.jpg
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2014-03-12 - Apricot from home tree.jpg
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John Saltveit
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I have grown apples from seeds. They were small, sour and bitter. I think the risk is that most people live in the suburbs and don't have pigs or huge acreage. They don't want to wait 11 years to find out that the apples taste bad. For me, what works better is to grow an apple tree from seed, which I do unintentionally out of the compost. I graft onto it most of the branches and let one grow out. Then I get fruit much more quickly and most of it will be good for humans, which is who I grow fruit for. Then if the experiment is bad, I didn't waste so much space and so many years. I can also plan my pollination, harvest management for feeding my family and storage of fruit.

John S
PDX OR
 
David Goodman
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@Roger

Yes - I've planted many avocado pits. You don't need to snip them or anything. You've got a great start there - plant it and it will fly. They're remarkably tough seedlings.
 
David Goodman
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Actually... it's funny this conversation is happening today. I just posted a cartoon over at Mother Earth News on growing peaches from pits:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-peaches-from-seed-zbcz1403.aspx

Another interesting thing I've read about seed-grown trees: they're apparently much better adapted to the local climate than a tree that was raised elsewhere in a nursery, then transplanted past its juvenile stage. I can't confirm the assumption but it seems to fit my experience.
 
Cris Bessette
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David Goodman wrote:@Roger

Yes - I've planted many avocado pits. You don't need to snip them or anything. You've got a great start there - plant it and it will fly. They're remarkably tough seedlings.


I've planted a number of avocados pits myself, had one tree get to a couple meters tall, then it died. They all died eventually. But then, I've had to keep them potted
where I live.

I think there is little chance the average avocado pit grower will ever see any fruit from their trees (unless they live in a tropical area),
might be better to buy a dwarf avocado tree that will fruit in a manageable size.
 
David Goodman
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"They all died eventually."

There really should be some sad music running beneath that line.

I know how you feel. We're on the edge for tropical plants. I've killed multiple mangoes by planting them out.

There are varieties of avocados (Mexican types) that can take the cold down into the teens. If someone was really clever, they could probably be grown in S. GA... but I reckon that's about it. Unfortunately, the store-bought varieties are generally more tropical in origin, so finding pits is next to impossible. There is a local volunteer group here working on increasing cold hardiness by planting seeds from types that handle the N FL winters... then planting their progeny as well.
 
Cris Bessette
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David Goodman wrote:"They all died eventually."

There really should be some sad music running beneath that line.

I know how you feel. We're on the edge for tropical plants. I've killed multiple mangoes by planting them out.

There are varieties of avocados (Mexican types) that can take the cold down into the teens. If someone was really clever, they could probably be grown in S. GA... but I reckon that's about it. Unfortunately, the store-bought varieties are generally more tropical in origin, so finding pits is next to impossible. There is a local volunteer group here working on increasing cold hardiness by planting seeds from types that handle the N FL winters... then planting their progeny as well.


Funny thing is I've had better luck growing banana plants here in North Georgia than avocados. Mostly for the Tropical appearance , but one inedible variety fruited last year.
It looks like one of my edible varieties survived the Winter this year, so who knows, maybe I will develop a mountain banana for rednecks. lol


 
Landon Sunrich
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I'd get avocados popping up in the compost pretty regular. Once a few of us potted up a couple and overwintered them in an indoor garden. I keep thinking that if I could get one 2 or three years old and pop it down someplace with full sun next to the road where it would get lots of warmth I'd have a shot at getting one established in the Pacific North West. I must be crazy!
 
David Goodman
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@Landon

You're not crazy... you're a visionary!

There's no reason to think that avocadoes couldn't ever live in your climate. There are bay trees (a close relative) with hardy genes... why not avocados? If you can start with a "Lila", "Lula," "Mexicola" or other hardier type and keep it alive... its progeny may adapt.

You also might want to consider half-shade for the tree. Avocados love sun, for sure, but they also can use a bit of canopy cover on icy nights.
 
Landon Sunrich
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David Goodman wrote:@Landon

You're not crazy... you're a visionary!


I keep telling them this... 'Save it for the judge' is the most common response I get...
 
leila hamaya
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Victor Johanson wrote:The "don't waste your time" perspective on growing fruit trees from seeds is based on the fact that only a tiny percentage of seedlings meet the numerous criteria important to industry (shipping, keeping, machine harvesting, narrow flavor profile, etc). This has translated itself into the conventional wisdom that it's a waste of time. However, my criteria are quite different from those of industry, and one of the most important is biodiversity. I don't want a bunch of identical clones; I want individuals.

I don't care if all my apples are big, crisp, juicy, and sweet; I have a myriad of uses for other kinds of fruit (and frankly, I'm sick of the uniformity that has been imposed on us--what about apples with melting flesh that will never ship properly but taste awesome?). Besides, I live in Fairbanks, and no one breeds for us. I've embarked on a campaign to plant gobs of seeds and do my own selections. I don't care if what I get is competitive with commercial sources. I do care if they survive the winter and bear usable fruit.


totally agreed! this is a very good point.
actually i have been thinking a lot about this lately, the commercialization of food and how it has in many ways negatively affected us.

for i enjoy my two and three legged funny looking carrots, and green leafies that might have a bug bite in them, etc...just as much as the pretty glam shiny stuff you see at market. actually i enjoy them more =)

i also plant any fruit seed that i eat, whether from the store or from wild/cultivated fruit i find or get gifted.
had a lot of store bought fruit seeds over wintering, and fruit tree seeds from trades and places where i found some old apple/plum trees last year.

just got some mystery pears from the store to sprout =)
a few apples from some old trees at my friends on the coast, another apple i found on an abandoned homestead, got fifty + new baby plum trees, and more coming soon i hope =)

and i have also had to debate this with people...who think maybe i am a newbie and dont know what i am doing and give me the whole - you cant do that, the fruit will suck- argument. really i hardly bother to try to disagree or debate anymore, or you know... say i have been growing food my whole life, or whatever...cause its just weird to have to feel like you should defend this... because i know you can, and that most who think that will either not grow any fruit trees ever, or only buy fussy bred cultivar trees for more $$$. so thats fine, they can think whatever they want, while i enjoy my abundant free fruit trees =)

anywho this is more relevant only to the really common cultivated fruit trees- apples, cherry and pear are some that can sometimes not produce desirable results. theres a LOT more fruit varieties than just those. citrus and any stone fruit are a good bet for "true to type"...most of these will work out great. and thats not even bringing up the unusual varities...stuff one never sees in the market
 
leila hamaya
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Roger Taylor wrote:
I've tried planting two different apricot kernels directly in potting mix, and sitting them outside, and both struck. And I've two hass avocados on the window sill sprouting at the moment. And a few kiwifruit seedlings looking promising.

Has anyone themselves actually planted out a sprouted avocado seed? I've read that you should let the trunk grow up six inches then snip it off, then plant it out. I'm tempted to just plant it out now, as the roots are somewhat constrained in their current coffee mug.


i have planted a lot of avocados over the years and gotten them to live through the winter and get pretty big. not to be a downer, and contrary to this thread, it is rather difficult to get the store bought kind to actually fruit in the PNW, or the coastal climate of nor cal. elsewhere it would be different, and if one had a greenhouse or kept them in the house it would work out better.

in the PNW and coastal cal, it is warm enough for them to live year round, but as far as i can tell not hot or sunny enough to get them to fruit.
now there are varieties that can produce in colder climates...but you would have to specially seek those out.
but anyway, dont let that stop you from trying! what really have you got to lose with a free seed?
 
Landon Sunrich
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leila hamaya wrote:

in the PNW and coastal cal, it is warm enough for them to live year round, but as far as i can tell not hot or sunny enough to get them to fruit...


Yet...

Unless they have some sort of day length requirement for fruit set maybe?
 
Roger Taylor
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leila hamaya wrote:i have planted a lot of avocados over the years and gotten them to live through the winter and get pretty big. not to be a downer, and contrary to this thread, it is rather difficult to get the store bought kind to actually fruit in the PNW, or the coastal climate of nor cal. elsewhere it would be different, and if one had a greenhouse or kept them in the house it would work out better.

I don't expect them to fruit. I just want the trees to grow and not die, so I can at least feel like I gave it my best shot. Greenhouse? In the house? No way Jose. They're going out in the paddock and if they live or die is up to them.
 
Aaron Festa
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Do seeds require chill hours? Especially apples and pears? Thanks
 
Roger Taylor
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Aaron Festa wrote:Do seeds require chill hours? Especially apples and pears? Thanks

I have no personal experience with either of these, but here's what PFAF says, as contrast for any personal experience people might want to share:
PFAF link:
Seed - this species is a hybrid and will not breed true from seed, though some interesting new fruiting cultivars can be produced.. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1°c and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received[200]. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame[11].
 
Landon Sunrich
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I'm curious about the best way to go about planting apples and pears too. This from seed stuff best pass mustard - I just borrowed a car and DROVE to the store where I picked up several of 4 or 5 different types of apple and pear, some organic potatoes, shallots, and a few different mushroom varieties. AND IF YOUR A US CITIZEN I DID IT WITH YOUR MONEY. I'm frying up the portabellas now. I cut the gills out and pureed them. 3 good sized caps = 1 gallon of rich brown spore water.
 
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