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Don't compost that seed, sprout it!

 
John Elliott
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I want to start this thread to encourage people to start trees from their kitchen waste, rather than blithely toss it into the compost heap and say (a few weeks later) "oh look, imagine that, that avocado/mango/tamarind seed must have sprouted".

As with any gardening activity, there is a little bit of technique to know to get better results. Here are my tips on how to get better results:

Avocado: Take a styrofoam cup half filled with water, microwave it until it is almost boiling, and drop the avocado seed in. Let it sit overnight and the next day plant it in a pot of rich compost.

Tamarind: After separating the seed from the pulp, you can just plant these in potting soil. Just as easy as growing peas, which is an apt analogy since tamarind are also legumes.

Mango: Hairy mango seeds need some special attention. That hairy covering on the seed sometimes makes it hard for the seed to sprout, and you will get better results if you take a knife and split that husk so the seedling can emerge.

And remember, all trees will benefit if the soil is inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. If you come across any mushrooms, grind them up into the potting soil you use for your tree starts.

Anyone else have some good tree starting tips?

 
Rebecca Norman
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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Ooh, thanks for the encouragement! We have a large handful of tamarind seeds from some salty-spicy-sweet tamarind candy we ate this winter. Currently we're using them as game pieces, because they are so satisfying to the hand. But it could be fun to grow them. We live in a cold-winter climate, but have good solar heated buildings. How big will a tamarind tree get, and do you think we can keep it indoors in a bucket for a few years?

Do you think we should try growing lemons/limes from seeds? I have a wish or hope that those are small trees and maybe we can keep them alive in large containers until they actually fruit. Our indoor climate should be good for lemons, I think -- chilly winter but not down to freezing, and warm summer but not sweltering. Or we could put them outside in the wicked dry bright sun for the summers. What do you think? The common "lemons" sold here in India are small, round and thin skinned, exactly like what are called "limes" in the US.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Do you think we should try growing lemons/limes from seeds?


My aunt grew a lemon tree from a seed of a bought lemon. Ten years later she got her first two lemons. She keeps the tree in a pot--and that's about the extent of my information on it
 
John Elliott
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Galadriel Freden wrote:
Do you think we should try growing lemons/limes from seeds?


My aunt grew a lemon tree from a seed of a bought lemon. Ten years later she got her first two lemons. She keeps the tree in a pot--and that's about the extent of my information on it


I did that when I was a kid. A lemon tree and an orange tree. Both are taller than the house now, and give LOTS of fruit.

Tamarind trees can get HUGE. Like big enough to shade a house huge. But only in the tropics where it never freezes. The Polar Vortex, which dropped my greenhouse into the upper 20s on a couple of nights, finished off my tamarind tree experiment. The avocados did come back tho.
 
Galadriel Freden
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John Elliott wrote:

I did that when I was a kid. A lemon tree and an orange tree. Both are taller than the house now, and give LOTS of fruit.



John, that's amazing! I admit I tried a couple of lemon seeds in pots last year, though none sprouted. But then, I'm not great at watering. Maybe I should keep trying. How old (if you don't mind saying) are the trees?
 
John Elliott
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Galadriel Freden wrote:
John, that's amazing! I admit I tried a couple of lemon seeds in pots last year, though none sprouted. But then, I'm not great at watering. Maybe I should keep trying. How old (if you don't mind saying) are the trees?


That was 50 years ago. I've been doing this "permaculture" thing before there was even a word for it.

Yes, keep trying.
 
Peter Ellis
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John, great timing on this thread. We have an avocado and two mangos in pots on the kitchen counter, just started this spring. The avocado, after being coppiced by a cat, (ahem!), shot up almost two feet high before it opened leaves at all. One mango is ahead of the other, and is quite an alien looking little thing, with its soft shiny leaves that look artificial. The second mango may not make it, it seems to have stalled shortly after erupting from the soil and has not shot up the way the first did.

We also have some lemon seeds to put in pots this very evening.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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