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Apricot Stratification Information

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Hello! I have some questions about growing apricots from seed.

I am curious about whether it is necessary to stratify the pits. I know that they need the cold period to germinate...but is there some reason why I can't or "shouldn't" let mother nature do the job over winter instead?

If an apricot ripens in the summer, and I put it in the ground right away, wouldn't it be ready to sprout the next Spring?

Alternatively, if I did choose to artificially stratify it, then plant it, wouldn't that mean it would sprout in the Fall and then subsequently have to endure a "second" winter from its point of view?

What is the benefit of stratifying the pit instead of just putting it in the ground right away?

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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
forest garden urban
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I think the only issue you would have with putting it in the ground for the natural winter vernalization is a worry that an animal will dig up and eat your seed that you will inadvertently weed it yourself when it comes up. There is actually a very well known gardening technique for all sorts of seed that need cold stratification which is known as winter sowing. If it were me, I'd probably hold onto the seed until just before the ground was too hard to plant (if the ground freezes) or the beginning of cold weather (here) just to reduce the amount of time an animal had to find it.

There are a lot of people here who've tried their hand at growing trees from seed so feel free to ask if you have any problems. If you look at the bottom of this thread we have a list of similar threads. You can find where a lot of other people discuss their own experiences with winter sowing or growing trees from seed. Maybe you'll find them helpful.

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