2nd Generation!

Well, this is pretty exciting…. Its the first flower formed from one of the seeds I planted. My beloved Laetitia plum seedling. Grown primarily to shade the trout because it gets hot here in the Hawkesbury (NW Sydney). I’m curious to see if the fruit develops true to type or if it is a hybrid, creating something completely different. I have another tree, a nectarine which was a chance seedling that produces pink fleshed nectarines. Perfectly sweet, large and juicy. To date I haven’t ever seen another pink-fleshed nectarine. Anyway, back to the plum – if I get fruit, I’m going to keep the seed of course. Does anyone else have any favourite seedling fruit trees?img_3612

How did I fair?

virtually free orchard

The 2014 Tally – 359 in total!!! Not exactly 365 but not a bad effort in my opinion.

Nuts
Walnut 2
Macadamia (shop) 1
Macadamia (Nat’s house) 4
Chestnut 2
Almond 3
Pecan 5

Stonefruit
Golden Peach 1
Laetitia Plum 2
October Sun Plum 1

Vines
Large Black Passionfruit 7
Mrs D’s Passionfruit 7
Green Kiwifruit 15
Kiwiberry 15
Large Red Globe Grapes 2
Banana Passionfruit 1

Pears

Unknown 2
Packham 11
Ya 8
Richmond Shop 1
Nashi 1
Paradise 3
Crystal 1
Yum Coles Pear 1

Apples

Fuji 7
Red Delicious 6
Crimson Glow 3
Unknown 2
Ginger gold 2
Sundowner 2
Green Star 2
Royal Gala 5
Jazz 3
Kanzi 2
Pink Lady 7
Granny Smith 1

Mango

Champagne 1
Pearl 2
Honey Gold 9
Unknown (Kensington/calypso) 3
Keitt 2
Citrus

Kalamansi 10
Valencia Orange 10
Honey Murcott Mandarin 3
Afourer Mandarin 1
Shop Mandarin (?Imperial) 5
Dad’s Lemon 15
Hickson Mandarin 2
Park Grapefruit 8
Unknown (?imperial mandarin) 5
Shop Lemon 3
Ruby Grapefruit 1
Kaffir Lime 13

Avocado

Unknown 1
Reed 2
Hass 11
Shepherd 10

Others
Starfruit 3
Lychee 2
Custard Apple 4
Curry Tree 2
Quince 3
Papaya 50
Fuji Fruit 8
Paw Paw 20
Indian Guava 10
Loquat 2

apple isle

This is my Apple Aisle. The apples were great achievers, putting on tremendous growth in comparison to their seed size. I can’t wait to see their vigor next season once they are planted out and their little roots have more room.

kiwifruit

The Kiwifruit and Kiwiberry were amongst my biggest surprises at ease of germination. I’m looking forward to seeing them scrambling over my currently unused fences.

Laetitia plum future aquaponics shade

The Laetitia was my favourite plum to eat and I have planted it out next to my aquaponics tanks. I hope it will provide shade so that I will be able to keep my trout happy for longer in our hot season.It is also in a great place for watering from the aquaponics. Its going to love that.

I was a little disappointed at the stonefruit. I failed to cold scarify my seeds, thinking our winter would be cold enough, but we had a warm one this year. So I am keeping some seeds to refrigerate for next spring. In particular my red and white cherries.

Ode to Granny Smith

Granny Smith lived in the Newcastle Region of the East Coast of Australia. She planted an apple seed and the resulting seedling was a vigorous-growing green, tart, crisp apple which has become one of the world’s top sellers. Its my son’s favourite apple and he brought this seed home from school in his pocket after he ate a Granny Smith apple for lunch that day.

Mangoes et al

This is Mangoville. Some of the mango seeds I planted produced 5 seedlings each. I am keen to see the difference in the fruit between seedlings of one seed.

Reed Avo hit the ground running

The Reed Avocado is the largest available to us in Sydney. The seed is also large and gave the seedling a great start. Avocados really really dislike boggy conditions so I have raised this one and irrigated it. It is in a yard with ducks, chooks and geese so I think it is of to a good start.

Pear seedling from 4 years ago

Not part of the project but this is a seedling pear tree (foreground) I planted around 4 years ago. It has survived a mowing, grazing animals, frost and drought. Protected better now, it is thriving.

I don’t really have a resolution for 2015 but I’m addicted to edible tree seed planting and there are so many varieties I’m yet to plant. I also need to get all of these into the ground and look after them. I am aiming to get a house cow, a goat and some pigs, some bees (native and European) and get my soil garden going again as I have missed it. Aquaponics is providing me with more than enough greens and fruit like cucumber, tomato and capsicum but I miss growing potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic. That’s where the cow comes in. I need on-site cow poo.

I will keep this blog open so I can provide updates on the trees as they mature and fruit. It just doesn’t get much better than this. I encourage everyone to plant a seed. Just stick it in a pot and care for it, its really not difficult and is inexpensive. It will add to the world’s diversity and you never know, with a bit of luck you may end up with a winner just like Granny Smith.

Winter solstice and the return of the sun

ImageI couldn’t let today’s specialness pass without a quick entry. Tonight will be the longest night here and tomorrow brings the return of the sun. Can’t tell you how excited I am to see more growth from my seeds. The days will still get colder for a while yet but with sun brings energy and hope. 

 

Todays post is just to show you why I’m so into seedlings. Genetic diversity is what keeps us evolving, what makes us resilient. The pot in the front contains seedlings from one fruit (a williams pear). Check out its diversity. 

Things are hotting up here at seedtoseed.

Some seeds need the cold to germinate, some need the warmth. Luckily I have both. I have a fridge AND a heatwave.

Summer in Australia can be pretty brutal and our native vegetation is well equipped for our climate. However, babies are very fragile and need nurturing, babies of the plant world inclusive. Even more so babies of European fruit and nut trees. This weeks losses are a great example of that. I lost a few apple seedlings due a run of above 35 deg C days.

Still I am making great progress with apples

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Pears

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And a few unknowns (thanks to the dog attack) possibly blueberries.

My avocado seed on the windowsill method isn’t going so well

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Possibly due to the large eves I have blocking out the sun. My next lot of avocado seeds will go in pots outside.

I had 3 walnuts in a cup with a little water on my windowsill which seemed to be germinating. I potted them this week so I expect to see some leaves from them soon.

I have counted 32 seedlings so I am meeting my target so far. I don’t expect all my seedlings to survive but I have many seeds that will probably sprout in spring to help with my numbers.

I think I might start naming my seedlings as a method to catalogue them. Any suggestions are appreciated.

My pool area is slowly becoming littered with black plastic pots, haven’t had any drug squad choppers flying low. Yet.

Day 7 – 14

Planted so far:

Cherry
Pink lady apple
Hass avocado
Kensington mango
Calypso mango
Date
Pomegranate
Green kiwi
Pine nut
Hazel nut
Walnut
Almond
Granny Smith apple
Packham pear
Royal gala apple
Red delicious apple
Black passion fruit (small)
Banana passion fruit
R2e2 mango

Then…

Disaster!!! THE DOGS ATE MY HOMEWORK

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Made the mistake of sleeping in one morning and puppy took a liking to what I guess she thought were my neatly placed sand pits with food treats enclosed. Total devastation, not only did I lose seeds, sand and labels but what remains is mixed and I won’t know what is what when it grows – other than the genus by observation of the leaves. But then again I won’t really know what is pollenated with what anyhow so there really is no problem right?

I put the pieces back together as best I could, added some more of the seeds that I thought might have gone missing (pine nuts, kiwi) and put the pots in the pool area.

A very good friend quoted to me once, “never let a disaster become a wasted opportunity”. Turns out this is the best place for them as I have a natural pool which contain fish. The water in this pool naturally is high in nitrates, which plants love and it’s so easy to scoop the water out using a watering can. Making constant watering less of a chore.

I pray I don’t get aerial attack or slug/snails…

FIRST GERMINATION!!! Granny Smith Apple -Australia’s Very Own

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…and my wattle seeds arrived. Like a pig in muck today.

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The family have never eaten so much and so varied fruit. Something about it being cut and available on the table that encourages them. Another lesson learned.

Some more to add to the list

White nectarine
Yellow nectarine
Yellow peach
White peach
NZ and WA blueberries
Lychee (OMG-family favourite)
Brazil nut
Papaya
Apricot
Yellow plum

Dad’s Birthday Party and an excuse to visit a Big Fruit Shop

Squeak squeak, kids going mental now, their interest has been sparked. Madly hunting a couple of each of things we haven’t got yet.

Reed avocado
Golden queen peach
Another plum I can’t remember the name of -note to self record names
Honey gold mango
XL yellow peach
XL yellow nectarine
Ya pear
Fuji apple
Sundowner apple
Blood plum

Not really part of the rules but just for fun I bought some spices

Allspice pimento
Peppercorn mix
Juniper berries
Whole nutmeg
Star anise

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Now if someone would just change my climate for me that would be just super.

Wattle – Pioneer plants & Nitrogen Fixers

Every tree needs at least one pioneer plant. Pioneer plants grow faster than most trees and are usually short lived, but they provide shelter for the growing plant and if you choose nitrogen fixing plants, they will also provide fertiliser. I’ve decided to go with wattle. I may add others later.

Did you know there are over 800 species of wattle?!!I’m in love with Acacias!

So I jumped on ebay and this is what I purchased. My decisions were based on price, ability to tolerate frost and wet conditions.

Acacia howitti (Sticky wattle)

acacia_howittii

Acacia pendula (Weeping wattle)

Acacia pendula

Acacia spectabilis (Mudgee wattle)

Acacia spectabilis

Acacia cowleana (Halls Creek Wattle) – Edible wattleseed!

Acacia cowleana

Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) – Our national emblem, I had to have that.

Acacia pycnantha

Acacia myrtifolia (Myrtle Wattle) – Unique with red stems and cream flowers

Acacia myrtifolia

Acacia stenophylla (Shoestring wattle/river coobah) – Lives up to 50 years

Acacia stenophylla

Like I said originally, my poor husband.
– I need a greenhouse
– it would be silly to have all that wattle and no beehive, right?

A special post for Luis in Boston

Hi buddy, mum tells me you’d like to make some seeds grow into a plant that will end up giving you more fruit? Well I think that these would be the best where you live which is all covered in snow at the moment.

Apple
Pear
Cherry
Peach
Nectarine
Almond
Mulberry
Apricot

These all can get to be big trees but if you put them in a pot on your balcony they will probably stay small enough. But the best thing for you to plant if you like them I think is blueberries.

Tell mum they like acid soil so she should tip her tea leaves and coffee grounds on them. Tell her to buy you some punnets of blueberries, eat them but keep the seeds ( they’re quite small so be careful) put them in a pot filled with potting mix and keep them moist -not wet, not dry until you see leaves growing. This might take a long time so be patient because it will be worth it. When you grow your own blueberries mum can make you blueberry muffins and stuff.

Let me know what you decide on and how it all goes buddy, we can do this together.

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Seed to seed – a New Years resolution

When my family grilled me about my New Years resolution this year I spontaneously said I would plant 365 trees this year. I have no idea where the thought come but it was said and witnessed and akin to a ‘pinky promise’ as far as my kids were concerned.

So driving home from the festivities I decided that the trees should be of the edible variety and that they would grow from seeds that I have kept from food we bought to eat.

Now I know that seeds don’t necessarily grow plants true to type, but where’s the fun? I like mystery and I love watching plants germinate. We may get some duds, but we may get some good plants or better still something fantastic.

Anyway these are my rules:

1) 365 trees/large shrubs to be planted before 2015
2) all must be seedlings from food eaten throughout the year
3) measure of success will be when plants grow and produce their own seed
4) planting to keep in line with permaculture principles.

New Years Day

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Avocado preparation, all unfortunately Hass but I will collect more as the seasons pass. We eat a lot of avocado but it gets frosty here and they generally don’t do well, so I’m hoping for a strong seedling.

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Kiwi fruit pulped and cleaned. This apparently works, but I will have no way of determining the sex of the vines so will need to plant multiple ones.

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Mango seeds, some were old and dry so I have no idea if they will work but no harm in trying. I punched a hole through the seed and started a 14 day soak, changing the water daily.

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Made a wicking garden bed for a germination of smaller seeds.

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Used ‘Baggie’ method to start germinating apple and pear seeds in the fridge. Also tried pine nuts and passion fruit at room temp.

Seeds planted in mini wicking bed (left overs from Xmas)
1) cherry
2) date,
3) pomegranate
4) green kiwi

Kids curious but remain largely undisturbed. I need a larger kitchen bench.