Starting Fruit Trees From Seed
How shall I start, and when, the following seeds: Peach, plums,
apricots, walnuts, olives and cherries? In the East we used to plant
them in the fall, so as to have them freeze; as it does not freeze
enough here, what do I have to do?
Do just the same. In California, heat and moisture cause the parting of
the seed-cover, more slowly perhaps, but just as surely as the frost at
the East. Early planting of all fruit pits and nuts is desirable for two
reasons. First, it prevents too great drying and hardening and other
changes in the seed, because the soil moisture prevents it; second, it
gives plenty of time for the opening and germination first mentioned.
But early planting must be in ground which is loamy and light rather
than heavy, because if the soil is so heavy as to become water-logged
the kernel is more apt to decay than to grow. Where there is danger of
this, the seed can be kept in boxes of sand, continually moist, but not
wet, by use of water, and planted out, as sprouting seeds, after the
coldest rains are over, say in February. Cherry and plum seeds should be
kept moist after taking from the fruit; very little is usually had from
dry seeds. The other fruits will stand considerable drying. Very few
olives are from the seed, because of reversion to wild types - also
because it is so much easier to get just the variety you want by growing
trees from cuttings.
Next: Mailing Scions
Previous: Budding Fruit Trees