The problem with seeds

franktank232(z5 WI)February 16, 2013

Is that they grow too fast! Its sort of a pain up here to have such fast sprouting seedlings (this being a peach). My ground is still snow covered, frost is very deep this year and a huge snow storm looks to be coming late next week...This guy here hopefully will get outside in March, but i'm not counting on it... The plan is to try to bud this guy (and others) already this summer with various varieties.

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Frank is this a window sill grown peach seed or do you have a greenhouse?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:32PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

These (I have about 15 or so trees growing/apples/peaches/apricots/etc) have all been sitting in front of a sliding glass door (facing south)... I *did* have a greenhouse (small one) but snow destroyed it a year ago, so i threw it out... Now I just have low tunnels (bent out of conduit) that will actually go out tomorrow...with these I'll just take a few trays out in the morning (if sunny) and then bring them back in once the sun sets (at least during late Feb/early March) heating. In the past, the rule for me was any temps down to around 18F-20F (outside), plants would be just fine inside the greenhouse overnight, i never risked lower then that.

Greenhouses to me are awesome in our climate...they can extend a season by a good 6 weeks. I've had ripe tomatoes in June using a greenhouse... I have almost everything to build a real high tunnel (bender/metal), just need the time and the help to put it up (12x20)...with that I would put fruit trees in there and force them to flower early, and try to get ripe fruit earlier, and totally spray free.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Franktank: I can totally relate. Mine are apricot seedlings, and they are about the same size as your peach after only about a month. I'm trying to figure out how to conserve the little space I have, but overall it's just so pleasing to see something thriving this time of year that I don't mind the clutter too much!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:48PM
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They do grow fast. Some of the feral peach seedlings in my yard in the best conditions easily reach six feet their first year.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:10AM
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Franktank - When did you germinate that? My peaches are still in the fridge being stratified along with 2 kinds of plum (a few red and a dozen small green plum seeds).

I was surprised at how fast the apple seedlings grew for me. What kind of apple did you get the seeds from?

So far, they seem to grow well in the pots, but once moved, both my apple and apricot trees basically stalled their first season in the ground. i wont know what the apricot does growth wise because this is its second year. However, my apple seedlings quadroupled in size its second year, and is now at 2 feet, ready for the top to be pinched to get it to branch.

I hope to see some updates on your seedlings soon

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:00AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


The stonefruit i think were stratified back in late Aug/Sept... They sprouted before Christmas. The apples i have going are from Honeycrisp seeds... The peaches if I recall were late peaches that i picked up from the store from Idaho (yeah...i have no idea!). I have some plums, maybe a cherry or 3 (sweet) going also. Labeling is not my thing :)! Apples come up very fast; pears are also quick/easy to grow out.

One thing about potting them up... I had apricot seedlings i did 2 things with...some of them went in large pots and the others (all Tomcot seedlings) went in the ground. By the end of the summer...the in ground trees were huge, while the potted trees were much smaller...obviously root restriction/water/nutrients probably all played a role in keeping them small.

I agree. Every year i have them pop up in the garden and i've left a few of them and one out there right now is going on its 3rd year and its very large (should have fruit this year). That is why im leaning towards not stratifying them myself and just dropping them in a hole somewhere in the yard and letting mother nature raise them. Great grafting material and peaches are usually easily dug up and moved, if you get them while they are dormant.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:26AM
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How long before these seedlings, grow into trees and fruit?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:59PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

From seed to fruit, with say a peach can be as short as 3 years around here... Something like an apricot probably 4? A plum/pluot...not sure...4 or 5 years? Apples and pears...probably at least 5 years.. Of course there are methods to try to speed these up (branch bending/notching/grafting)... My method with most of my seedlings will be to try to chip bud this summer..grow out the bud the following summer...and **maybe** get a fruit or 3 the maybe fruit summer 2015? If we aren't all dead from an asteroid or zombies apocalypse :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:32PM
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You should get some interesting seedlings out of those apples. I used a macintish.

I will say I did the exact same thing with an almond bought right at christmas time. IT grew to about a foot inside before really taking off outside. It survived to the snowline (in north of duluth in ontairo) so I took it out of the garden, but it grew well inside in a super bright cool window.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:10PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"I agree. Every year i have them pop up in the garden"

Me too Frank. I have quite a bit of peach fruit that falls off the tree and rots on the ground. We continually apply new mulch (wood chips) under the trees and it covers up the peach seeds, so new ones are always sprouting up. I've been grafting them right where they are under the peach trees, then digging them up for permanent transplant the following spring (about 30 to dig up this spring).

I know you've had winter hardy issues with peaches from your cold winters, which is probably a strong incentive to pot them up. Maybe with warmer winters, you won't have as much risk from winter kill.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Frank I am amazed that it takes so little time from seed to fruit. I have purchased three year old trees and have a had a four to five year wait for fruit. And. . . I'm in zone 7. I really don't get it. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Peach seeds are a great deal, they grow like weeds without a thought. I have taken to doing exactly what Olpea does, graft them in place and move the following winter.

While they will put on some fruit I have found my seedlings don't produce the greatest fruit for a few years, they are still immature. So it ends up taking a few more years. Things besides peaches can be a lot slower, I have some 10-year apples that have not fruited yet.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:27PM
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