Dig a hole and throw in something

kathaabSeptember 26, 2005


Instead of using a seed of any fruit, is it possible to simply dig a hole and throw in the intended fruit and wait for it to grow? I have heard that you can do that with almond fruit.

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meldy_nva(z6b VA)


If all other environmental issues were suitable (climate, soil type, temperature, season, moisture, fertilized seed readiness, stratification and/or scarification if needed, etc.) *and* the hole is of the correct depth, *and* it is of the type of seed that germinates when buried: then, yes, it would likely sprout. I sure wouldn't plan on it, though.

OTOH, anyone who has an unturned compost pile probably has had all sorts of plants germinate from the seeds that were thrown on it!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 3:38PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Seeds are different from plant to plant. Some seeds remain viable for hundreds of years, while others are viable for very short periods. Some seeds require scarification, others a special portion of the light spectrum to germinate. Some require heat, even a fire to allow germination and some require a period of cold stratification. A few seeds must pass through the gut of an animal before they will germinate. There are seeds that require a combination of some of the things I mentioned and others may require a combination in a given order.

I think you get the point that there is a wide range of cultural conditions that will stimulate some seeds to germinate, while others require nothing more than contact with a suitable medium to germinate. The thousands of maple seedlings I remove from my garden, display containers, and gutters each year are definitive testimony to the ease with which some aggressive species multiply. Occasionally something in nature plants a seed (squirrels, chipmunks, birds, etc), but by & large the forests and meadows do just fine without benefit of being intentionally planted.

Dig a hole & throw some fruit in & odds are good something will grow. How well it does depends on how favorable cultural conditions are & seed genetics/provenance.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 3:52PM
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You might think about how Nature takes care of seeding:

I have given away a lot of new pecan trees recently, seeded by squirrels from a neighbor's trees. They come up all over our yard, especially in the fence row. The squirrels bury them an inch or two in depth. They crack open from freezing in winter and water during the summer.

We have thrown peach seeds and apricot seeds into flower beds after we have eaten the fruit. Nearly always trees comes up that we can transplant into pots (to give away) or into another location where we want the tree. Birds and squirrels will move the seeds and drop or bury them, too. For most fruit trees, the seeds have to overwinter so the freeze will break the outer shell.

We also have oaks in flower beds and the fence row, but we haven't learned to transplant them successfully.

Right now I have in pots about twelve pecan trees, three pyracantha, and three grapevines, all from seeds that have dropped in the yard. I routinely transplant columbines to other locations, as they tend to live 6-8 years here before dying.

Best wishes

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:17PM
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Thank you all for your replies. I meant to say, with all the environmental issues were suitable and I place the whole fruit and not the seed. Will that produce a tree and eventually some fruits?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 11:59AM
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I believe your initial question has been answered by both Meldy and Al. Like Meldy said, many of us have thrown stuff into our compost heaps that have grown, including weeds and grass. If this helps alleviate your angst over using a whole fruit, I'll give it a try:

I harvested a ripe cantelope last week from garbage thrown into our compost bin in early July. However, trying to plant a whole melon is counterproductive: the edible fruit is wasted and the seeds would most likely rot before they would germinate.

In my previous post, I mentioned apricot seeds. One year, we harvested about sixteen bushels of them from two trees (that were themselves seedlings from my DW's grandmother's yard). In our endeavors to can preserves, etc., we threw away the apricots that were too ripe to use. One soggy sack broke on the way to the dumpster, right into a flower bed. Since it was evening, I picked most up and left some. Animals scattered them, and we had apricot seedlings all over our yard for several years.

Throwing a whole apple into a six-inch hole in the ground probably won't produce apple trees, but if the seeds are separated and planted properly, they stand a good chance of producing a few apple seedlings.

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 7:26PM
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Chris_MI(z5 MI)

I don't know about almonds as I live in MI, but the problem with planting a seed from a tree, is that it will NOT grow true from the original fruit--do all children look exactly like their moms? most fruit trees are grafted, so they can sell the original kind-as in BARTLETT pear. But go ahead and try it. It will take a few years to see if your new fruit is better or worse than the original-but what is the worse that can happen-you will just have to wait a few years for it to bear. One year when I worked at a cider mill, I thought I had a great idea. I took the left over free mash to use as mulch on a bed. First about 2 weeks later the whole yard smelt like vinegar-- good thing we lived on 2 acres. Then for the next 2 years, I pulled up hundreds of baby apple trees out of my flower bed, ugh. I should have composted the mash first. my newest error was that my weeping peach had developing fruit--and I thought wow, a great ornamental tree and fruit too. Well the fruit was the worst-dry and bitter. Now I try to remove all its developing fruit, but the tree is still beautiful with its bright pink flowers.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 9:17AM
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