Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lemon and Other Citrus Propagation from Seed

It was about two and a half years ago when I posted about starting citrus from seeds.


Since then there have been multiple copies of that post and others who have posted how they would sprout citrus seeds. One of the stranger ones had you planting the whole fruit. Although I must admit that I haven't tried this method, I highly doubt that that method would work very well.
I have a number of seeds now trying to germinate and since I don't currently have a lot of citrus plants I figure now is a good time to start some more and review the steps and information to go about doing so.
The seeds I will be using are a bit older but they don't seem to have lost any volume so I'll just stick with what I have. Results are usually pretty quick so I'll know if I have to go buy some more limes or whatnot.
I even have the lemon seeds that were in an older post about seeds and what they look like, still pretty good hits on the google image search. They're still different colors too so I know which ones are meyer lemons.
All I really need to do is get some larger pots and good soil. Then peel the outer shell off of the seed and plant. Water when needed. Wait patiently.
A good rule of thumb, is the more you're waiting for the shorter the wait. Typically something will happen every few days of you have a lot of stuff germinating. If you want to see results quickly then plant some beans while you're at it. It will make the wait for everything else seem shorter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

After the Heat

What's left in the garden?
At the back of the house there are still some tomato plants that have endured the heat and kept alive as well as some new tomato plants that have decided to sprout.
On the side of the house there's basil, beets and cucumber.
At the front of the house there's chives and fennel.
At the garden there are still the zucchini and squash plants as well as a little bee balm and onion. This fall they should produce well.
Pulled some onions from the back that seemed done for the summer and they were tiny. So maybe fall onions will be better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tea Seed Divisions

Yesterday I put the seeds into glasses of water to see which ones were absorbing the water the best. This morning there were three seeds that sank to the bottom, 16 that barely floated and 14 that popped up like cork.
I put the three in dirt today and will put the floaters in sirt this evening. Need some more pots for planting.
On the wide variety seeds there were two floaters and 8 corks.
I put a little bit of pine needles on top of the dirt to help with the acidity since we have relatively low acid soils around here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tea Seeds

So far the tea seeds are coming along nicely. I have been soaking in plastic bags for over a week and have kept them washed so no fungus forms. I plan to put them in soil soon and keep them watered. Hopefully they will start growing in a month or so. At that time it might be getting quite a bit cooler in the evening and be a good time to have them outside for a while before it gets too cold and they have to stay in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beginnings of a Plantation

So far the overall thought has been about a possible plantation in the making. Currently I have seeds starting to germinate and no substantial land to speak of, but I have a plan.

As I type this the seeds are soaking up water and germinating. Soon I should have little sprouts to put into 3-5 gallon containers until spring. They need room for the tap root.
When spring comes I will transplant them outside mainly between my and my neighbor's house, but anywhere I can find full sun or nearly full sun. She wanted something planted there anyway and they make really nice bushes. I should be able to get 16-20 bushes there. Spacing for good production seems to be about 3 feet but I might have to end up zig-zaging them to have them fit well.
They should be hardy by the next winter and growing well. It will take a few years before I can make good cuttings from them and by then I will know which bushes I want to take cuttings from for more bushes.
If I don't have more land to plant bushes on then I will talk with my neighbors to see if I can plant them in their yards, those with enough sun and pay them a portion of the profit from the bushes grown on their land.
All leaves will be hand picked that will be used for tea but I will be using a trimmer to keep the bushes in shape. It will probably take only me and my wife to pick leaves at first but there are probably some neighborhood kids that would like to make a quick buck picking. There are some good families in the area.
Still don't know what I'm going to brand it as...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Camellia Sinensis Seeds

There's apparently only one tea plantation in the entire country. Here in Texas there is a company that brews and bottles the tea for sale but that's no where near the same thing.
I have therefore obtained some seeds and am trying to sprout and grow them. They are hardy in zones 7-9 and I'm in zone 7b or 8a supposedly. It feels more like zone why-won't-anything-grow-here at times. The plan is to plant the bushes between drives where the dirt has always mounded and has plenty of sun.
Below are the seeds germinating in a plastic bag. There should be moss or some such thing but I'm out of cotton balls at the moment so I'm doing what I can until I get to the store.
Hopefully I'll have sprouts soon.