Germinating instructions

How to Grow Raspberry Plants from Seed

Second only to the strawberry, the raspberry is a popular summer fruit. Raspberry plants are hardy perennials, easily propagated by seed. Preferring the sunny, well-drained soils of USDA hardiness zones 2 through 10, mature raspberry plants will grow to heights between 36 and 60 inches, with a spread of 24 to 36 inches. Raspberries will bear fruit in the summer of their second growing season when planted from seed.

Instructions

Seed Germination

  1. Fill a seed starter tray with sterile potting soil in the early fall. Press one to two raspberry seeds ¼ inch down into the soil of each cell. Pat the soil down gently over the seeds to remove air pockets.
  2. Mist the soil lightly to dampen, using a spray bottle filled with water. Keep the soil moist throughout the germination process. Place the seed starter tray in a cool, dark area while the raspberry seeds germinate. The seeds will begin to sprout within three months.
  3. Set the seed starter tray in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight once the seeds begin to sprout. If this is not possible, set up a grow light and place the seed starter tray underneath.
  4. Continue to keep the soil moist and provide the raspberry plants with adequate light as they continue to grow. Transplant the raspberry plants outdoors in the spring, as soon as the soil is workable.

Outdoor Transplanting

  1. Select an area for transplanting your raspberries that contains full sun and well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Test the soil if you are unsure of your soil pH, using a soil testing kit purchased from a garden center.
  2. Turn over the soil with a pitchfork after the final winter frost and add lime to the soil if the pH is below 5.5. Add peat moss if the soil pH is above 6.5. Add the required amendment according to label instructions.
  3. Dig holes for the raspberry plants that are comparable in size to their root balls. Space each hole 2 feet apart. Space rows 8 to 12 feet apart. Remove the raspberry plants from the seed starter tray, placing one raspberry plant in the center of each hole. Backfill the holes.
  4. Water the raspberry plants generously after planting. Use a soaker hose that will deliver deep watering. Water at a rate of 1 inch per week, keeping the soil moist at all times during the growing season.
  5. Cut the raspberry plants down to the soil line, using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, in the late fall. Cutting the plants back will encourage growth the following spring.
  6. Fertilize the raspberry plants the following spring when they begin to grow again. Apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer per label instructions. Continue to keep the soil moist. Harvest the raspberries when they ripen in the summer.

Tips & Warnings

  1. It is a good idea to hammer in a trellis behind the raspberry plants to give them something to grow on. If you do not have access to a trellis, transplant the raspberry plants in front of a fence that they can climb on as they grow.
  2. A layer of mulch spread around the raspberry plants will help with water retention and reduce weed growth. A 3- to 4-inch layer of sawdust, bark chips or pine needles should suffice.
  3. Do not over water the raspberry plants. Standing water can cause the roots to rot, eventually killing the raspberry plants. If the soil feels moist at a 1- inch depth, do not add more water. Instead, check the soil for moisture again in a few days.


How to Grow Cherry Trees from Seed

Germinating the Cherry Seed into a Tree In the fall, gather up your cherry seeds, and plant them outside in an area that you can keep an eye on regularly. I like to use my flower bed for germinating tree seeds, Plant several of them, as some pits may not sprout. They should be planted 2 inches deep and at least a foot apart. Mark the area where you planted the pits so that you know where to expect to see the cherry trees sprouting. After you have planted the cherry pits and seeds, wait for nature to do its work. The cherry seeds will go through a natural stratification process in the winter.

Transplanting the Cherry Tree In the spring, the cherry pits and seeds will start to sprout into a tree. Wait until the trees are 8 to 12 inches tall and then transplant them to the area you would like the trees to grow permanently. After you have transplanted the cherry tree, mulch well around it to prevent weeds and encourage moisture in the soil. Also, mark the tree location with a stake to prevent the tree from being walked on or mowed.

If you are not planting your cherry seeds in the fall, or winter, do this: Seal the seeds with some moisturized peat moss in a sandwich bag and place it in a fridge for 2-3 months for stratification. It is said that will shorten the time for germination.

 

How to Grow Tayberry Plants from Seed

Tayberry seeds are best sown directly to the garden soil in early autumn in a cold frame.  If you receive your seeds in or after summer, we recommend sowing the seeds in the autumn this year.

Stored tayberry seeds require one month stratification at about 37 degree Fahrenheit and are best sown as early as possible in the year. If you missed the time in last year autumn or winter, this is an alternative way to germinate the seeds.

Here is a general guide to stratify and plant your tayberry seeds:

  1. Soak the tayberry seeds in cold water and then place them in soaked paper towel, seal the paper towel in a sandwich bag and leave it in your refrigerator at 35 ° Fahrenheit (1-3 ° Celsius) for 4 to 12 weeks
  2. Dig a 0.5 inch deep hole in a 14-inch diameter pot filled with potting soil. Sow 2 or 3 stratified seeds to the hole. Cover the hole with the soil you dug up and water immediately with 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Place the pot on a window sill where sunlight will reach the plant; keeps the temperature 70-80 degree Fahrenheit. Continue watering the plant every day with 1/2 cup water. You should start to see the seedling sprout within 4 weeks.
  4. Mix a 2-inch layer of organic material into the soil bed of where you’ll be transplanting the seedling outside. The organic material can consist of dead leaves, grass clippings and manure.
  5. Apply at least 4 cups of nitrogen fertilizer to ever 100 square feet of soil during late fall. The fertilizer will help to break down the organic material in the soil.

 

How to Grow Blueberry Bushes from Seed

Sow seeds in a flat, 3″ box filled with finely ground moist sphagnum moss. Just sprinkle seeds evenly over the moss then cover with a very thin moss covering. It is important not to make this covering thick. Keep moss moist but not soaked and place flat in a warm room (60 to 70 degrees F) and cover with a newspaper.

Seeds should germinate in about 1 month. Remove the newspaper. The emerging seedlings are very tiny. Once they begin emerging, place flat in a sunny window or greenhouse. Keep seedlings moist and allow them to grow in the moss until 2 to 3 inches tall.

Carefully remove seedlings (especially around the root system). Pot each seedling in 2 inches to 3 inches of peat or plastic pots using a mixture of 1/3 peat, 1/3 sand and 1/3 soil. Water well and keep seedlings in a sunny location. After 2 or 3 weeks fertilize the potted seedlings with a liquid fertilizer such as Start-N-Gro etc. at 1/2 the recommended rate.

After frost danger is past set out seedlings in desired location. Water well all summer. A 10-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet can be worked into the soil before planting. The first winter, mulch the seedlings with straw, sawdust or pine needles (about Nov. 1). Remove in the spring when buds swell. At this time 10-10-10 fertilizer can again be added at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet.

Blueberry plants like a lot of water. (But not until soil is waterlogged) The plants should bloom and set a few berries when two years old.

 

How to Grow Blackberries from Seed

Blackberry seeds are best sown directly to the garden soil in early autumn in a cold frame.  If you receive your seeds in or after summer, we recommend sowing the seeds in the autumn this year.

Stored blackberry seeds require one month stratification at about 37 degree Fahrenheit and are best sown as early as possible in the year. If you missed the time in last year autumn or winter, this is an alternative way to germinate the seeds.

Here is a general guide to stratify and plant your blackberry seeds:

  1. Soak the blackberry seeds in cold water and then place them in soaked paper towel, seal the paper towel in a sandwich bag and leave it in your refrigerator at 35 ° Fahrenheit (1-3 ° Celsius) for 4 to 12 weeks
  2. Dig a 0.5 inch deep hole in a 14-inch diameter pot filled with potting soil. Sow 2 or 3 stratified seeds to the hole. Cover the hole with the soil you dug up and water immediately with 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Place the pot on a window sill where sunlight will reach the plant; keeps the temperature 70-80 degree Fahrenheit. Continue watering the plant every day with 1/2 cup water. You should start to see the seedling sprout within 4 weeks.
  4. Mix a 2-inch layer of organic material into the soil bed of where you’ll be transplanting the seedling outside. The organic material can consist of dead leaves, grass clippings and manure.
  5. Apply at least 4 cups of nitrogen fertilizer to ever 100 square feet of soil during late autumn. The fertilizer will help to break down the organic material in the soil.

 

How to Grow Apple Trees from Seed

Apple seeds need to be started indoors. This can be done in one of two ways: you can place some apple seeds into a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over into a small square. Keep the paper towel wet, and place it in your refrigerator. Keep checking the seeds and keeping them moist. In a week or so, your apple seeds will sprout. They are now ready to plant outside. Or, you can use a Styrofoam cup filled with potting soil to start your seeds. Dig a shallow hole in the middle of the potting soil and plant the apple seeds there. Set the container on a sunny windowsill and keep the soil moistened. In a week or so, the apple seeds will sprout. They will then be ready to plant outside.

Once the apple seeds have sprouted, you will be ready to plant them outside. Choose a location that receives a lot of sunlight. Use a shovel or a rototiller to loosen up a fairly good size patch of soil. Rake the rocks, sticks, and other debris from this patch. Dig two shallow holes. Divide your apple seeds and plant them between the two holes. Cover around them with dirt firmly. Keep them watered and keep the ground free of weeds. You can place a clean glass jar upside over each apple tree to help protect it from the elements and from animals. If you are planting several rows of trees, as in an orchard, the rows should be planted approximately thirty to thirty-five feet apart. This will give you plenty of room to spray, prune, and otherwise care for the apple trees after they have matured.

After your apple tree has grown up to a height of about two or three feet, it is now time to stake it up. Simply use a stake or a thin strip of sturdy wood that measures about four feet long. Pound the stake or wood strip into the ground about four inches from the apple tree. Leave about three and a half feet of the stake or wood strip exposed. Use a piece of an old rag, or, a leg of an old pair of pantyhose to loosely tie the tree to the stake or wood strip. The rag, or pantyhose, and the stake will help support the apple tree and help it to grow straight. Wind, heavy rains, et cetera, can bend the young tree over if it doesn’t have anything to support it.

Mature apple trees need to be sprayed with pesticides in order to keep them free from bugs and diseases. They also need to be pruned to a rounded shape. Pruning also gets rid of the nonproductive branches on the apple trees. Other than spraying and pruning, your trees that you grew from apple seeds won’t need much caring for.

 

How to Grow Plum Trees from Seed

Although you can plant a plum pit directly in the soil during fall and wait for spring germination nature’s way, you can also store the seed until early winter (Dec/Jan.) and then induce germination with cold treatment or stratification. After soaking the pit in water for about an hour or two, place it in a plastic bag with slightly moist soil. Store this in the refrigerator (away from fruit with temps between 34-42 degrees F).

Keep a check for germination, as germinating plum pits may take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months or more—and that’s if you’re lucky. In fact, it may not germinate at all so you’ll want to try several varieties. Eventually, one will germinate.

Note: While it’s certainly not required, some people have found success by removing the hull (outer pit) from the actual seed inside prior to the cold treatment.

Plant the plum pit about 3-4 inches deep and then cover it with about an inch or so of straw or similar mulch for overwintering. Water during planting and then only when dry. By spring, if the plum was any good, you should see sprouting and a new plum seedling will grow.

For those germinated via the refrigerator, once germination occurs, transplant to a pot or in a permanent position outdoors (weather permitting).

Some plum pits germinate quick and easy and some take a little longer—or may not germinate at all. Whatever the case may be, don’t give up. With a little persistence and trying more than one variety, growing plums from seed can be well worth the extra patience. Of course, then there’s the wait for fruit (up to 3 years or more)…Remember, “patience is a virtue.”

 

How to Grow Peony Poppy Plants from Seed

*You can sow directly into soil 1 cm deep, either in late fall, winter, or even early spring*

Here is our nursery guide for mass production.

  1. Soak the seed in clean water for 1 day,
  2. Place seeds in a sealed plastic bag with barely moist vermiculite or peat moss.
  3. Place the sealed bag in a warm area of the house (not in the sun), check them every week to see if the root has emerged, and ensure they remain moist (but not wet!).
  4. Leave them in the warmth until the roots appear (anywhere from a few weeks to several months)
  5. Once the roots appear and are about 3 cm in length, move the bag to a cool location. The temperature should be approximately 4 degrees C (An old refrigerator is fine)
  6. After 12 weeks, remove the bag and pot up the partially germinated seeds in a soilless germination mix
  7. Depending on the time of year, you may have to place seedlings under grow lights for a few months before being able to transfer outside.
  8. Keep seedlings under grow lights and ensure they are moist but not soggy.
  9. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks.
  10. Transfer outside slowly as you would any other tender seedling. Too much sun, too rapidly, will result in burnt foliage.
  11. Seedlings should be outside in a sunny well-drained seedbed by September at the latest

 

How to Grow Kiwifruit Plants from Seed

You will need a pot measuring about 8cm across, with holes in the bottom to let water drain out. Fill your pot with multipurpose compost or peat moss and water it very well. Sow the seeds thinly on the surface and cover them lightly with a bit more compost or peat moss. Put the pot in a clear plastic bag and tie the ends up. This is to keep all the moisture in and stop the seeds from drying out. Put the pot on a sunny windowsill and wait.

The seeds will grow in a few weeks, but will need checking every day. If the compost or peat moss looks dry, give it a little water. When the seeds have started sprouting, remove the plastic bag and put the pot back on a sunny windowsill. As the seedlings grow, they will need to be potted up in separate pots of compost. Let them grow some more, and repot them again when you see roots coming out of the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Caring for your kiwi plant Kiwi plants grow quite large and only make good house plants for about two years, before they get too big. To grow them indoors, you need a large pot, about 35cm across. They will be happy in a sunny room or conservatory. They will also need something to climb up. The best way to do this in a pot is to make a wigwam with 2m long canes which  you push into the compost before planting the kiwi plant.

If you decide to put the plants in the garden, they need a sunny wall to climb up. Plant them either in a big pot or in the ground. To make your plants produce fruit you need a male and female plant. You will not know whether the plants are male or female until they flower, so grow several plants in order to be surer of getting one of each sex. For indoor plants, water them regularly and feed them twice a week in the summer, using a general houseplant feed. You will need to train and tie your kiwi plants up their support until they become properly established.

 

How to Grow Cantaloupe Melons from Seed

Planting

Amend soil with aged manure or compost before planting.

Cantaloupe Melons can easily be started by direct seeding in the garden. Plant the seeds about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Typically they are planted in hills, 4-6 feet apart depending on the variety. They are very intolerant of frost and need warmer temperature, so plant at least 4 weeks after the last frost date. They will take 80 to 100 days (warm summer days) to mature.

If you are in a cooler zone, start seeds indoors about a month before transplanting. Cantaloupe vines are very tender and should not be transplanted until all danger of frost has passed.

If you have limited space, vines can be trained to a support such as a trellis.

Care

Cantaloupe likes loamy, well-drained soil. Handle them gently when you transplant. Add lots of compost to the area before planting and after planting.

Mulching with black plastic will serve multiple purposes: it will warm the soil, hinder weed growth and keep developing fruits clean.

Fertilize when vines start growing.

Row covers are a good idea to keep pests at bay.

While melon plants are growing, blooming, and setting fruit, they need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Water in the morning, and try to avoid wetting the leaves. Reduce watering once fruit are growing. Dry weather produces the sweetest melon.

If you’ve had an exceptional amount of rainfall during the ripening stage, this could cause the bland fruit.

Once fruit begins to grow, prune end buds off vines. Your plants may produce fewer melons, but they will be larger and of better quality.

Vines produce male and female flowers separately on the same plant. They often begin producing male flowers several weeks before the females appear. (Don’t be discouraged when the first blooms do not produce fruit.)

Blossoms require pollination to set fruit, so be kind to the bees!

 

How to Grow Honeydew Melons from Seed

Overview

Honeydew melons are somewhat unique for their smooth, cream-colored outer skin and lack of ‘netting’ ridges on the rind. They take a bit longer than most other melon varieties, sometimes as long as 120 days after germination to produce the smaller (3-6 pound) melons. Honeydew is popular in Europe, Asia and other regions thanks to the sweet, green flesh.

Growing Guide

Indoor Starting

As they require a long growing season, melons are best started indoors approximately 3 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. Sow seeds ½” deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot. Keep medium moist while awaiting germination. Additionally, melon seeds will show better germination rates with heat. Keep the soil between 80-90 degrees, using a heat mat if necessary.

Once seeds start to germinate, lower soil temp slightly to the mid 70s, for 1-2 weeks; also decreasing water. Thin to one plant per cell or pot. Once the first set of true leaves has developed, reduce watering once more, but do not allow plant to become desiccated.

Harden plant by gradually exposing to outdoor conditions. Transplant to permanent site in late spring after the last frost has passed. If possible, transplant on an overcast day to minimize wilting and create a more amenable environment for your young plant.

Outdoor Starting

If you have long, hot growing seasons, melons can direct-seed into garden. To ensure ripening in areas with shorter growing seasons and cooler weather, choose fast-maturing varieties, start plants inside, use black or IRT plastic mulch to warm soil and use fabric row covers to protect plants.

Direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost when soil is 70 F or warmer. Plant ½ inch deep, 6 seeds per hill, hills 4 to 6 feet apart; or 1 foot apart in rows 5 feet apart. Can plant at closer spacings if trellised. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill.

Choosing a Site

Prefers warm, well-drained, soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.5 to 7.5. Consistent, plentiful moisture needed until fruit is about the size of a tennis ball. Soil temperatures below 50 F slow growth. Consider using black plastic and fabric row covers to speed soil warming. Sandy or light-textured soils that warm quickly in spring are best.

 

How to Grow Habanero Chilly Plants from Seed

Sowing: Sow from mid February to mid July. Fill small cells or trays with a good sterile seed compost and sow the seeds on the surface. “Just cover” with a fine sprinkling (3mm) of soil or vermiculite. Keep the compost moist – don’t let the top of the compost dry out (a common cause of germination failure) If you wish, spray the surface with a dilute copper-based fungicide. Cover the pot or tray with plastic film or place in a heated propagator, south facing window or a warm greenhouse. The ideal temperature is around 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F)
Transplanting: When the seedlings have produced their first pair of true leaves they can be potted on into individual 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots. Use good quality potting compost and mix in some organic slow release fertilizer. Pot the chilly on again before it becomes root-bound. Water the seedlings regularly, but don’t let them become waterlogged as this encourages rot. Don’t let them dry out as they rarely recover at this stage. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, allow the top inch or so to dry out in between watering.
Seedlings should be grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight from late spring to early autumn. Weaker sunlight from autumn to spring is unlikely to do them harm. Once seedlings have put on some growth they need lots of light. Growing them under a grow-light produces excellent stocky plants, as will a warm sunny windowsill. Adult chilly plants need lots of light. However, more than 4 hours or so in hot direct sunlight will dry them out quickly. Acclimatize to outdoor conditions for 2 to 3 weeks before they are moved permanently outside. Plant them into rich moist soil. Flower do not form and fruit will not set if the temperature is much below 17°C (62°F) for most of the day, so wait until June/July for best results with outdoor planting.
Fertilizing: After the first flowers appear, feed every one or two weeks with a half-strength liquid tomato feed. You could also add some Seaweed extract to the water once a week.
Pollinating Flowers: (optional)  Chilly plants are self fertile and will generally pollinate themselves. However, if you want to give them a helping hand to ensure that lots of fruit are set indoors, use a cotton wool bud to gently sweep the inside of the flowers, spreading the pollen as you go. The flower’s petals will drop off as the green middle part of the flower starts to swell slightly. This is the chilly pepper beginning to grow.
WARNING: Be careful handling chilly seeds as they can cause a painful burning sensation: wash your hands thoroughly. DO NOT rub your eyes after handling chilly seeds!!!

 

How to Grow Cranberry Bushes from Seed

Cranberry plants (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are low-growing, berry-producing vine-like shrubs that are native to regions in eastern North America. They are usually grown in sandy, acid-rich soil with bog-like growing conditions. Growing cranberries from seed requires perseverance and commitment, since the seeds can require a long period of time before germinating.

  1. Fill 3- or 4-inch wide pots with enough lime-free sterilized growing medium to fill the pots to within about 1/4 of an inch from the top of the rim.
  2. Firm down the soil in each of the planting pots using your fingers, a piece of wood or a metal spoon. Transfer all the pots into an irrigation or watering tray. The tray should be able to hold about 2 inches of water.
  3. Pour enough water into the tray so the growing medium in the pots will soak up the water and become well-moistened. Pack the soil down one final time. Pour out the remainder of the water, if there is any.
  4. Poke two to three 1/4-inch-deep holes in each pot. Drop two cranberry seeds into each of the holes. Sprinkle over the top of each pair of seeds approximately 1/4 inch of the growing media.
  5. Place the tray of pots in a location in your home that will stay consistently around 65 to 70 degrees F for four weeks. Provide as much bright light as possible but, if possible, not direct sunlight. Keep the growing medium moist in each of the pots; add water to the tray as needed.
  6. Transfer the tray of pots into a location where the temperature will be between 25 and 40 degrees F for six weeks. Maintain the moisture levels by adding water to the tray when required. The temperature change is beneficial to hasten germination.
  7. Put the tray of pots into an area where the temperature will stay fairly consistent between 40 and 55 degrees F. Leave the tray of pots in this location for germinating the cranberry seeds. Germination of cranberry seeds can begin in as little as three weeks, or can take several months. Transplant the cranberry seedlings into their permanent location outside after they’ve become well-established.

 

 

How to Grow Salmonberries from Seed

Salmonberry seeds are best sown directly to the garden soil in early autumn in a cold frame.  If you receive your seeds in or after summer, we recommend sowing the seeds in the autumn this year.

Stored salmonberry seeds require one month stratification at about 37 degree Fahrenheit and are best sown as early as possible in the year. If you missed the time in last year autumn or winter, this is an alternative way to germinate the seeds.

Here is a general guide to stratify and plant your salmonberry seeds:

  1. Soak the salmonberry seeds in cold water and then place them in soaked paper towel, seal the paper towel in a sandwich bag and leave it in your refrigerator at 35 ° Fahrenheit (1-3 ° Celsius) for 4 to 12 weeks
  2. Dig a 0.5 inch deep hole in a 14-inch diameter pot filled with potting soil. Sow 2 or 3 stratified seeds to the hole. Cover the hole with the soil you dug up and water immediately with 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Place the pot on a window sill where sunlight will reach the plant; keeps the temperature 70-80 degree Fahrenheit. Continue watering the plant every day with 1/2 cup water. You should start to see the seedling sprout within 4 weeks.
  4. Mix a 2-inch layer of organic material into the soil bed of where you’ll be transplanting the seedling outside. The organic material can consist of dead leaves, grass clippings and manure.
  5. Apply at least 4 cups of nitrogen fertilizer to ever 100 square feet of soil during late autumn. The fertilizer will help to break down the organic material in the soil.

 

How to Grow Bell Pepper Plants from Seed

Starting Seeds:  Additional potassium and calcium might be needed to spur good fruit development. Potassium and calcium help produce nice thick pepper walls that not only taste better but also resist fruit rot. These nutrients should be added when turning under the remnants of the year’s garden. We always plant a cover crop, such as clover or wheat, which stabilizes our raised beds through the winter. When we turn the cover under in spring, it decomposes and provides most of the nitrogen the peppers need.

Seedlings Transplanting: Seeds need feed and heat. Eight weeks before transplanting, we start our seeds in a well-drained potting mix and keep them moist and warm (70° to 80°F) to ensure good germination. We use a heating mat under the seedling flats. But any consistently warm place, above the refrigerator for instance, works. Plants need to be separated in the seed flat by at least 2 in. for best growth. After the first true leaves develop, we start fertilizing with a balanced liquid solution such as a fish emulsion and kelp mixture. Closely watch the cotyledons—the seed leaves that appear before the first true leaves. They should be vibrant and green. Yellow cotyledons, for example, indicate insufficient nitrogen. It’s best to gradually expose transplants to the outdoors for a week or two prior to setting them out.

 

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