A Beginners Guide to Growing Produce from Seed
It requires patience and perserverance.
Depending on how old the produce is and how it has been modified, the seeds may or may not germinate.
Where you live is also a factor. If you live somewhere warm you can keep the plants outside, either in a container or directly in the ground.
I live in a cold climate so all my plants are inside. In the dead of winter we only get a couple of hours of sunlight so I supplement with grow lights. In the middle of summer it is light almost all the time so the plants go crazy.
The upshot is, I actually have trees growing in my living room.
Many of these plants are so easy to grow, even a child can do it. In fact, they make a good science project or fun family activity.
Avacados are one of the easiest plants to grow and growing them is a great project for
1. Cut the avacado in half, being careful not to damage the pit.
2. Pop the pit out or use the blade of a thick knife to pop it out.
3. Wash and dry the pit. (Don't use soap)
4. Insert four toothpicks around the circumference of the pit.
5. Use the toothpicks to rest the pit on top of a glass of water. The thicker part of the pit should be resting in the water. Make sure the pit is always in water.
6. It may take weeks before the roots begin to form and greenery begins to sprout on the top.
7. Now it's time to plant it in soil.
8. When the plant is about six inches tall, pinch off the top leaves so the plant is bushier.
I haven't had a lot of luck with pineapples because by the time they arrive in my local grocery store, the leaves are hard and brown.
Look for a fresh pineapple with supple green leaves.
1. Grab the leaves firmly and give them a sharp twist. They should come out on top of a white colored cone shaped mass.
2. Remove the bottom set of leaves.
3. Place the cone with the leaves on top in water. Change the water every couple of days.
4, When you see the roots beginning to establish themselves plant the pineapple in soil that drains well.
5. Keep the soil wet but not soggy.
6. Be patient. It can take months for the roots to establish themselves well in the soil.
Apples are another fun and easy growing project.
1. Let the seeds dry out for a few days.
2. Wrap them in a wet cloth or paper towel and store them in the fridge.
3. Keep the cloth moist.
4. After three weeks check to see if they have sprouted.
5. Once they've sprouted plant them in a small container and keep them moist. You'll have to transplant them to a larger container after a few months.
Because grafting is done so often in growing apples, the fruit you produce may not look like the original apple,
1. Carefully remove the seeds from the orange and gently wash them.
2. Soak them for 12-24 hours in water slightly warmer than room temperature.
3. Wrap the seeds in a cloth or paper towel.
4. Moisten the cloth and place it in a zip-lock bag.
5. Keep the bag at room temperature.
6. Check the cloth regularly to ensure it stays moist.
7. The seeds should germinate in two to three weeks.
8. Once they have sprouted plant them in soil in a small container. Like apples, you will have to transplant them once they are well established. (At least two or three sets of leaves)
Oranges love sunshine.
I tried to grow ginger this summer and almost gave up because it can take well over a month to germinate.
However, once it got going, it grew like crazy. I've started a bunch more and given them to friends.
1. Look for ginger that has a lot of small bumps. Those are called the eyes, like on potatos.
2. Cut the ginger into roughly one inch pieces with at least one eye on each piece. Two or more is better.
3. Simply plant them in soil, keep them moist and wait. And wait.
4. You can plant each piece individually or several in a larger pot.
I planted multiples in a mid-sized pot this summer and the plants are all over 18 inches high.
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This one took a few attempts. Like pineapples, the fruit is pretty old when it reaches me...
1. Remove the big pit from the mango. It will be a little slimy because the fruit clings to the pit.
2. Using a sharp knife CAREFULLY cut along the seam of the pit until you can pop it open and release the seed.
3. You can either soak the seed in water or wrap it in a damp cloth until it starts to germinate.
4. Plant in soil and keep moist.
Like ginger, once it starts growing it can really take off.
Because it is a citrus fruit, growing limes is very much like growing oranges.
It's a little trickier because the seeds are so small, but it's worth the effort. Lime trees look and smell beautiful.
1. Gently remove and wash the seeds.
2. Like oranges, wrap them in a wet cloth or paper towel and store them in a zip-lock bag.
3. Check regularly to make sure the cloth remains wet. (Keep the bag open)
4. Store in a place where the temperature remains regular. (On top of the fridge is a good choice)
5. Once the seeds have sprouted, plant them and give them plenty of sunshine. They should sprout faster than oranges.
Pomegranate is one of the messiest, healthiest foods around.
It can also be a little tricky to grow from seed, but it's also a lot of fun to see it grow.
1. Cut open the pomegranate. It's easy to find the seeds, because that's what you eat in the fruit.
2. Select at least a half dozen, healthy red seeds and leave them out to dry for a couple of days.
3. Now comes the tricky part. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to gently remove the red flesh from around the seed. You should be left with small white seeds.
4. Once again, wrap the seeds in a small cloth or paper towels. Keep moist and plant after germination.
5. It's hit or miss, so start with at least six seeds.
Pomegranates love sunshine.
Lots of Fun and Practical Growing Tips
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There's lots of those beautiful black seeds inside a papaya, but they need a little work be
1. Remove seeds from fruit.
2. Let them dry for 12-24 hours.
3. Papaya are like pomegranates. You will have to gently remove the squishy outer layer to expose the small seeds inside.
4. Plant them and keep the soil moist.
5. Plant about a half dozen in a medium sized pot so you have both male and female.
6, Don't plant too many. Papaya don't like to be transplanted.
Like oranges and limes, lemons produce attractive and beautifully smelling plants.
1. Remove seeds from lemon.
2. As with all citrus fruits, there is an easy way to see if they are viable.
3. Drop them in water and choose the seeds that sink to the bottom.
4. Wrap them in a small cloth or paper towels. Again. the top of your refrigerator is a good place to maintain the constant temperatures lemons like.
5. Once they have germinated, transplant them and baby them with regular feedings and lots of sunlight.