1. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,893
    Likes Received:
    10,079
    Location:
    Puerto Rico

    Horticultural knowledge anyone?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, May 11, 2009.

    The reason I ask is this:

    I love Thai food. I love it like nothing else in the world! I make my own curry pastes. Fresh. Homemade. I have to order many of the ingredients on-line because they are in no way native to where I live.

    I have purchased and planted and have had great success with lemon grass, potted, in the house.

    My next adventure is Kaffir Limes.

    The fruit is not edible, but the zest of the fruit and the leaves of the trees are used in the making of nearly all Thai dishes. I bought 50 Kaffir Lime seeds from a Thai seller on ebay and I hope to have my own little grove of Kaffir Lime trees growing on the property in Moca. I want the trees, because 50% of the time, when I buy the leaves, they get to me all dry and crumbly. Useless.

    How to get the seeds started? I haven't a clue. I've looked online and found little information.

    Anyone? :(
     
  2. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    I spent many years cultivating Bonsai trees from seed. If you look under Bonsai for instructions on potting and nurturing plants from seed, I think you'll find far more detail than you need for your project. I've grown Asian Pear trees (my favorite), several variety of conifers and numerous other fruit trees from seed and applied Bonsai principles to "dwarf" the trees after they reach about 6 inches tall. (BTW - there is no such thing as "Bonsai" seeds. All seeds for use in Bonsai are actually full size tree seeds. The actual dwarfing results from removing the tap root at a young age and cutting back the root ball every year, thereby restricting the nutrient flow and causing dwarfing)

    While you have no interest in "dwarfing" your fruit trees, the initial details for preparation of the seeds and soil are universal to good seed germination. Here are some links with good information:

    http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/seed.htm

    Before you "start" your seeds, it is valuable to determine what stage of "dormancy" they are in. Different stages of dormancy may require more or less amounts of light, water, soil preparation or time in different stages of germination process. Seeds of different tree species (for example: fruit trees versus conifers) usually have different stages of dormancy, the most dormant being the maple seed, and least dormant being fruit tree seeds like pear, lemon and orange. So, you might not want to leave fruit tree seeds in cold storage for as long as you would a conifer seed.

    Here's a little info about seed dormancy:

    http://www.mishobonsai.com/seed_dormancy.html?zenid=f6f1cc9279ac42f58d042369f3ee6ead

    Here is the best video I've ever seen on the internet for initial seed germination.

    http://video.about.com/gardening/Plant-Bonsai-Tree-Seeds.htm

    She is using a hardwood seed which is actually more difficult to grow than most fruit trees. Also, she is only interested in producing a single "tree" for Bonsai dwarfing. If you want to start your own "grove" of fruit trees, then place a row of peat starters in the place of the single peat pot she is using. I've had as many as twenty peat starters in a single tray of soil. Also, when she says to leave the seeds in the refrigerator for about eight days, fruit tree seeds come from a lower state of dormancy so they may actually begin germination faster than eight days. Unfold the wet paper towel once each day beginning on the fifth day. If you see a tiny sprout coming out of the seed, then transplant it into the peat pot right away instead of waiting the full eight days.

    After the shoots are about two inches tall, shove a thin bamboo skewer into the groung immediately next to the shoot to provide support for the thin stalk...some shoots grow so fast that they fall over and die, unable to support their own weight in the first six months. Use thin strips of soft cloth (I used strips of old terrycloth towel) to gently tie the tender shoots to the bamboo skewers until the tiny trees can support themselves.

    When they get about a foot high, transfer the entire peatpot/rootball/potting soil into cheap clay pots with additional potting soil. Keep them in a protected area (porch, hothouse, day room) because wild animals LOVE to eat such tender young trees. It will take about two years for the trees to reach two+ feet high. I would transfer them into larger clay pots at that point - maybe one gallon size, until they reach about three feet to four high. Now they are ready for transplant into the ground. The nice thing about using cheap clay pots is that you simply break the pots off the root ball when you're ready to transplant so that you don't damage the roots trying to dig the trees out of a container. Good luck.
     
  3. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,893
    Likes Received:
    10,079
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    How did I know it would be Saulty who would come to the rescue? :D

    Yay! Many thanks.
     

Share This Page