Why I love Seeds

“Shadblow Serviceberry berries are used in making jams, jellies and pies. The berries are eaten by songbirds, bluebirds and robins. The Shadblow Serviceberry is a stunning fall foliage tree with orange, gold, red and green leaves.”
See Shadblow Serviceberry Seeds – Amelanchier Canadensis
Want to grow some berry-bushes? Well, you can buy some from a nursery for $5-$50 each or you can plant seeds costing 2.5 to 8 cents each. Of course, some of the seeds won’t grow and there will be some infant mortality but there is still a large factor in lower price. With organization, you can minimize the work of planting seeds and supporting the seedlings:

  • plant in flats or prepared seedbeds instead of pots
  • mulch to protect the seeds over winter and seedlings in the heat of summer
  • water well
  • fertilize in the second year
  • transplant to proper spacing in a good site after a year or three

Many seeds require a warm and moist period followed by a cold and moist period before they will germinate. You can do that at home or in the refrigerator but it may be better to plant outdoors in a well prepared seedbed in good soil to let Nature do that. With luck you can get 40-90% of the seeds to sprout and easily get more trees at a lower price than buying seedlings. Of course it takes two or three more years to get fruit this way, but that’s why folks pay the nurseries the big amounts. If your payoff will be a great lot more fruit, do you really care if it takes longer? Nope. Enjoy.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Why I love Seeds

  1. dougman wrote, “Wait till the RCMP kick in your door and take all your guns Robert”.

    How many years do you think it would take them to do that once they got the idea? With years of notice, don’t you think firearms owners would find ways to protect firearms from confiscation? People aren’t stupid although it is possible for governments to be so.

  2. dougman says:

    Still not computer related.

    Wait till the RCMP kick in your door and take all your guns Robert, don’t laugh it’s happened in other countries.


  3. I went out to fix the snowblower and to chase away the damned hare that was chewing my seedling trees. I found major damage to one of my young apricots in pots and a three-year old apple tree. A few cedars lost lower branches. The hare took the apricot down to the root and the apple has lost all the lower branches it could reach. That’s not too bad as I was likely to prune off those branches in the spring anyway to enhance growth of the trunk. I hope the apricot will regrow… I kept it in a pot as backup for the ones in the ground already. Sigh…

    The hare appears to have moved on. I saw no fresh tracks. Perhaps it felt it had done enough damage to my trees. The snowblower performed flawlessly. I guess the problem was ice in the fuel lines which I fixed with addition of some methanol. On the other hand I noticed the gasket for the filler cap was gone. It probably fell off in the dark the last time I used the machine. Oh well, it is 26 years old. Perhaps it’s time to buy a newer one. I could hook up the engine to my new alternator…

  4. dougman wrote, “alas!…you have no greenhouse”.

    I do have a greenhouse, a cold basement and a warm solarium as well as a refrigerator. Nature does a better job with some seeds, because the temperatures fluctuate. I’ve germinated seeds by several methods. A refrigerator does not speed up stratification, but it does allow you to stratify any time of year. Last year, I warm-stratified in the basement, cold-stratified in the refrigerator, sprouted in pots in the basement under light and then moved to the solarium for early growth. I did pretty well except a few species did not sprout, like dwarf Russian almond. I think I drowned them in the refrigerator. Plums, apricots, maples, cherries, serviceberries all did well. This year I have serviceberries stratifying in the ground. I planted 300 seeds. I expect about 200 to sprout and I should get at least 100 productive shrubs out of that. That will fill my yard more or less except for grass on the two sides of the house.

    I have lots of seed stratifying in the refrigerator at the moment. I will add grape seeds soon. They will be planted outdoors in the spring so I don’t need to stratify them as early as the ones I will plant in pots indoors.

  5. dougman says:

    Seeds mostly require stratification, which can be sped up by a fridge. But alas!…you have no greenhouse.

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