What have you got to lose?

I’m giving all sorts of things a go this year. It’s the year to suck it and see. I mean with so many things that I usually procrastinate over, I might as well give it a try. I’ve just finished sorting through my purple sprouting broccoli seeds, of which I have literally got thousands upon thousands thereof and I chucked the leftover pods as well as the pods that hadn’t matured or had mouldered (some were too closely packed to dry out) into a new garden bed I’m building. It’s got nothing in it but mulched poplar branches and leaves and now the broccoli pods and some soil on top but even with the poor sowing conditions I reckon I should see a few sprouting. Mother Nature, as I am learning every day, is tenacious if nothing else. If nothing grows then I get some more goodness composted into the garden bed. If they grow then I needn’t spend time sowing then transplanting out seedlings. 🙂 Even growing them through to seed was a whim. A few of the heads flowered before I could harvest them or were too small to bother and I figured I might as well let them be. I then read up on how to actually go about saving the seed. In this instance, procrastinating worked in my favour. 😉

Another experiment I am trying is growing apples. Apples don’t grow true to type. This means that if you plant the seed from a Granny Smith apple then you will almost certainly not grow a Granny Smith apple. You may find it grows something similar, totally different but delicious or an inedible and bitter crab apple. Every Granny Smith apple grown in the world is genetically identical as all the trees, bar the original which was a wonderful freak of nature, are grown from a graft that can 100% be traced back to that one initial seedling. It’s marvelous in its own right. 🙂 Still, when I cut open an apple last week I found that several of the seeds had begun to sprout. I’ve never seen this before and on a whim, I pushed them into a pot of moist soil I have on my kitchen windowsill (herbs that didn’t germinate). I can honestly say I have 2 apple trees growing in my kitchen! 😀 Ok, so 1 is a mere inch tall and the other is yet to break free of its moist cocoon but still, there you are. I think I planted 4 seeds in total. I shall nurture them and care for them and hope they do decide to prove everyone wrong and grow true to type. I love Pink Lady apples from which they came. 🙂 If not I might get a wonderful new variety or I might get a dud but even if the fruit are inedible I will have rootstock and then I can graft on the variety, or varieties, that I desire. 🙂

I was looking up how to make folded seed envelopes last night too and in the suggested videos that also came up I saw the following video and since I fancied an orange I figured that I might as well give this a go too. 🙂

We have an orange tree growing here, a Cara Cara orange which is believed to be a cross between a navel orange and a blood orange. It’s very cold tolerant and should be well suited to our climate. The orange seeds that I hope to grow into citrus trees will, like the apple seeds, not grow true to type but with an existing orange tree I have already got the perfect grafting material growing and so hopefully I will be able to set a couple of citrus trees around the place. They will smell heavenly when in bloom and oranges are a wonderful source of vitamin C and of course they taste fantastic. They also keep quite well on the tree so imagine being able to eat an orange that was only 5 minutes ago, hanging in the sun on the tree. Mmmm, my mouth waters at the thought! 🙂

File:Caracaraorange.png

Cara Cara on the left

As I say, what have I got to lose? Absolutely nothing whatsoever. The apple and orange seeds are only going to end up in the compost otherwise where they may well grow anyway (that’s where my stone-fruit orchard and walnut grove began) and for the price of a snaplock bag (which I will reuse) and a little paper and water… 😀

I also have an avocado seed I found sprouting in my compost. I haven’t bothered to try them as our climate is unsuitable but maybe it’s worth a try. 🙂 I doubt we’d have joy growing either mangoes or dates but hey, what the heck. 😛 At least I will get some seed growing practice in. 😉

And if you live in Australia (excluding WA and Tasmania – sorry) I am happy to post out some purple sprouting broccoli seeds if you’d like. I can’t guarantee they will grow as I’ve never saved seed before (with the exception of pumpkins) but I am willing to post some out if you’d like to try. It’s a cold season crop and for my climate I need to be sowing the seeds in February. 🙂 Just email me at rabidlittlehippy(at)aunix(dot)com(dot)au if you’re keen.

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5 thoughts on “What have you got to lose?

  1. narf77 says:

    Experimenting makes life exciting :). Many times my complete lack of motivation has rewarded me (not sure that is a good life lesson to be adhering to however sort of a “don’t do this at home” moment there! 😉 ) and because I couldn’t be buggered to pull up the rooty bits left over from my scarlet runner beans, we are going to have a bumper crop of them this year :). Commercial apples are all grown on apple root stock and the scion is grafted onto this stock. Even if you only end up with rootstock, you can graft good apples onto the rootstock and the best bit? You can graft several types onto the same stock so heres to future experiments in advance :). You might need to reload that Youtube orange linky (not showing). Can’t see why you couldn’t send broccoli to Tassie. I know you can’t to W.A. but here the problem seeds are all in the Solanaceae family so no tomatoes, chillies etc. No problemo with broccoli methinks. Can’t import any gingers or other tubers either (my guess is they could contain soil bacteria).

    • Yeah, I know all apple trees sold in nurseries or grown in anything close to a commercial manner are all grafted. I figured that although my root-stock may not be the ultra bug proof or vigorous or dwarf or whatever quality the rootstock are chosen for variety that I don’t need them to be any of those and if I give grafting a go and bugger it up then I’ve lost nothing. 🙂

      Sorry about the dodgy link – I’ve fixed it now.

      If broccoli are safe to import then I shall get some over to you. 🙂 I might need to clear out the debris a little more though. It’s impossible to winnow without a breeze and I packed all my seeds up last night. Wouldn’t you know, today is windy! lol

      Surprised the yacon could be sent then if the gingers can’t be. Who understands the vagaries of customs.:)

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