10/14/2009 @ 1500
Well, this year has almost gone by;
it's definitely fall here in
Wilmington; I had to wear tights on
my bike ride to work this morning,
I was hoping to update this log
more, but it didn't happen. This
year was not very good for trees. I
germinated a few redbuds, Kentucky
coffeetree, wisteria, and honey
locust. Nothing else did much. My
hops failed, too. About the only
thing that worked well was the hot
peppers. I collected several pounds
of most of the varieties, made some
hot pepper jelly this past weekend,
pickled a batch, and the rest are in
the freezer waiting for time to make
hot sauce. I got quite a few bhut
jolokias, although I haven't had the
nerve to try them yet.
I've already begun collecting for
next year, with katsura, persimmon,
hardy orange (poncirus), and bur oak
already in the bag. I'll try to
update my collecting notes as I
Planting Day 1
06/01/2009 @ 0800
This year I planted very late due to
several reasons, including house issues,
other interests, and general laziness.
I don't know what will happen, but it
is nice weather, in the 80s, so there
should be no problems with germination.
As usual, I planted in the standard
seed trays, 6 by 12, that you can buy
at any home store. I didn't use the
"greenhouse" lids, just set the trays
in my planters and then left town. I
planted 3 trays of seeds this year,
I have a lot of "mystery" seeds
this year because some mice got into
my seed holding area over the
winter, ate all the acorns, chewed
through bags, and ate labels.
We'll see what happens.
The first tray of seeds included
Osage-Orange - I feel a little
silly planting these guys, since
they almost always germinate, and
aren't much of a challenge. However,
they are a good seed for
beginners or kids, since they
always come through. I'm growing
a lot for a friend who wants to
try a hedgerow this year.
Katsura - I found a nice tree
at Rockwood State Park near my house,
in their walled garden area. I snagged
some seeds last fall, and just held
them in a plastic bag, dry, over
the winter. All the little pods
had split open and ejected the seeds.
Mystery I - these I have
absolutely no idea what they
are. So there. They might be
linden, since the fruit is
approximately pea-sized, and the
seeds themselves are
Hophornbeam - I love these
trees and have two growing in my
backyard that I started several
years ago. The tree I got the
seeds has been cut down, and the
ones that I collect from now are
very young; maybe that is why
I've had no luck the past few
years. I'll keep trying.
Bladderwort - these are seeds
that I collected along some
bottom land by White Clay Creek
a few years ago. A reader,
Elinor, sent me some seeds she
had collected and after we
identified them I found some of
Goldenrain Tree - I love
these guys for their pods and
flowers. They actually do quite
well in what passes for soil
here at my office, so I'm
growing some more.
Persimmon - spotted this tree
in Bellevue State Park, near the
stables, last year and collected
a bunch of seeds. Just shoved
these in the dirt. I scored a
few and put them into Tray B.
Northern Catalpa - haven't
grown these for a while, and I
want to see how they do at my
house. They grow here at my
office, but are stunted except
in one wet spot.
Mountain Ash - I grew a
beauty from seed when I was in
Seattle many years ago, but
haven't seen them around
Wilmington. I collected these
seeds from the Hawk Mountain
Visitor Center in Pennsylvania
Chinese Scholartree - Easy to
grow, good street trees.
Wisteria - from a great
pergola at Bellevue State Park.
I hope to build an arbor at my
house one of these days....
Mystery II - These are funny.
The seeds look like small ginkgo
fruits, fleshy and still moist
after the winter in a plastic
bag, with similarly shaped seeds
inside, but they don't stink. I
know I collected them somewhere,
but the label was chewed off.
- no label, but you can't
mistake these. I scratched the
seeds with sandpaper just before
planting. I usually scarify them
this way in the fall, but didn't
Persimmon - scarified.
Kentucky Coffeetree - I love
working with these giant seeds.
This year I scored them with a
hacksaw. I have a 8-footer here
at the office I planted about 3
years ago, and a 1-year-old one
at my house. They get big, so
it's tough finding a spot for
them at the house, but I have
some big trees with problems and
these might replace them.
Mystery III - OK, mystery
seed number 3 is a pea-sized
fruit, very small seeds, with
long thin leaves. The fruits
grow in bunches. I'm thinking
that these are mountain ash, but
I don't remember collecting
multiple bags of these last
Rugosa Rose - well, I'll try
to grow anything. I collected
these 'rosehips' at a house of a
friend I was staying at last
fall in Maine. I think most
roses are propagated (by people,
at least) via cuttings, but what
- boy, do these things stink. My
neighbor has a beautifully
shaped tree, but the fruits are
a little much, especially when
they get onto my driveway and I
hit them with my bike. I love
the trees, though; there are
several streets here in
Wilmington that are lined with
these guys, and when they turn
yellow in the fall they are
something to see.
Persimmon (Historic) - these
are seeds I collected at a
historic house in North Carolina
about 4 years ago - don't know
if they'll do anything, but I'd
rather try them then just toss
Osage Orange - planted more
for a friend.
Here is the diagram of the e
A & B and
C. Be sure to see the page
for each individual seed type to learn
Pepper Planting Day
05/23/2009 @ 0900
The weather is warm, no danger of frost,
and my peppers want to get into the
ground. I planted in the 4' x 4' planters
I have used in the past. The last few
years I covered I covered the planting
beds with landscape cloth to keep the
weeds down, but didn't have any this
year - last year's got a little torn
while preparing the beds. I weeded the
beds, put 2 bags of manure into each
planter, and turned everything over
well. Nice soil after using the beds
for 5 years. I put 5 plants in each
planter, which isn't quite enough room,
but this year I plan to use a tomato
cage on the center plant.
Here is the diagram of the
Pepper Seed Starting Day
03/17/2009 @ 0900
This year I got my pepper seeds started
right at my traditional time, on St.
Patricks Day. With the climate seeming
to warm, and the USDA hardiness zones
moving, maybe I could start a little
sooner, but I am used to this date.
As usual, I plant in the standard seed
trays, 6 by 12, that you can buy at
any home store. I use the "greenhouse"
lids to hold in moisture until the seedlings
get too big. I use my homemade planting
light, with two fluorescent bulbs for
light, and a single incandescent bulb
for heat. I planted 2 trays of seeds
Note: I get most of my seeds from
Pepper Joe's ( (www.pepperjoe.com).
I have had good luck with germination
using their seeds, they have a great
variety of seeds, the catalog is a lot
of fun, and I recommend them. I do not
receive anything from them for this
Bhut Jolokia -
"THIS IS EVERYTHING
YOU'VE HEARD AND MORE
...Also known as the Naga Pepper.
This is the one you heard about.
THE HOTTEST PEPPER IN THE WORLD
at 970,000 Scoville Units out of
India. And what a great tasting
Pepper too!! These Original and
Heirloom seeds are the finest available...seeds
were field tested for years and
are sheer perfection! It's been
a long 4 years coming, but we believe
this is the finest Bhut Jolokia
available today." I
can't wait to taste on of these
babies. If I live through it I'll
let you know.
Fluorescent Purple -
got fancy when she created this
incredible work of art. The leaves
on this plant are sensational fluorescent
purple and white. It is absolutely
the most breathtaking foliage I
have ever seen. But there is more.
The florescent purple and white
foliage is surrounded by little
hot dynamos that turn from green,
to purple, then to red when ripe.
I recommend this pepper for gardeners
who have difficulty starting seed
indoors. Easy to germinate, transplant
and grow." These are very
pretty plants, dark purple leaves
and peppers. Good in containers.
Golden Habanero -
IN THE WORLD! (Time Magazine, Oct.
12, 1992) It is impossible to find
a pepper hotter than my golden habanero.
I guarantee that, or your money
back. It is so incredibly hot that
just one pepper will make a meal
too hot. It grows on a large plant
and is the most beautiful pepper
in any garden. It turns a deep gold
like you've never seen before. Caution:
Use rubber gloves to handle. Don't
touch eyes, nose or skin. Wash hands
with soap and cold water. My Golden
Habanero is positively NUCLEAR."
I have grown these before, and they
grow better than most habanero
I have found that the heat in Delaware,
while it kills me, just isn't enough
most years for habaneros. I'm glad
I don't live in Jamaica.
Chicken Heart -
and unusual pepper is an Amish heirloom
from Pennsylvania Dutch country.
It's a gorgeous yellow and has a
burning, fruity flavor. We dare
you to find this centuries old prize
Las Cruces Chile - -
and awesome Hot Pepper comes from
Las Cruces, New Mexico... known
as the world headquarters for Chile
Peppers. It is the Mecca for Hot
Pepper research and development.
This is a great Pepper and highly
recommended by Pepper Joe. It has
a Jalapeno shape...but broader and
more blunt with a thick skin and
fabulous, spicy taste. It has tested
well and we proudly introduce it
to you." These are great
peppers for drying, smoking, or
making sauces and jellies. Hot and
fleshy, but not hot enough to kill.
Golden Nugget -
"This is a
very old heirloom pepper that has
been re-discovered. Produces an
abundant crop that turns from purple
to gold, what a sight! Great for
drying, freezing or eating fresh.
This pepper has withstood the test
of time...it's centuries old."
Haiti Cluster -
"What an awesome
chile. The plant has huge clusters
(up to 16 peppers per cluster) of
round, cherry red peppers. It's
beautiful enough to be an ornamental
but it's delicious and Hot and Spicy.
It has that 'Island Attitude' to
it and will become one of your favorites.
Peter Pepper -
PORNOGRAPHIC PEPPER" By Organic
Gardening Magazine. Gives virility
and stamina? As the name implies,
this "guy" is shaped very realistically.
It is absolutely the novelty of
the garden. Everyone in your neighborhood
will want to take a peek at your
Peter Pepper. Besides being a real
conversation piece, let me tell
you, this pepper is super tasty.
It has a thick fleshy pod that is
fairly hot with a unique spicy flavor.
The pepper is rumored to be an aphrodisiac
in South America. I don't know if
that's true, but we all know the
many health benefits of eating hot
peppers. Loaded with Vitamins A
and C, Peter is sure to become a
favorite. Very rare!" My
girlfriend wanted me to try this
one. Wonder why. I'll have to ask.
Long Red Slim - no description,
free seeds, this one is like an Italian
red pepper, long and thin. When
dried, great for frying with potatoes
for a winter warmer.
Big Jim - no description, free
seeds, good experiment.
Here is the diagram of the
Trays A &B.
Seed Collecting for 2009
03/01/2009 @ 0900
My seed collecting started last fall,
with help from friends and readers who
either sent me seeds, or directed me
to a new tree. The lineup for
poncirus trifoliata (hardy orange)
magnolia (bigleaf, umbrella, and
Welcome to 2009!
02/28/2009 @ 1000
Welcome to the growing season of
Last year was a bust at Trees From
Seeds - too many things to do to maintain
this site. However, this year I'm making
an effort to keep things together and
concentrate a little more.
I've cut back a few trees that were
shadowing my peppers and tree-germinating
site, and done a little repair work
on the pepper planting boxes. I've also
built two hop trellises at my house
for additional varieties - we'll see
if the growing conditions are any better
than here at the office.
The land around the office that was
sold and clear last year is still vacant,
and we are still here. The plant might
be moving within a few years, but we
are safe this year.
This year looks to be interesting,
with some new seeds and another try
at some old favorites.
I had horrible luck with my hops
last year, with a windstorm that stripped
most of the leaves, and then some sort
of blight that killed everything.
And hot peppers: as usual, I will
be growing way too many hot peppers.
I made some interesting hot sauces and
pepper jellies last year, and I hope
to do more this year. My basement is
full of hanging dried pepper plants.
Welcome to "The 2009 Growing Season," the story of the 2009
Trees from Seeds tree garden. This column will provide you
with a regular update on the status of this year's crop
of tree seedlings.s.
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