Yes I will report. Interesting back story on the Strasberry. It was thought extinct. After the wall came down in Berlin it was discovered some home gardeners behind the iron curtain were growing it. Thanks to them I now have 2 plants. It’s a shame our relations with Russia have soured as so many unknown heirlooms have been surfacing from Russia. Often ideal for my Michigan environment. Luckily many have made their way here before the 2nd wave of the cold war started again.
The fall of the Iron curtain has meant so much. This winter I was talking to a member here from Bulgaria who lives in Northern Bulgaria and one strain of Morus nigra (black mulberry) grows well there. This country was behind the curtain. Anyway I got seeds and now have 2 seedlings growing. Nigra is the best mulberry out there but will not grow beyond zone 7. This gentleman is in zone 6 and this one nigra grows there, and I now have plants. It may be the only 2 plants of this strain in the United States.

I’m hoping one is a male so I can spread seeds of this new strain around to preserve it.
If not I can still with scion and budwood at least. For now I’ll keep them protected in the winter and experiment with clones to see if it can grow in ground here.


I have an 8-tube T5HO light. I started onions, which are now outside, as well as lettuce, kale, and broccoli. Now I have:

Thyme (German and Creeping)
Painted Daisy
Balloon Flower
Lemon Balm


What a wonderful story! I have been noticing that a lot of unique heirlooms seem to be coming from Russia; it’s nice to know that so many varieties have been preserved - and it’s even nicer to find that they are making there way to new destinations! I look forward to hearing if you were successfully able to propagate viable seeds to continue its preservation.


Yes I will update the site on progress. The seedlings have stalled a little due to acclimation to outside. Still fine though, just slowed down from the stress. As soon as they acclimate they will pick up again.


Mixing some potting soil, 2 parts Pro with 1 part sifted compost.

Plants have been going outside during the day, in the shade, back inside at night. Staying inside today, due to F’n snow and freezing cold weather.

Maters. Doing pretty good, almost ready for full sun, we just need the weather to warm up a little more so they can spend a few nights outdoors, they should be ready to go in the ground by the time the ground dries up enough around here. I stress my tomatoes pretty heavily before they go in the garden. They grow perfectly once they are in the ground because I use the same soil in the pots as is in the garden.

Here are seedling apples, these were grown from saved seeds from the grocery store. Grocery store apples, I’ve noticed, germinate really well. Some die off early on and others die off later but for the most part all are pretty healthy once they reach a certain age. They’ll all be grafted unless I notice there is one that looks like it might have some features I want to test.

Here are my seedling pears, too early to count how many I’ll have, as some are still in the ‘might not make it’ stage. They also are crammed into too tight of a pot but I didn’t have much of a choice as space is limited. Once the weather warms up, they’ll each get their own pot and then into the ground in nursery rows. By summer I should have a full count on my rootstock pears.

Peaches are germinating.

Cherries are germinating.

Everything is germinating too soon, I really wanted to get them in the ground before germination but since they were all dipped in GA3, I had no idea when they would germinate, so this was a test for future plantings. I’ll know by next year summer, which seeds germinate best and their germination rates and that will be updated in my GA3 scientific post.


I have about 25 mature pepper plants that will be going out this season. Most of them are Caribbean Varieties and all of them are hot besides the bell peppers. I also have 5 tomato plants that are going quite well.

Habaneros - Purple, Golden, Orange, Burning Bush, Caribbean Red, Brown, Red, Savina, White, Peruvian, Pink
7 pot - Yellow, Brain Strain Red, Lava
Scotch Bonnets - White Hot Peppers, West Coast Seed Co, Brown
Scotch Brain
Dorset Naga
Texas Crimson Bonnet
Bells - Red and Yellow
Kung Pao
Moruglah F3
Bahamian Goat
Aji Lemon drop
Fatalii - Yellow and White

What’s new this season is growing Mandarin Oranges from seed. This is the first one that came up and has a second set of leaves starting.

Then I have one seed that sprouted three plants! There were two that had broken soil and another that was just starting to root and produce a stalk so I buried it back at the depth it originally was.


O! This may become a huge forest of fruit trees !!!

I had one strange apple. I name it Apple core duo :smile:
(I post short video here: Unusual fruits (shapes))

It was little spoiled, but I save the seeds and sow them.
Here they are:


Of course I don’t thing they will be double cores, but anyway some interesting could happen.


I hate to be a bummer but those apple trees are highly likely to produce fruit that is undesirable or not even similar to what you saw with the conjoined fruit. The selection process for good apple varieties takes years and with rigorous grafting, note taking and a lot of luck. I just chopped down an apple tree that sprouted from seed because the fruit was TERRIBLE. Super sour, mealy, tart, small, and thick skinned.

There’s a good reason why apples are grafted, if you wanted fruit that was the same you would get some scions from the tree that the apple came from.


I agree, but I like to grow from seeds anyway, only controlled crosses except for citrus which can come true or could not we will see. It’s much more fun with pluots, as the fruit will be unique and one never knows.


I should have two clones of the Nadorcott that I planted and two crosses. Looks like it’s either going to be Fine Clementine x Nadorcott or Nour x Nadorcott. Either way I’m excited to see the fruit in a few years time.


I was in Sarasota FL and bought the sweetest heirloom oranges from the Amish I ever had. One seed germinated out of only a few I found in the fruit. An old school orange with leather like skin. Still excited if I can get anything close.


Drew, how did those FL U. researching tomatoes turn out, those you got three type of their sweetest tomato seeds for some $ donation?


Did you take the casing off the seed? if you don’t it takes about a month an a half for the casing to rot off in damp soil.


Yes, I got them, but I decided not to grow them this year. I had some heirloom seeds that were getting old, and wanted fresh seed. Seems to happen every year, the oldest seed is grown.
So it is on a waiting list to be grown out.

No, and yeah they do take long! I just had a tangerine seed sprout this morning. And yeah was planted 5 or 6 weeks ago. What do you do to remove it?


Soak the seed in water for a few hours up to a full day, rub the slimy coating off the seeds with a cloth or paper towel, then begin to pick away at the pointy end of the seed. Eventually you should be able to get part of the casing to peel off and the rest of it should be very easy after that.


Here’s some lettuce hybrids…


Ive never had luck growing tomatoes from seed. They end up too leggy well before I am able to even consider planting out. That or the menagerie of pets and kids I have end up knocking or eating or just destroying my project. My un-touched work space is in the basement and it has its own set of challenges (like the flooding twice in the past week because my plumber keeps rescheduling)

I am growing caucasian spinach and Echium "red feathers’ from seed, in pots, winter-sowing fashion this spring, though. (both are difficult to procure as plants even online, though now that I am growing from seed I did notice that one of the mass-market curseries is offering the echium this spring)

I will, this weekend, go out and broadcast some Pinetree lettuce mix in one of my beds. I usually do it earlier than this, but the weather has not cooperated (nor the plumbing)…



Gonna start my tomatoes, peppers, leafy veggies and herbs this weekend. Gonna be hard to figure out what I want to grow. I have prob 50 varieties of toms, and maybe 30 different peppers to pick from.

I cleaned out my hex planting pod trays yesterday. I have two trays of 72 pods each. Hopefully I won’t fill them all up…:grin:

Since it’s supposed to be sunny and dry through Monday, I’ll probably get the plots turned as well. Very busy time of the year!


My tomato seeds just started coming up. This year no more mister nice guy. I’m blasting them with an oscillating fan from the time they break the soil. Clip off lower leaves and potting up quickly… I think the more you baby them the worse they do.