Saturday, November 10, 2012

Journal November 10, 2012

Today I received an email from the person in Greece that I purchased the olive seeds from.  I have quoted the email below:

"Scarification process .
Place seeds in a glass container.Pour enough vinegar into the glass to cover the seeds.Gently stir the seeds.
Let them soak for about 10 minutes.Remove the seeds, wash them and sow them immediately. It is best to sow into small seedling pots.Bring a small pot of water to boil.Remove from the stove.
Place the seeds into the water. Make sure the water covers the seeds.Allow water to cool to room temperature.Remove the seeds, dry them and sow them in a growing medium.This process is easier for larger seeds.Take the small nail file or sandpaper and run either of them back and forth along the seed. The purpose is to weaken the seed coating enough for the seed embryo to break through the hull.Once filed or sanded, wash the seeds, dry them and sow in a growing medium.This process can be used for much larger seeds.Taking the knife, nick each seed, making a tiny cut through the seed coating.Wash and sow. Place a thin layer of compost in shallow vessel of some kind and place the olive tree seeds on top of the compost. After the seeds are placed, moisten the entire mixture well with a spray bottle Keep the mixture damp, but not soaking wet, and in a warm place that receives plenty of sunshine. Germination may take up to several weeks, but just remain patient and keep the conditions optimal for germination by maintaining constant watering and steady warm temperatures. Transplant the seeds, as soon as they've germinated (begun to sprout), into a pot that is filled with sandy, quick-draining soil. An optimal soil preparation is to mix 1 part of normal potting soil with 3 parts of cactus potting soil. Adding some additional sand to the mixture will help, but extra sand should make up no more than 5 percent or so of the final soil.

Water the seedling well and place it in a warm, sunny area. During this initial stage, it's best to continue growing the olive tree indoors, in order to protect it, even if warm conditions exist outdoors as well.Prune the lower leaves off of the olive tree as it begins to grow, encouraging upward growth and its development into a tree instead of a shrub. Water your olive tree only after the soil in the pot feels dry to the touch. Make sure it stays warms and has good access to sunlight. All our seeds are providing trees and the trees are able to provides olives ."

As I had already tried the hot water method, I decided to try planting two seeds using vinegar. Ava and I each planted a single seed, and as everything with Ava turns into a contest, we are now engaged in a race to see who's seed germinates first. 

 I received two seedlings in the mail today that I had ordrered on EBay.  They were supposed to be Manzanillo seedlings, however, I doubted that they were olive seedlings at all, as the bark, roots and buds are a reddish color.  Additionally, the description for the sale stated that they were to be 5 to 6 inch seedlings, but the plants I received were more than 18 inches in length.  I wrote to the vendor and told him I did not think I received the correct item.  I said that the seedlings looked more like cherry trees to me, and also stated my concern about the length. .  The vendor, plant1onme, wrote and said that the seedlings were dormant: that they turn that color because they have been kept in a cooler; they ran out of small plants and shipped larger plants instead.  I replied that I had serious doubts about the plants, but that I would not leave any feedback at this time, but would force the plants from dormancy and determine if they were olives or not.  And, if not, the feedback that I leave will not be very favorable.

Manzanillo a large, rounded-oval fruit, with purple-green skin, originated in Dos Hermanas, Seville, in southern Spain. "Manzanillas" means little apples in Spanish. Known for a rich taste and thick pulp, it is a prolific bearer, grown around the world.

Manzanillo is ranked as the world's number one table olive. Its cropping ability, disease resistance, texture and flavor combine to place it at the peak of medium sized table olives, and its medium/high oil content also makes it a valuable oil cultivar. Manzanillo was introduced to California in 1875. Manzanillo is the most popular canning variety. Not quite as cold hardy as Mission it is still wildly grown in California. A more rounded, spreading tree growing to 30-35 feet. The fruit matures in October and early November but is usually harvested in September. Fruit is processed as mostly black-ripe and green-ripe olives. They are also suitable for oil as oil content is good (20.3%). 

Time will tell if my seedlings are Manzanillo.  In any event, I have ordered a tree from an olive farm in California.

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