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Horse Chestnut Seeds - Trying to Germinate

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

My hubby went to a yard sale, and the owner had a horse chestnut tree growing in his yard, and my hubby saw the pods hanging there and questioned if it was a horse chestnut tree or not. The yard owner said it was and offered him a few pods to take home and start his own trees.

He googled how to grow them, and when he got home he described the process to me. Apparently, these seeds need to be stratified, or chilled, before they germinate. Perfect for Minnesota, since they drop in the fall, sit on your yard until the following spring [in a snowdrift, which is very cold] at which time, they wake up and start extending roots and a tree sprout. Hopefully, there is dirt available.

When in dirt, the seed is placed sideways. The tree will grow towards the light source, and the roots will burrow downwards to secure the tree.

Pod

Pod

Cut open

Cut open

Rescue conker

Rescue conker

Open a ziplock

Open a ziplock

Place conker in the bag

Place conker in the bag

This may, or may not work. Time will tell. Must have faith.

A poem

Who plants a seed

Beneath the sod

And waits to see

Believes in God

I do not know who originally wrote this poem, but I heard it was Annie Maas.

Snack size

Snack size

Conker is well insulated

Conker is well insulated

Conker in each bag

Conker in each bag

Discard husk

Discard husk

Potting soil

Potting soil

Scoop potting soil

Scoop potting soil

Fill bag with dirt

Fill bag with dirt

Potting soil in bag with conker

Potting soil in bag with conker

Dirt and conker

Dirt and conker

Dirt and conker

Dirt and conker

Soil gone, fill bowl with eater

Soil gone, fill bowl with eater

Put scoop of water in each bag

Put scoop of water in each bag

Seal bag shut

Seal bag shut

Getting Started

I broke open the pods and rescued the seeds. The seeds are called conkers. Each conker contains a tree.

I have some smaller ziplock bags and I placed a conker in each bag, added some potting soil, and some water and sealed the bag. I placed the group of bags into a bowl with a lid and placed it in the refrigerator, in the back. I won't need them until February, when the weather [and ground] starts warming up. At that point, I will take each conker and place in its own pot with potting soil.

I have eleven conkers. There were four pods, and there are three conkers per pod. My hubby misplaced one somewhere. This is okay. Eleven are plenty.


I put my collection of bagged Conker's into a bowl to keep them together

I put my collection of bagged Conker's into a bowl to keep them together

Into refrigerator, in back

Into refrigerator, in back

Refrigerator

Refrigerator

They Are Alive

A couple weeks ago, he was moving pop around in the refrigerator, when he opened the bowl with the prepared bags of seeds.

Roots! They were growing. So. It was time to plant them in pots.

Well. This was to be a temporary solution. We pondered multiple pots, but then, after some intense thought, we decided that a larger, even more temporary arrangement needed to be made.

I bought a 25 quart bag of miracle grow potting soil. We had a storage box that would hold the soil and then a clear box for a terrarium.

Soil. Water. Cover. Light. Warmth. Trees!

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

Additions to Soil

Miracle Grow potting soil. Jobe's grow sticks. Egg shells. Water.

Time to Repot

Are you asking the question of why I have to repot these trees and not put them in the soil?

This is Why - The Ground is Frozen Solid

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

Ice Cream Pails and Fresh Potting Soil

Need an ice cream pail for each tree. I bought a 50 quart bag of potting soil, thinking that it wouldn't be enough. Well. I didn't even need all of it. In fact, I had the dirt they were growing on, plus a bit from the bag that was open.

I put a little dirt across the bottom. About 3 cups worth. Then, I took a metal spoon and cut around the first tree. I had the pail very close so I could cut, lift and place in pail in one swoop. Then, I scooped dirt around the root ball and packed it around. I will have to get some water in each. I'm debating about filling up the pots to the top.

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

Soil

Potting soil, container. Plant. One per pot. Water. Wait.

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

Little dirt. Place plant. Put dirt in. Top off pot with soil. Water with water.



Select a tree

Select a tree

Using metal (sturdy) spoon and hand, scoop out trees root and dirt with minimal root disturbance.

Using metal (sturdy) spoon and hand, scoop out trees root and dirt with minimal root disturbance.

Target area pot for tree

Target area pot for tree

horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate
horse-chestnut-seeds-trying-to-germinate

Comments

Char Milbrett (author) from Minnesota on September 20, 2020:

Louise Powles, thank you for your comment.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 19, 2020:

I noticed a lot of conkers on the ground when I was walking to my Dad's place yesterday.

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