Monday, January 26, 2009

Japanese Red Maple Experiment - Day One

A group of people in my neighborhood planted a Japanese Red Maple last year but it died when a well meaning resident pruned it to death. Luckily, someone saved a ton of seeds from it and has kept them in refrigeration until now. A few residents, including me, have volunteered to try to get some seedlings out of them. When I first heard of this project I volunteered because I tend to be pretty good (or just lucky) with plants and I couldn't pass up the possibility of getting enough seedlings that I could keep one for myself!

When my package of seeds and soil arrived, the accompanying instructions seemed simple enough. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours and then plant the ones that sink about a half inch deep in the soil. I soaked my seeds and after 24 hours I had just one sinker - the smallest seed. I went ahead and planted them all because, why not? So I divided up all my seeds between my three pots, labeled them "Sink" and "Float", and placed them in the windowsil with the rest of my plants.

Now this is an effort by a group of people who do not claim to be plant experts so the instructions also contained the suggestion to look it up online and follow whatever growing instructions we thought would work best. So look it up I did. Apparently there are over 1,000 varieties of Japanese Maple trees and it seems that each one has distinct needs. I'm going to try to find out from someone more specifically what kind of seeds these are but since they are already planted I think I'm just going to continue with my plan and hope for good luck. I believe I have them at a good temperature and I have plastic wrap over them to keep the moisture up until they sprout. But at the same time I've read that they like to dry out between waterings so I am wondering whether to take that plastic wrap off. I want them to soften up so the cover of the seed is easy to break through but I don't want them to mold. I'll see how they look tomorrow and just wing it.

Here are two of the three pots on the windowsil.

Over to the left you can see one of the three plants that I kept from my mother's funeral last year. All three of those are still going strong. I have no idea what they are called but two are ivies and one is a two foot tall bushy plant. So I guess we will see soon enough if these seeds will sprout. I'll do an update post every so often.

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