Starting Japanese Maple Seeds

While the weather outside resembles that of the arctic I spent a few minutes starting Japanese maple seeds. I had two varieties of tree that I saved seed from this fall, 'Sango Kaku' and 'Bloodgood' (Acer palmatum). Both types of Japanese maples are fairly common and can make good root stock for other, more unique Japanese maple varieties. One of these days I'll get around to doing some tree grafting but before I do I need some root stock maples. Starting Japanese Maple Seeds There are several good ways to start Japanese maple seeds so please note that what I do here is just one possible way. I began with a presoak to determine the best viable seeds. The way the seed soaking works is that the viable seeds tend to sink while the less viable ones float. Unfortunately I had a bunch of floaters. I had over 15 seeds…

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A Frosty Friday

First let me apologize for not writing much lately.  Life has been busy and I haven't been able to get into the garden as much.  Things are winding down for the cold season fortunately and while there is still much to do in the garden it always seems more manageable when the weeds are no longer actively growing!  This morning I went out and took a few pictures of the hard frost we received last night.  The temperatures which held so nicely for so long have finally given way to more seasonal temperatures.  I love fall at about 70 degrees but it can't last forever! Frosted 'Shasta' viburnum 'Sheffield Pink' mum under frost The backyard and blue shed with a frosting.  A Japanese maple in frost at sunrise. Frost doesn't mean that gardening has to end for the season.  There's still the cool season crops which with a little aid…

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Germinating Japanese Maple Seeds in a Plastic Bag

I love a nice Japanese maple! Who doesn't? There are Japanese maples  with variegated leaves, ones with deep burgundy colors, others with interesting shaped leaves that are highly dissected and many other kinds. The fall color on a Japanese is almost always guaranteed to be something special.  Their highly ornamental nature makes them very popular trees in the landscape. Last summer I gathered up quite a few seeds from a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) located in my mom's garden with the idea that I would grow more Japanese maples from seed. Collecting Japanese Maple Seeds I collected the seeds from the tree when they had turned reddish in color which was on July 10, 2012. I placed them in a plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel (important: not soaking wet, just slightly damp).  Then I put the bag of Japanese maple seed in the refrigerator to stratify.  Stratification is the cold…

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‘Beni Shichihenge’ Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Last week I attended the Bloom N' Garden Expo in Williamson County, TN.  It's a neat event held each year that offers garden speakers, display gardens, and (of course) plant vendors!  I've been getting pickier in my plant selections over the past year or so because I want unique plants for my garden.  I'm not trying to fill it up anymore, just trying to make it interesting!  Also money is an issue.  Despite advertising here on this blog (which doesn't earn much) and my fledgling nursery venture we're still really just a single income family. I don't want to spend money on plants I can raise from seed or through cuttings.  Nor do I want to spend money on plants that I don't have a good place to plant them.  So I've been getting more picky.  Fortunately at these kinds of shows there are unique plants to find like the…

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5 Plants I Want in Every Garden

Our current garden is still a work in progress, as every garden will ever be, but sometimes I like to think about what my next garden will be like.  We have no immediate plans to move but one day our growing family will need more room in the house (and with two girls probably more bathrooms!). When that day comes there are several plants from my garden that I enjoy so much I will be sure to replant in that new garden. My list for this post isn't all inclusive (or ranked in any way) but here are five plants that I will be sure to get established in any new garden in the future! Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low') I like catmint for several reasons. It's a constant bloomer.  It always seems to be one of the first perennials to get going in mid-spring and one of the…

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Japanese Maple on Fire!

Of all the fall colors I've seen this year the Japanese maples seem to have topped all other trees.  This Japanese maple at my mom's house was figuratively on fire with red foliage lighting up the scenery.  I didn't have my camera with me when it was at its peak but even past peak it's beauty can still be seen. When bare this Japanese maple (possibly a 'Bloodgood') has a cool vase shaped form.   I've always enjoyed seeing pictures of falling leaves making a carpet of foliage on the garden grounds. This maple is the mother plant of the Japanese maple I planted for dad.  Together with another Japanese maple I planted earlier in the summer (which is also from the same tree) it should one day provide a spectacular fall show. Japanese maples may take some time to grow but the wait is worth it! 

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A Tree for Dad

Yesterday would have been my father's 68th birthday.  He was a Halloween baby born back in 1943 but since July 6th, 2011 we've been without my dad.  I think about him in some way everyday and I definitely don't need anything to remind me of how much he helped me through life, but to honor my dad in a small way on his birthday I planted a tree.  It's a small tree, just a little a Japanese maple tree, but it has the potential to be a beautiful tree one day.  In fact it's one of many Japanese maples that grew from seed a while back from dad's own tree.  He didn't plant that tree, it was there when he and mom bought the house, but it's been a beautiful tree and he always liked it.  It just seemed to be an appropriate planting as a memorial tree for dad.…

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Japanese Maple Seedling Update

Last year I told you about the Japanese maples that grew naturally from underneath a tree at my parent's house. I over wintered young trees in my garden shed (see the April Video update) and have been taking care of them here in our garden. The other day I transferred the Japanese maple seedlings from the shed because it was getting way too hot inside and moved the little trees to a raised plant holding bed I built out of reclaimed lumber. The 38 Japanese maple trees are doing great! Right now I have them in small pots which eventually will need to be upgraded as the root systems grow. I covered the bed with an old screen door to prevent rabbits from damaging the little trees. These were all grown by mother nature but should you try to grow Japanese maple trees from seed remember that the seeds require…

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Japanese Maples from Seed Update!

Have you been wondering for months what ever became of Dave's Japanese maple seedlings? I bet you have...er well maybe not but I'll show you even if you weren't wondering all winter about my Japanese maple seedlings!  In case you are wondering how to grow Japanese maples from seed the big secret is stratification. Stratification is where you expose a seed to cold temperatures in order to break the natural dormancy of the seed. Many plants require a certain amount of cold time in order to trigger germination and Japanese maples are one of them. This is one reason why so many gardeners stores their seeds in the refrigerator. Aside from keeping the seeds fresh the refrigeration also exposes them to cold temperatures so that when the gardener is ready to plant so are the seeds. But enough of my horticultural ramblings, now on for the Japanese maples seedlings! Nearly…

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