Thursday, December 27, 2012

Indoor Blueberry Babies

It's taken awhile, but a couple of the blueberry seeds that I planted in November have sprouted. If all goes well, several more will come up in the next few weeks. However, if this is all I get, I can't really complain.

The seeds were from berries that had been in the freezer, from the rabbiteye blueberry bushes in the front yard. When the house was smashed by the tree this past summer, the berries probably experienced more freeze/thaw cycles than were good for the seeds' eventual ability to germinate.

The baby plants are super-tiny, with stems thinner than sewing thread and cotyledons sized to match. For the rest of the winter, these will grow fairly slowly, and I will be keeping them under flourescent lights, repotting as necessary, until the weather moderates enough that they can go outside. Then, as many as there are will go into a "nursery bed" outside until they are big enough to pot up for sharing. One of the great things about gardening is that I get to see everyday miracles like the one of  such tiny plants growing to become full-sized bushes!

To separate the seeds from the blueberry pulp, I followed instructions from University of Maine's Cooperative Extension, which has published a very useful "how to" called "Growing Blueberries from Seed." 

I started these seeds as part of my "eHow" adventure. This is the video about how to plant the seeds:

Since the winter garden is slowing down, and the weather has turned decidedly colder, I am very happy to have some new plants to tend indoors.

I hope that everyone else's winter-garden adventures are going well!

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