During my younger years, one of my geeky hobbies (among many) was growing tropical plants using seeds harvested from fruit my dad would bring home from the supermarket. I clearly remember having success with avacados, pomegranates, papaya, kiwis and dragon fruit – but I’m sure there were others as well.
Obviously – given my location (Ontario, Canada) – I didn’t have any chance of producing an actual fruit-bearing plant, but it was still a lot of fun getting weird things to grow! lol
I was reminded of this recently, thanks to my introduction to seed balls and the sight of two shriveled pomegranates (from Christmas if I remember correctly – lol) sitting in our fruit basket. Thinking it might be fun to try making some pomegranate seed balls, I got to work on dissecting the fruit and preparing the seeds.
This reminded me of the fact that it’s a pain in the you-know-what to harvest and prep pomegranate seeds for growing (at least if you want a lot of them). Back in the good ol’ days I had loads of time to kill, so it wasn’t a big deal. This time around I definitely needed some help!
NOTE: When I say “preparing the seeds” I am referring to getting rid of the tasty coating so as to increase the likelihood of germination (since there are usually germination inhibitors in fruit flesh – for obvious reasons).
At first I thought I would just let the seeds rot in an old cottage cheese container – but then I decided that I had a better idea!
“Why not get the worms involved?”
Specifically, I figured that if I left the seeds to sit at the top of my VB48, all manner of critters – including the worms of course – would make quick work of cleaning off the fruit flesh.
Kinda like the vegetarian version of using dermestid beetles to clean skeletons!
Long-story-short, it worked like a charm. In a matter of days – thanks to the munching of springtails, millipedes, isopods and worms – my seeds were ready for removal. Seeing these seeds, mixed with some vermicompost from the bin, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were any other advantages to preparing them this way? Would they germinate more quickly? Produce plants that grow more vigorously?
OR – perhaps there are disadvantages? Maybe they were damaged during the process. Or the moist environment stimulated enough of the germination process that drying them out again will render them sterile? I dunno – but I am definitely curious to find out!
I am planning to get another pomegranate, and will prep some of the seeds from it by hand so I can see how they grow in comparison to my “vermi-seeds”.
Should be fun! Stay tuned.