I’d always thought that growing fruit trees from seed was too much of a long-term proposition, and so I wouldn’t bother with it. And then three years down the road I’d still be thinking about fruit trees from seed — no closer to my dream orchard than I was three years prior.
Determined to put an end to this mental hangup, I began saving the pits from the most delicious local peaches and plums that I ate during the summer of 2008. I then followed the instructions in this great article, which takes you through the whole process:
Now my baby fruit trees are about a year and a half old and I’m astounded at how big they are. These things are growing like weeds, and I need to seriously start considering where to plant them!
As a side note, I overwintered the baby trees in the black pots in the photos below, against the south side of the house, mounded up with dry autumn leaves. All survived the winter!
So if you’d like to embark on this fun little project, now is the time to begin saving your peach, plum, nectarine, and/or apricot pits. I let the pits dry on a shelf for several weeks (more like months, actually). To open the pit, use whatever tool you have the most success with (as outlined in the article), but the nutcracker I initially used broke clean in half before it cracked even one pit. So I got out the hammer and had no problem shattering pits out on the back sidewalk; surprisingly, none of the actual seeds got crushed in the process.
After a year and a half of growth, here’s what my trees look like:
Update 5/3/2012: The three-year-old peach trees have baby peaches on them! Click here for photos.
Update September 2016: Many of the trees died due to peach tree borer. The surviving trees are marauded by squirrels each year so that there are few peaches left. Here are some that survived this year! The peach I picked was picked too early I think, but otherwise the squirrels were going to get it. Its taste was ‘ok’ once it sorta ripened.