My Misadventures in Gardening: Dragonfruit with a bit of Kiwi


Oh look, yet another interesting fruit that I'm going to try to grow! My fiance and I had decided a while back to periodically buy fruit that we've never had before in order to expand our fruity horizons. Not long after that I got bit by the gardening bug and I decided to attempt to sprout and grow each fruit that came through our house. This was limited to the fruit I managed to find at our local grocery store, but last weekend I discovered our local Asian supermarket and, oh man, I was in exotic fruit heaven. They had jackfruit (yes, whole ones), mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, the terrifying yet intriguing durian and many, many others. We ended up just buying one type of fruit that day - the dragonfruit. SAMSUNG CSC

Aw yeah, look at that. So beautiful. I did some research and apparently these guys come from a cacti! And not just any old cactus, but a tropical one. What. How weird.

SAMSUNG CSC Here it is cut in half. Man, it's so striking! I always assumed every picture I've seen of a dragonfruit was edited to make the colors brighter, but it actually is that vivid in person. So pretty. To harvest some of the seeds I just scraped my knife across the flesh a few times and it ended up removing quite a few seeds.


I spread them out onto a paper towel and used another paper towel to scrub the seeds to clean them.


I ended up with over 100 seeds. Yeah, I actually counted (up to 100). I prepared two cups with soil and sprinkled 50 seeds in each cup. Since I couldn't bring myself to throw the rest away I decided to do the tried and true ziplock bag method to germinate the rest. SAMSUNG CSC

For the cups, I used a rubber band to attach some plastic wrap to help with a greenhouse effect. I figured I may as well try to grow all of them because whenever a fruit comes with a lot of seeds I assume most of the seeds won't sprout so there's no harm in trying to grow as many as I can. Well after I did all of this I looked up the germination rate and apparently it's pretty high. And fast. Oh boy are they fast. Before I went to bed that night I looked at the zip lock seeds and there was ALREADY signs of growth. About half of the seeds were already split with a small white root just starting to poke through. And just one day later the cup seeds started poking through the soil. Amazing. It was very satisfying to watch these things grow over the week. And that brings us to now. Here's one of the cups as of today:


So cute! And the zip lock ones:SAMSUNG CSC

They've grown so much! I'm probably going to have to just toss these guys out though since the seeds that I threw in the soil are doing so well. Sad, but it was still fun to watch them grow in the bag!

These guys were the perfect fruit to try to grow for me. I'm so impatient so germinating slow seeds is like torture (I'm looking at you, avocado and mamey sapote). But these guys sprouted so fast, it was fun to wake up and see how much growth had occurred overnight. Now I'm hoping that they don't stall out like my pomegranates did.

And before I finish up this post I wanted to include a photo of my kiwi seeds I briefly mentioned a few weeks ago.SAMSUNG CSCI planted at least one seed in each section of the egg carton. I was surprised I got that many seeds to sprout (as of today the count is 10). These guys took about 3 weeks to start sprouting. Quite a difference compared to the dragonfruit.


Gardening, Misc-

My Misadventures in Gardening: Mamey Sapote


When I was at the grocery store the other day I noticed some huge rocks among the mangoes and pineapples in the fruit section. These things were actually a fruit called mamey sapote. My fiance and I like to try weird new fruit, so I grabbed one and continued on with my shopping. When I got home I researched a bit about this weird fruit and found out it's supposed to taste like a mix between a sweet potato and pumpkin. Interesting. I also found out that you're supposed to let it sit on the counter for a week or so to let it get good and ripe before you eat it. I'm impatient so right when the week mark hit I cut this guy open. I probably should have waited longer. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSupposedly when the fruit is good at the store, the flesh inside should be bright pinkish red when you scratch off some of the skin. If the flesh is yellow or green don't buy that one; it was picked too early. After that you wait for the fruit to get good and ripe before you cut into it. Apparently you're supposed to wait until the skin holds an indent when you poke it. Of course I didn't wait that long.

SAMSUNG CSCAt this point I realized I really should have waited longer. In videos I watched I people easily cut into the fruit but for me it was very hard. SAMSUNG CSC

Cracking this thing open.


And here's the inside! With the huge seed inside! When the flesh is really ripe you're supposed to be able to just scoop it out with a spoon, but since mine wasn't ripe the texture was more like a sweet potato. There was a tiny area where it was soft like that so we got to taste test it a tiny bit. It was... interesting. It was pumpkin-sweet potato-melon all at the same time. Very strange. All in all, if I found one of these at the store again I'll buy another one just to try one more time since I really know now the importance of letting it get really ripe before you try to eat it.SAMSUNG CSCBack to the seed: oh yeah, look at this guy! It was already cracking open (you can't tell in the photo. It's cracked on the dark brown part of the seed). You know I'm going to attempt to grow it. I did the zip lock method, the same method as the mango.

Speaking of my mango plant, here's a little update:

A few days after I planted the seed, a little sprout started to emerge!


And only three days later it's already this big!

mango2This thing is really taking off. Super exciting!



My Misadventures in Gardening: Planting the Mango


Yesterday I posted about the mango I decided to try to grow. There was about a weeks delay from when I took the pictures and when I made the post, so now it's already time for a weekly update!SAMSUNG CSC Let's open this guy up and see what's happening.


I see a root! This is very exciting for me. I'm a very impatient person when it comes to plants (which is probably why I suck so much at growing them) so being able to see progress already is pretty awesome. SAMSUNG CSCI'll be honest though, I didn't wait a whole week before opening it up to see what it was doing... I opened it almost every day to check out the roots progress. It's probably not good to be disturbing the seed that much so I made the decision to plant it already so I'll be less tempted to mess with it. Most people that I've seen do the zip lock method usually wait about two weeks before planting.  SAMSUNG CSCHopefully I don't mess this up! SAMSUNG CSC

I took a pot of soil and dug out a shallow hole for the seed.SAMSUNG CSCI planted the seed root side down, obviously. The tree will sprout from the same spot as the root, so I just laid the seed on it's side. SAMSUNG CSCI placed the seed slightly off center because I want the tree to grow from the middle of the pot and as I said earlier, it will sprout from the same end as the root grew from.SAMSUNG CSC See? The little root is poking out from right here.SAMSUNG CSC Then I covered it with a little bit of soilSAMSUNG CSC And now it's labeled and ready to grow! I planted it already to make it less tempting for me to mess with it and see how it's doing, but I don't know how well that's working. Every time I pass by the pot now my finance laughs at me because I just stare at it like I have x-ray vision and I'm trying to see how the seed is progressing. Don't worry, I haven't dug it up to check on it...




And to end on a not-so-good note, and to show how bad I am at this stuff, here's another mango seed I tried starting with the zip lock method. I actually had two of them like this (one started 9/25 and the other 9/28) and unfortunately they both got really moldy. The seeds came from a different type of mango but I don't think that's why they molded over. I probably wet the paper towels too much or something. Well, at least I had one of the seeds make it through this stage!

Stay tuned for more mango growing updates!


My Misadventures in Gardening: Mango Beginnings


I am terrible at growing things. I often reminisce about how, when I was growing up, we'd always have houseplants inside and I remember having to go around and water them for my mom and it was just nice to have some living, green plants in the house. It's a regular occurrence where I'll remember those times and I'll go and try to have a green thumb, only to fail horribly and kill the poor plant. I'm pretty sure the cycle is starting again, and I figured I could record me failing (or hopefully NOT failing!) Maybe this time will be different. 100th times a charm!

I've always seen instances where people plant the seeds from the fruit they bought at the grocery store and they grow houseplants from them. I thought that was a fun, good idea to try. You're already buying the fruit to eat it, so now instead of just throwing the seed away, I started keeping select ones to attempt to grow! This leads to my first "experiment": the mango.


I'm not the biggest fan of mangoes but my fiance LOVES them, and if you're a mango fan like him, you'd know that a rather large, flat seed is housed in the center of the fruit. But how do you get it completely out? Let's find out!

SAMSUNG CSCCut down each side of the mango. Be careful not to cut into the seed.


Cut out the seeds husk from the rest of the fruit. I have no idea if I was doing this right, but my fiance, the mango aficionado didn't correct me, so I'm assuming this is okay. SAMSUNG CSC

Now that you have most of the flesh removed, take a butter knife and scrape off what is left on the husk. At this point some people let this dry out for a few days so it's easier to handle. This thing is slippery. I just attempted to dry it off some with a paper towel. It was still slippery, but I managed.SAMSUNG CSCAlong the edge of the husk there's a portion that feels a bit thicker then the rest. I used my knife to scrape it down more to reveal where I could split it apart.


Then I used the tip of the knife to start opening it. You know, like shucking an oyster. Everyone has done that, right? Again, be careful not to nick the seed.SAMSUNG CSC

When there was enough room for my fingers, I just pried it open the rest of the way with my hands.


Come out!mango3


... da!SAMSUNG CSC The aftermath.SAMSUNG CSC So to germinate the seed I opted for the "wrapped in a wet paper towel and placed in a zip lock bag for a week or two" method.SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC

Labeled and dated.

SAMSUNG CSCAnd put in a sunny window. Obviously I did this like a week ago so within the next day or two I'll check on this guy and see if he's ready to be planted! Fingers crossed that this will work!