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Thread: greengages

  1. #1
    kernowyon's Avatar
    kernowyon is offline Cropper
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    Default greengages

    just a quick question, has anyone grown a greengage tree from a seed, and what is the best way to get the stone to germinate?
    Kernow rag nevra

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  2. #2
    bazzaboy is offline Tuber
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    Crikey, kernowyn, you clearly like a challenge! But what a great idea! I’ve two greengage trees (neither grown from seed I’m afraid) – one is “old fashioned” and one “contemporary”. The modern one has larger sweeter fruit , the older one smaller fruit but a more subtle flavour; both are very productive and pretty reliable. I’ve already dried or frozen this year’s crop but the windfalls etc are still littered around so I might have a go myself to see what happens…. This is what I’m thinking might work, I have no idea if it’s right!

    Greengage is a prunus cultivar and as I know only too well from trying to stone them to dehydrate, the stone is securely attached to the flesh - I’ve no idea why but I won’t interrupt that bond but will initially treat the fruit intact. They won’t be prompted to germinate now because they’ll naturally be expecting winter so they probably need a period wrapped in some damp kitchen paper in the veg drawer of the fridge or left in moist compost in a coldframe until early spring…. Quite how they’re programmed to know that totally mystifies me but that does seem to be the case with many seeds. Then I assume reverse the process by introducing gentle warmth, keeping moist. Because it’s a “stone”, some gentle roughing up probably won’t go amiss (I’ve no idea if that’s necessary in this particular instance but even if it isn’t I can’t see it doing any harm…) and then wait for one or more to ‘pop’. And celebrate if it does!

    I think the ones I bought a while back now were 2 years old so they probably need some careful nurturing/protection over that initial period – thereafter they seem to pretty much look after themselves, the sort of plant I like! I don’t think you’ll get fruit until 2010 earliest – but in time for the Olympics.

    I think you can also propagate greengages from cuttings or even layering – it would be interesting to hear how the professional nurseries do it!

    Good luck! If my made-up-on-the spot technique gets anywhere I’ll certainly let you know (in fact I’ll probably never stop talking about it! ) But greengages are lovely fruit, worth the effort.

    bb

  3. #3
    Flummery's Avatar
    Flummery is offline Gardening Guru
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    I wonder if you could gently crack the stone to allow the kernel to sprout. (OK purists I know you can't crack a stone gently but I know what I mean!)
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  4. #4
    richard64 is offline Germinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flummery View Post
    I wonder if you could gently crack the stone to allow the kernel to sprout. (OK purists I know you can't crack a stone gently but I know what I mean!)
    I know I am somewhat late on this, but I have grown greengage from a stone.

    My father-in-law had 10 old fashioned greengages, which produced small (an inch), but very sweet, green fruit. He's lived there for 50 years and the trees were mature when he moved in, so I guess they are 70 years old. Seven years ago he lost two through storm damage, and so I decided to try and see if they could grow from seed.

    In September I carefully cracked about 10 stones with nut crackers and then put them in the fridge until spring (I am not sure if they need this step, but I thought I would try it anyway). In spring I planted the kernels in a leaf mould/compost mix. They all germinated. Unfortunately I then had the problem of what to do with the seedlings, because I have a fairly small garden. I planted two in chosen positions and the rest in a "nursery bed", then I forgot about them. The autumn before last I transplanted two of the trees from the nursery bed to another final site, so now I have four trees. The year before last, one of the two established trees had flowers, but they did not set. Last year both trees had flowers and a few of them set on one of the trees, but after a frost the small fruit fell off. I am hoping that this year I will finally see if the trees have grown true, and produce greengages.

    Richard

  5. #5
    sarraceniac's Avatar
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    I wonder just how healthy they will be in years to come. I've never tried it but I have 3 'plums' (a Victoria, a Golden Gage and a Damson) and a couple of cherries, which are distantly related and I notice that in common with my apples and pears they are all grafted onto a more reliable root stock. Should be interesting though. Good luck.
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  6. #6
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    Bumped for Derby Dal
    Last edited by Two_Sheds; 16-03-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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    Derbydal is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two_Sheds View Post
    Bumped for Derby Dal
    thanks Two Sheds ! iv'e been up the allotment and the seedlings seem to have grown on top of the soil and then sent a shoot deep into the soil ,strangely they have only grown in one spot that is predominantly shaded ! atb Dal.

  8. #8
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derbydal View Post
    thanks Two Sheds ! iv'e been up the allotment and the seedlings seem to have grown on top of the soil and then sent a shoot deep into the soil ,strangely they have only grown in one spot that is predominantly shaded ! atb Dal.
    The fact that seedlings are only in a shady spot could mean that other seeds germinated nearby but that area dried out faster due to being in the sun, so those ones never made it due to lack of water.
    Derbydal likes this.

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