The almond tree grows from 15 to 30 feet tall. It's a relative of the peach tree, yet instead of producing fuzzy-skinned juicy fruit, its crop is a heart-healthy nut. The almond's fuzzy husk resembles an immature peach. If you want almonds within three or four years of planting, plant a 2 to 4-foot tree instead of seeds. They don't tolerate wet soil and prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mature tree rarely needs fertilising, yet if one fails to grow 8 inches in a year, fertilise in the spring by scattering about a pound of 10-10-10 fertiliser around the tree.
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Things you need
- Plastic bag
- Seed mix
- Cold frame
- Sharp grit
Collect the almond seeds in the fall.
Remove the soft husks from the seeds, without damaging the seeds.
Place the seeds with vermiculite in a plastic bag. Completely cover the seeds with the vermiculite.
Place the plastic bag in the refrigerator and leave it for at least one month. You can leave them in the refrigerator until spring.
Sow seeds individually in small pots, using loam-base seed mix. Cover with sharp grit and place in a cold frame. It will take two to three months for the seeds to germinate.
Plant the tree in the garden two years after germination. Do this in the winter when it is dormant. Keep the bud union above the soil line.
Tips and warnings
- Instead of planting the seeds in the pots and placing in the cold frame, plant the seed directly in the garden. Do this in the fall, immediately after collecting the seed and removing its husk.
- Cross-pollination is required to produce fruit.
- Harvest the nuts when the shells begin to split. Do this by shaking the tree to make the nuts fall.
- Drip irrigation is effective for almond trees.
- Almond trees are vulnerable to bacterial canker disease, which is lethal to the tree.
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- "Vegetables and Fruits"; James Crockett; 1972
- "The New Seed-Starters Handbook"; Nancy Bubel; 1998
- "Seeds: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Successfully from Seed" Jekka McVicar, Marianne Majerus; 2003
- University of California Cooperative Extension: Growing Temperate Tree Fruit and Nut Crops in the Home Garden and Landscape