Buy Good Seed Stock
The first step as we discussed in this blog is to buy good seed stock.
You can read my article on buying seed stock here.
Each step is important to get good germination results. Moringa seeds are high in protein so are prone to mold on you. That is one of the main problems getting them started.
How many seeds should I germinate?
You need to germinate at least 10 seeds. You may lose several to mold or other problems. Ten seeds should yield 5 seedlings or more.
You need at least 5 trees in the beginning because the trees take some time to where there is enough branches and leaves to supply your salad needs. If all them grow, dry the extra leaves for your family or give any extra trees to friends.
How quickly will the seedlings grow?
Climate Area Condtions: If you live in Florida or Hawaii, your trees will grow quickly by leaps and bounds. In Florida you will have a 6 ft tree the first season or even taller. They grow like weeds given the right climate area.
If you raise them in a heated green house, they will grow rapidly as well.
So where you live makes a huge difference in germination and your results in growing the trees.
If you live in areas subject to frost, the trees will have to be brought indoors for the winter. If you raise them in 20 to 33 gallon trash cans with wheels, you can wheel them into your house or garage when winter arrives in your area. Amazon carries large, heavy duty plastic dishes to put under your trees to catch dirt or water leakage. They cost about $15 bucks on sale. Make sure you buy a large enough dish to fit under your planter.
When we grew them in Nevada in large trash cans, they grew to about 5 or 6 feet, then just stopped. I still had plenty of leaves to eat but they only grew to a certain point. I also had to supply moisture to the trees. This was so even when I took the trees outside and it was in the 90's.
|Our Nevada trees|
It is better to wait until it warms up to germinate seeds. They may germinate when the house is cold but then they don't grow properly. Even using a heat mat and dome, the seedlings rapidly grow too tall to keep the dome on. If the room then is not warm enough or does not have enough sunlight, they will just not grow or they will grow very slowly.
Planting Moringa Seeds directly into the ground.
If you are going to grow them directly in the soil, you need to wait until all danger of frost is gone, when your area soil warms up for good. A abnormal cold spell will kill them.
You can either plant the seed directly into the soil or germinate them in the house by several different methods, then plant them into pots or ground later.
The ground area you pick for your Moringa tree should have good drainage. If not, you will lose the tree to root rot. The soil should have lots of organic material and organic fertilizer. The area should have protection from the wind and from animals such as rabbits, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and other animals who will eat your seedling as soon as it breaks ground.
You can soak the seeds first for several hours or plant them directly into a fertile hole. Again if you do not protect them, they will be eaten quickly. I knew a man who planted several thousand seeds, only to find the birds were eating them as they sprouted up out of the soil.
If you are raising acres of trees, you plant them close together in a row. They can be grown as a hedge of trees.
Germinating Moringa Seeds in the house, not directly in soil.Handle Moringa Seedlings Gently when planting!
|This is a plastic cake carrier container. They are a buck at the dollar store and come with a high dome to cover them with. This is what they look like. Not all seeds germinate on the same day. There can be several days difference in sprouting time.|
#1: Soak the seeds for a few hours
#2: Pierce the shell around the seed gently with your fingernail. That will speed up the germination process.
Some literature suggests taking the seed out of the shell, planting the seed minus the seed shell, but I have never had success with that method.
The Moringa seed will have two shoots that emerge from the seed. One is the white tap root and the other is the green Moringa seedling. Plant the seed with the white tap root shoot down into the soil. Don't break the white tap root!
Do not damage the white tap root when planting the seed.
Damaging the white tap root will kill the tree.
|This seedling is ready to be transplanted to a one gallon pot or into a 20 gallon pot.|
Make the hole big enough so the tap root is not damaged when planting it. Fill in over the tap root gently. Plant so the seed and root are adequately covered with soil, but not too deep.
Moringa Methods for Germination
#1: Place the seeds in plastic sandwich bag, close the seal, and place in a warm dark area. This is one method. Check the seeds everyday for mold. Take out moldy seeds immediately for they will cause all the seeds to mold if you leave them. Try to space out the seeds in the bag so they are not touching one another. I have found placing a moist paper towel under the seeds in the bag seems to help.
#2: You can take the seeds and directly plant them in one gallon pots filled with organic potting soil. Don't buy potting soil with moisture enhancers. The soil does not dry out and you lose them from root rot.
Once they reach about a foot tall, they must be planted in larger containers or they will not grow taller. Their long tap root needs plenty of depth to grow into a large tree. The taller they grow, the harder it is to transplant them without damaging either the trunk or the root ball.
They can also be planted directly into a 20 gal container. Five trees can be planted into one 20 gal container.
|Soaked seeds were planted directly into a 20 gal black container.|
#3: You can take the seeds and plant them in germination flats with individual cubes of coir seedling planting mix. The flat is put over a warming mat to enhance their germination and covered with a dome.
|These seeds were planted into seed flats with individual cells. There is a seed mat underneath.|
|These seeds were laid over a coir bed with a dome over them.|
What is Coir? It is a seed planting medium made from Coconuts.
"Coco coir is all-natural coconut fiber that is carbon rich and balances nitrogen-rich kitchen scraps in the compost pile and amends soil. It's what makes up the fibrous husks of the inner shell of the coconut and is used for all sorts of products"
It works very well for Moringa Seedlings. You buy it in blocks on Amazon or in green house supply stores., You place the coir block in water, the block absorbs the water and expands, becoming a fluffy potting mix. Make sure you buy a fine grade of coir.
I hope this blog will help you grow many seedlings to provide your family with fresh leaves for salads and other dishes. Go Here for Moringa Receipes
I do not sell Moringa products as of Sept, 2016. I am working on a project that demands an unbiased viewpoint.
If you want to buy from my favorite herb, vitamins, and supplement companies. visit my store here
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin