|I am trying to start a nectarine tree from some seeds (pits). I have 6 pits out back in a seed-starting tray. Do I have to be sure that they "freeze" before they will grow into a tree?|
|A period of cold is required prior to germination. One way to accomplish this is to place seed in a ziplock bag containing moist sand. Then place the ziplock in the refrigerator for a month or two.
Remove and plant the seeds in a well drained seedling mix. Water well and keep moist but not soggy. Seeds will emerge in a few weeks. Plant in its outdoor growing location as soon as the danger of frost is past in the spring. Spring and summer germinated seedlings may be planted immediately out into the soil, or may be seeded out in the soil in the first place rather than started in a container.
Fertilize seedlings with weekly applications of a liquid plant food, or every 6 weeks with 1-2 tablespoons of a complete, dry fertilizer applied in a two foot circular area around the tree.
Keep in mind that a nectarine tree grown from seed will not be identical to the "mother" tree, any more that a child is identical to either of its parents. For this reason, virtually all fruit trees sold are actually desirable varieties which have been grafted to a rootstock.
Thanks for the question!