The walnut, scientific name royal juglans, is a large fruit tree known both for its high-quality wood and for its fruit, the walnut, widely consumed in many countries. It is a tree that can reach a large size and, contrary to what many think, germinating one from a simple nut is very simple.
if you want to learn how to germinate a walnut step by stepkeep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will see a guide with steps and tips.
How to germinate a walnut step by step
Before germinating a walnut, keep in mind the following:
- Get the seeds, which are nothing more than common nuts like the ones you can get in any market or establishment.
- Nuts of any variety are suitable for germination at home, although it is recommended that they be fresh nuts instead of packaged ones. Even if you only want to plant a single walnut tree, we recommend trying the germination process with several at the same time, in case one does not succeed.
- Before planting walnut seeds, it will be necessary to germinate them.
To germinate the nuts you could simply plant them in pots or in a suitable soil, but if you want to speed up the process and maximize your chances of success, take note of how to make a walnut germinate step by step.
- Slightly open the nut: do not manage to separate the two parts of the shell or you will damage the fruit, thus preventing it from germinating. Using a knife or similar tool, lightly insert the tip into the pointed end of the nut, and twist it slightly to carefully open the shell. Do it around the entire fruit, trying to touch only the shell and not the fruit, until the shell is loose with some mobility, but without completely separating or falling.
- Wrap the nuts in absorbent paper: To give the seeds the moisture and darkness they need, wrap them in absorbent paper and soak them, then leave them somewhere easy to control.
- Keep the nuts moist: During the following days, try to keep the paper moist but not too wet, without causing the saucer or surface on which they are to puddle. Renew the humidity of the paper and change it if it seems to be damaged.
- Prepare the container for planting: After a week, your walnut should have developed a visible root about one or two centimeters, that’s a good time to plant it.
We recommend you read this other article on How to germinate a seed.
How long does it take for a walnut to germinate?
The first part of the process, which is germination, should not take more than 1 week provided that you have followed the steps that we have described here. If you have opened the shell without damaging the fruit and the seed was in good condition, after that first week moistened in absorbent paper it should show a root. If you haven’t done it in that time, that nut won’t germinate.
You can also prepare the nuts by keeping them for about 100 days during the winter in the refrigerator, moistened with absorbent paper or in sand, to emulate the winter that many plants need to spend their dormant period.
How to plant a walnut sprout
For plant a sprouted nut follow these steps:
- Prepare a pot with a good depth so that the young tree can develop. It is important that the container has drainage so that there are no problems with excess moisture.
- Use a nutrient-rich, well-draining substrate. We recommend a mixture with a part of coconut fiber, another part of peat and a last part of earthworm humus. It is a universal mixture very rich in nutrients, which at the same time offers a loose, oxygenated texture and excellent drainage, very useful for most cases.
- With a pencil or something similar, make a small hole in the substrate in the center of the pot, not much deeper than the root of the walnut, and place it with the root in the hole, being very careful not to damage it. It is about reproducing as best as possible a natural falling position, pressing the nut very lightly into the substrate once the root is in the hole.
- From now on, it will be necessary to place the pot in a lighted place but without direct sunlight and water it every 48-72 hours, in small amounts but frequently, so that we maintain an adequate level of humidity.
How long does a walnut tree take to give nuts?
In Spain there is a saying that the grandfather plants a walnut tree for the grandson to harvest, and it is that these trees can take a good number of years to reach their maximum production: no less than 30. However, it is not necessary to wait so long to start harvesting their nuts.
Under optimal conditions, a 2-year-old walnut tree will be a minimum of 50 cm tall. Its production time depends a lot on the variety, the climate and whether it is grafted or not, but in general the walnut trees begin to give nuts from between their 5th and 7th year of life. Some, on the other hand, do not do so until after the decade.
We recommend you read this other EcologíaVerde guide on the cultivation and care of walnut trees.
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