A September Start
Fall Gardening Week 1: Less is More

My Dogwood Project: The Beginning

I have a Satomi dogwood in my garden. It blooms in early June, and it is absolutely stunning for a few weeks. The blooms start out kind of white-with-a-greenish-tinge, then they turn white, and ultimately they turn pink.

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It's still a lovely tree - as dogwoods are - even after the blooming is finished. The shape of the tree is pretty, the leaves have a distinct shape -- and are a wonderful shade of green (and then they turn a lovely shade of golden-purpley-red in the fall). Another bonus: the "fruits"/seedpods are very interesting . . . 


Such VERY cool looking seedpods! (Dr. Seuss-like, for sure.)

Usually, I just admire the seedpods from afar. The birds really like them. The squirrels gobble them up when they fall on the ground. I've never had any random Satomi dogwoods just . . . spring up or "volunteer" . . . in my garden, so I figured they were hard to grow maybe?

Wondering about that . . . I did a little research this summer, and discovered that No! They aren't hard to grow all -- and that I can easily harvest the fruit, scoop out the seeds, stratify them in my refrigerator over the winter, and . . . grow my own little dogwood trees "from scratch."

Imagine! A little forest of Satomi dogwood trees in my garden!


There are quite a few how-to/information-sources out there on the internet for doing this kind of project, and they all pretty much follow the same steps. (I am using a combination of this article and this YouTube video.) It's not hard to do at all. You just need to follow the steps, be patient . . . and remember that you've got this little project going (because it's hard to remember you've got seeds hidden away sometimes).

I "harvested" some seedpods last weekend (in a race to get them before the birds do), and then soaked them for a few days (to soften up the pulp) . . . 


And then, once the pods were good and soft, I squished them and kind of ripped 'em open to find the little seeds inside.

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The green arrow in the photo above shows you the actual seed (covered with more pulp). Most of the seedpods I collected had at least 2 separate seeds inside; a couple of them had 4 -- and there was one with only 1 little lonely seed inside.

I ended up with a handful of Satomi dogwood seeds . . . 


Now, I have them drying out on my patio for a few days . . . 


I did cover them up with a lingerie bag (because squirrels and chipmunks) . . . 


Once they dry out, I'll put the seeds in a little brown bag and store them in a cool and dry place until February 1, ready for the stratification step.

Don't hold your breath . . . 
This is a lo-o-o-ng term project!

(But wouldn't it be cool if it worked????)


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This is quite exciting and inspiring. After a few garden themed books this summer, my interest in developing some new areas of my garden has really been peaked.


This is a very cool project! I've always collected acorns (back when we used to travel) and have started oak trees from Gettysburg and the ranch Justin worked on in NY. They haven't all survived, but it's fun trying them. I tried paw-paws for the first time a couple of years ago and desperately wanted a tree of my own, so I've got some paw-paw seeds in my refrigerator, too. I just sent Becky (a devoted commenter on my blog) a big bunch of milkweed seeds so hopefully she can grow some milkweed plants in TN. My neighbor has a Satomi dogwood, so a soon as I'm back in NJ, you can bet I'm going to be collecting a few seed pods for my own experiment. Best of luck!


I love this and my fingers are crossed that it works! What will you think of next?!?


That is so cool. I remember when you first showed a picture of the seed pod and I asked what it was. They are beautiful. And...I discovered that Mailing's parents have one in their front yard (I noticed the seed pods when we were over there the other week). I need to get back over and collect some!


Well, who knew!! I love this! (and I think this is a project that has all sorts of joy in it!)


Heck yeah, cuz I have one of those trees too. Can't wait to see if it works. You be the guinea pig. LOL

Caffeine Gril

The tree is beautiful, but the seed pods are amazing! I might have to work them into an art project.


This is so interesting. The seed pods are so interesting. I wish you well with this project. One seed at a time is much like one stitch at a time.


I have tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to grow a number of things from seeds, but never trees! I'll be very interested to watch this project as it progresses.

Also, I have seen some of those seed pods (smooshed on the sidewalk) down the street and wondered what they were. Now I know!


ummm... totally cool! especially because I just finished The Overstory this afternoon ...


Oh my gosh! I love this!! Excited for the next step (but also patient). ;)

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