The Crabapple Experiment

While picking dandelions yesterday, Mike noticed that we had a yard full of crabapple seedings.  He ran in and grabbed a handful of my aluminum knitting needles and proceeded to mark each and every seedling he could find.  Now, for those of you who are freaking out because my husband used my knitting needles as garden markers, relax.  This good man knows how much I loathe straight metal knitting needles.  He also knows that the only reason I haven't terminated my relationship with said knitting needles is because they were gifted to me by my grandmother, who now has alzheimer's and can't remember how to knit.  I think he's a genius actually, and finally found a way to put those futile sticks to good use.  Come to think of it, with a little washi tape, they would make adorable garden markers!  

Back to the experiment at hand...  He dug up a dozen of the little seedlings, made a root ball for each one and I planted them in peat pots.  I've got cuttings growing in little bottles all over the house, so I thought it would be fun to experiment with this method, too.  As of this morning, they're all still alive!  If we can keep them going for the next few days, we're going to dig up some of the larger seedlings growing under the flowering Crabapple trees in the parkway across the street.  With a little luck, we'll have free Crabapple trees for the homestead!


  1. Great idea....we should all give it a try when we find "free" seedlings.

  2. We "forage" seedlings all the time! According to one very old gardening friend, that is the best way to get a garden full of a large variety without spending a fortune. Those and small (3 to 5 inch) cuttings from flowering bushes even fruiting ones if you have a friend (or park...) who might share! Rooting hormone is your friend when doing cuttings from flowering bushes, we have a great percentage of success with them using it.

  3. Hi... came here via a google search for knitted hearts. Yours for the Valentine's cards came up, but weren't the ones I was looking for.... however, love your blog!
    I have bits of trees, cuttings and so on all over the place. In the garden I have a large pot with twigs of Cornus (dogwood) all of which have taken as well as some just literally pruned off the bush and stuck into the earth next to it. In the house I have lemon pips germinated, a rose stem in a jar of water putting out new shoots but not roots, a stem off the white lilac which hides behind the summerhouse is in a jar of water to see if it will root. There is also a walnut tree growing from a walnut (well, daft thing to say, what else would it be?) and I have laburnums growing from tiny tiny seedlings taken out of the gravel garden. The tallest is only about seven foot at the moment but is covered in cheery yellow bracts of flowers, but thanks to the gale force bitter northerly winds and heavy rain being experienced here in Norfolk today, I don't suppose the cheeriness will last long. Just love growing things like seedlings though.

    1. How funny! I'm so glad you found us, Maggie. :) Lemon pips sound absolutely wonderful, I may have to look them up.

  4. Wishing you an orchard's worth of success!

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•`¤... Jennifer
    Jenn's Random Scraps

  5. Nothing better than scrumped seedlings! Here's hoping they thrive. I've just discovered your blog - it's lovely. I look forward to following on!

  6. Thank you all for your well wishes!

  7. How fun!! I wish you all the best with the baby trees you adopted. I buy lone homeless knitting needles at thrift shops for pennies to use as little plant stakes, especially for beginning my rosemary topiaries. A great new life for the poor things. I think his was a great idea.