Prophylactic self-isolation for tamarind tree derivation. Day 159th.

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In July 2019, I started a new journey, a new project – growing tamarind tree from seeds:

  1. First I bought tamarind fruits at a supermarket for food (they are tasty, sour and sweet). The seeds of tamarind have dark brown color, are very hard and nice shiny looking
  2. Later I collected the seeds, put them in some water for about 1 week
  3. After some time I started to notice that firm core of the seeds changed to jelly soft swollen pulp – that is a time to transfer tamarind seeds from water to a soil
  4. Tamarind plants grew surprisingly fast and after a month were ready to make happy everyone around with their charming and attractive appearance

My tamarind trees are still growing, but that is what I have l’earned within the year:

  • The quality of soil is important and special for tamarind. It should be not only “the best ever”. not only black soil. I watched dose of youtube videos about growing tamarinds, and usually the soil there looked like “poor”, almost sandy
  • The root system of tamarind tree is just a long long main root, which in natural conditions (like in India) supposes to take water deep form the earth. So, a tree does not withstand over watering because it contradicts with its natural way of growth. What does it mean?, – proper soil and proper pot are needed
  • The structure of soil should ensure well drainage. This year I have tried to add sand (bought in a pet shop), but water still was standing in a pot. Later I bought coconut husk and add it to the soil – the result was good. Yep, coconut husk was a good chose!
  • A pot should be high for the main root to have space going deep – that makes a tree feel happy:)

What else?

  • After a year, in late spring of 2020, when the sun was shining bright and hot sunny days appeared – I have almost burned my tamarind trees by stupid simple logic that “they need as much sun as possible because they originate form hot India”. So, I put them on a balcony on a direct sun and after a week or so started to noticed that they do not feel well. However, I referred the condition to improper soil structure and that was a time when I added sand into soil mixture. That did not help – one more week passed, but the trees felt even worth – the leaves started to fall down just massively – branch by branch. There were no online pieces of advice about what to do in such situation – all videos are concentrated on the process of “growing from seed”, but no info about continuing growing is available. One tree has gone. Lastly and luckily, I put the trees to a sunny place close to a window (but not directly on the sun) and after some time started to notice – they reborn, new leaves appeared and the general condition was better and better each other day. To conclude, the logic does not work all the time. Yes, tamarind trees are adopted by Nature to withstand hot hot summers, but in my case, the trees very too young, baby-trees. So, for the very early period (I ques till 3-4 years of old maybe) – the shadow and mild sun is right what is needed
  • Right now during all summer 2020, my tamarind trees are positioned at east-south part of the apartment, close to bid window to get maximum hours of sun during the day (but not on a direct sun on a balcony)
  • Tamarind trees close their leaves every evening when the sun is gone – that is a sign that they are sleeping. As the sun rises in a morning – they open the leaves again for a new day. One could observe this amazing phenomenon each day while growing tamarind at home, it is really spectacular event

Again, I thought tamarinds shrink their leaves when thirsty, but a fried of mine (who grows her tamarind tree too) was more insightful of this process. That how we get known that the leaves of tamarind react to the sunlight. Thank you, my friend:)

As I realized that lots of questions regarding growing tamarind trees are not covered on youtube videos, I made a deeper research to find scientific high quality information. I found online book, which, in my opinion, could be a great source of education on growing tamarind. Here it is: Tamarind Tamarindus indica L. / fruits for the future 1/ by K. El-Siddig et al.

Some close remarks on growing new type of plants with minimum knowledge and less public info available:

  1. Share and communicate. Collaborate with those who do the same project (in my case, I shared young tamarind trees with a few friends of mine, so that we always have a possibility to talk and discuss the questions. And enjoy the process, of course:)
  2. Educate yourself by finding professional literature. Sometimes public knowledge (like on youtube) is not enough, because specific topics are less popular to discuss. Professional literature helps

References:

  1. Tamarind Tamarindus indica L. / fruits for the future 1/ by K. El-Siddig et al.. 2006, available online: https://books.google.pl/books?id=QhtZLMVPLIIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Photos by Dr. A. Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com

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