The drastic changes brought by the pandemic have taken their toll as people venture into social isolation. However, this dull and boring routine can improve with a new addition of an orange hue brought along by the Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) tree.
Since it is an easy-to-grow-tree, it will be rewarding to you physically and mentally: with its delicious fruit, strong wood, and medicinal uses. Thus, tackle this new adventure and find out more about how to grow and take care of them here:
Steps in Growing Your Tree
Although the thought of starting to grow a persimmon tree from scratch is daunting, it’s a refreshing task since this tree crops reliably, and it is mostly diseases-free.
Planting the seed
- From a seed, you may first need to undergo stratification: where the seeds are exposed to a cold environment. You are to place the seeds in a moistened paper towel and place the said towel in a glass jar to be refrigerated for three months. Always remember never to let the paper towel dry out.
- After three months, the seeds are ready to be removed and placed in a pot with a seed starting mix, with each seed two to three inches deep. If you want to learn to grow your own persimmons, you visit Gardener’s Path
- Always moisten the soil with a spray bottle until the seeds begin to sprout. This process may take about six to eight weeks.
- Once the sprouts are visible, put the containers in an area where they receive sunlight for at least six hours a day.
- When the sprout is four inches tall, you are then to harden your sprouts for two weeks by exposing them to different conditions: placing the sprouts in direct sunlight for an hour outdoors and placing them again indoors; placing them for two hours the next day and indoors after the two-hour limit; and three hours on the day after. You are to do this until the sprouts are outdoors for seven full hours.
- Before planting your sprouts in their spot, make sure to test your soil. Although persimmon trees can’t handle poor drainage, they are the best at handling various soil types: sand or loam. Ideally, the best soil you can place them in is those that have well drainage and are well-composted.
After this process, you can already plant them in their permanent spot. It is best to plant the trees in the afternoon shade in regions that experience hot temperatures.
Maintaining the tree
The best thing to remember when maintaining your persimmon is to water it. It may love the sunlight, but it cannot withstand too much heat. So, little to no water will kill it – especially in areas with temperatures above 90°F. With an inch of water each week, you will see the best growth of your tree.
You could also prune your trees annually: when the tree is dormant in late winter or early spring. This process includes cutting unnecessary branches that are diseased or broken. As the fruits grow, the tree may start to drop; however, this isn’t a sign that you’re doing something wrong – but it’s because the fruits are heavier than the tree can handle.
Fruit trees have a bad reputation, but the persimmon tree is an exception. Although it does need proper maintenance, it rewards you back with its sweet fruit and resistant wood.
Benefits of the Persimmon
Even when you leave a persimmon fruit to a moment of almost turning rotten, it still gives you a good, tangy flavor. And what more when it is ripe! Not only does this grant you a pleasant taste, but it also offers nutrient-enriched bites of vitamins A, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Persimmon wood is substantial and robust, but it isn’t ideal for foundational construction. That said, it is practical for other uses: woodturning and wood crafting. It is also used as paneling in traditional Korean furniture
Depending on ripeness, the fruit can treat hypertension when it is unripe and treat coughs when it is ripe. Additionally, it has an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces chronic conditions and a high antioxidant activity, reducing risks of hypertension, diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease.
The fruit and leaves are also high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C – which prevents indigestion. The tree leaves are also used as a tea which is good for metabolism. All you need to do is put the leaves in boiling water, either in dried or fresh forms.
Since the pandemic has forced us into a state of confinement for long periods, searching for new ways to stay outdoors (even in our backyards) has become a popular trend. Because of this, many have indulged in the outdoor activity of planting and gardening.
Whether it be for a food source or peace of mind, one thing is for sure: planting gives you a sense of calmness in these troubling times, and persimmons offer you a full treasure box of its tang.