When most people think of growing their own food, they think of vegetables or fruits.
But what about nuts? Most nuts can be grown at home and this includes cashew nuts.
It’s actually pretty easy to grow cashews at home, and with a little care you can harvest a good crop of fresh cashew nuts.
Cashew nuts need warm temperatures and well drained, sandy soil. The seeds can be started in pots for planting out into their final positions after germination which will take anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks.
How do you grow a cashew tree from seed?
To grow a cashew tree from seed, you’ll need to start with fresh cashew nuts. It’s best to plant them in the spring or early summer.
Start by soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours. This will help to soften the hard outer shell and encourage germination.
After soaking, plant the seeds in small pots filled with well-drained, sandy soil.
Place the pots in a warm, sunny location and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
The seeds should germinate within 1 to 4 weeks.
Once they’ve germinated, transplant the seedlings into larger pots.
When the plants are about 1 foot tall, you can begin to harden them off by placing them outdoors in a semi-shaded location.
After a few weeks, move the seedlings into full sun and begin fertilizing regularly with a high-quality organic fertilizer.
At this point, your cashew tree will be ready for planting in its permanent location.
Choose a spot that gets full sun and has well-drained, sandy soil.
Dig a hole that’s twice the size of the pot your seedling is currently in.
Carefully remove the seedling from its pot and plant it in the hole.
Fill in the hole with soil and water well.
Stake the tree if necessary and continue to water regularly.
Your cashew tree will begin to produce nuts after 3 to 5 years.
Can you grow cashew nuts from the store-bought nuts?
Many of the cashew nuts that you find at the store have been processed or subjected to other forms of treatment that will prevent them from germinating.
If you can find organic seeds, that are fresh, then you should be able to get them to grow although the results may be uncertain and unreliable.
Start with a young plant instead of seed
Another and quicker, reliable way to get started with growing your own cashews would be to start with a young plant.
There are some advantages in doing this:
You’ll get a plant that is ‘true to type’ and that will develop into a tree that will fruit.
The young tree will be ready to plant out into the ground or a large pot.
The time taken from seed to mature tree is reduced, you’ll see results much more quickly.
Where can you buy young cashew plants?
To buy a young cashew plant, you’ll need to look for a reputable supplier of fruit trees and bushes.
You can usually find these online, or by checking your local gardening center or nursery.
Some popular suppliers include Amazon and Gardening Naturally.
- A cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is an evergreen tree and nut tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae family. It is native to northeastern Brazil and southeastern Venezuela in South America.
- The fruit of the cashew tree (known in Central America as “marañón”) grows from the flowers’ pedicels. Cashew fruits are commonly called cashew apples and are commonly used in jams and jellies, though they are technically an accessory fruit rather than a true fruit.
- Mature trees also produce cashew seeds, which are actually the tree’s distinctive cashew nuts. The cashew nut is high in calcium, vitamin C, and carbohydrates. Cashew nuts belong to the same family as the pistachio nut and are useful for making creamy nut butter.
- Grow your cashew tree in a warm climate. Cashew trees grow best in USDA hardiness zones ten and eleven.
- Provide at least six hours of daily direct sunlight for maximum growth of these fruit trees. Cashew trees that get too much shade tend to produce fewer cashew seeds.
When choosing a plant, try to select one that has all of its leaves and is generally in good health.
You’ll also want to make sure you choose a plant that is adapted to your local climate, so do some research on the best varieties for your area.
How long does it take to grow a cashew tree?
The time it takes to grow a cashew tree will depend on whether you start with a seed or a young plant.
If you start with a seed, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years before your tree begins to produce nuts.
If you start with a young plant, it will take 2 to 3 years before you can start harvesting nuts.
Where do cashews grow best?
Cashews do best in warm climates that get plenty of sun.
You’ll also want to choose a location with well-drained, sandy soil, such as a raised garden bed or pot.
If you live in a Mediterranean type climate, such as Florida or Spain then your cashew tree will thrive outdoors year-round and should produce lots of nuts.
However, if you live in a cooler climate, then you’ll need to grow your tree in a pot so that you can bring it indoors during the winter months.
How often do cashew trees produce nuts?
Cashew trees typically produce nuts once a year, although some varieties may produce more than one crop per year.
The nuts will begin to ripen in late summer or early fall, and they can be harvested when the cashew shells turn from green to brown.
To ensure a good crop each year, you’ll need to provide your tree with plenty of sunlight and water, as well as regular fertilization.
How much fruit does a cashew tree produce?
The amount of cashews that a tree will produce will depend on the variety you choose, as well as local growing conditions.
On average, a healthy cashew tree should be able to produce up to 100 pounds of nuts each year.
Some varieties may be more productive than others, so do your research before choosing a specific type of tree.
How do you harvest cashews?
When the cashew shells turn from green to brown, they are ready to be harvested.
To remove the nuts from the trees, you’ll need to use a ladder or other tall object to reach the fruits.
Once you’ve picked all of the ripe nuts from your tree, you can use a nutcracker to break open the shells and remove the nuts.
Be sure to wear protective gloves when handling cashew nuts, as they contain a chemical called urushiol that can cause skin rashes and irritation.
Once you’ve removed the nuts from the cashew shells, you can either eat them right away or store them in a cool, dry place for later use.
Cashews can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year.
Cashew trees are a great addition to any home garden, and they can provide you with a delicious and nutritious snack for years to come.
Before you buy a tree, be sure to do your research so that you choose a variety that will thrive in your local climate.
Once you’ve planted your tree, be sure to give it plenty of sunlight, water, and fertilizer to ensure a good crop each year.
With proper care and attention, you will be able to harvest delicious cashews right from your own backyard.