I've already attempted growing almonds in my usual "just plant and water" way which resulted in a large pot of moldy soil and no almonds after a month, whereas all my previous attempts with seeds from other types of plants were consistently successful, and there were no mold problems whatsoever, even though they've all been growing in the same soil.
Internet says US has a problem with almond seeds where they're all pasteurized, even if labeled "raw", so it's hard to find truly raw seeds there, but I'm in Europe, so I guess it shouldn't be a concern.
Various sites list methods where seeds need to be soaked in water or damp cloth for several weeks or months and kept in the fridge. Some sites say the fridge stage only needs to last from 8 to 24 hours. Youtube videos show storing seeds in a jar filled with water, stored in a kitchen shelf behind closed doors (no light). I'm not sure but I think this has to do with the fact that most people don't try to grow almonds, but eat them instead, and this method gets into the search results and related articles about growing them, so this part is unclear.
Mold has been a big problem in my previous attempt, and various articles say that it's to be expected, but there is not enough information on how to prevent or remove mold from the seeds without harming them and being effective at the same time.
So my questions here are:
- What are the steps for germinating the raw almond seeds?
- How long to soak them in the water?
- At what temperature (is the fridge necessary)?
- Is sunlight going to be a problem?
- How to avoid/remove mold?
- How can I tell that it's time to plant a seed?
Update on what happened some years ago when I finally found some raw almonds from a nut cart at a market:
I planted about 100 of them, only 3 sprouted, and the rest got as moldy as possible and rotted into mush. Then 2 of the 3 stopped growing and got moldy, and the only good one has been growing extremely slowly, unlike most of my other house plants (chili peppers, mini cherry tomatoes, all the herbs and salads, and grain). I don't know if it's hungry for sunlight or what, but it's only green from spring until the dim days start in mid-autumn. Most of my other plants seem to be ever-green or grow well enough starting in any season. Maybe it's just a needy plant and my "whatever grows - grows, whatever dies - dies" approach is not agreeable enough for home pot-grown almonds.