Cashews grow on cashew apple fruits upon an evergreen tree, which can reach almost 40 feet tall. The tree often blooms between November and January in more southern regions of the United States. The actual cashew nut can be found near the lower part of the cashew apple.
Within the shell of the nut is an edible kernel that is white. Besides being salted and roasted for human consumption, cashews can also be harvested for livestock feed. Growing cashew seeds is as simple as planting a germinated seed and caring for it (protecting pests and diseases by fertilizing).
Purchase cashew tree seedlings or germinate the seeds before planting outdoors. To germinate, wash your seeds in cool running water and plant the seeds 1 in. deep and wide into a pot of soil. Place the pot on your window sill and water with 1/2 cup of water each day. The seedling should begin to sprout within 4-5 days.
Dig a hole that is 10 cm deep and 1 inch wide in the location where you want to grow your cashew tree. Insert two to three seedlings with their stalk ends facing upwards. Cover the hole with the soil you dug up and pack it down tightly to remove any air pockets.
Water the seedling immediately so that the soil is moist at least 1 inch deep. Make sure to not over-water the seedling or you could hinder the growth within the next 2 months. Continue watering for 3-4 times a week or whenever the soil is dry.
Remove any twigs, loose branches or dead leaves and then spread 14-14-14 ratio fertilizer around the seed bed. Make sure that you apply no more than a 2 in. layer of the fertilizer over the seed bed. Apply the fertilizer during the middle of September.
Continue watering the soil when it’s dry and applying fertilizer at the beginning of each fall season. Apply 45-0-0 ratio after two years when the seedling is a young tree and when it is 4 to 6 ft. tall. Once the tree bears the cashew apples you must apply 14-14-14 ratio fertilizer again.