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How to Plant a Chestnut Seed

By Dale Yalanovsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

There are two options when seeding chestnuts: direct seeding or indoor seeding to be transplanted permanently when the time comes. The basics are virtually the same, but when direct seeding into a permanent bed, different precautions must be taken to insure the seedlings survival. No matter which way you seed chestnuts, always grow the appropriate tree that will flourish in the seasonal environmental in which you live.

Indoor Seeding

With scissors, cut the top off your 1/2 gallon milk or juice container.

Punch holes in the bottom of the container with your awl.

Fill the container with potting soil.

Place your chestnut seed between 1/2 inch to 1 inch below the surface. If there is no root showing, place it sideways. Otherwise, place the root tip downwards.

Cover with potting soil.

Maintain the soil and keep it moist. After one year, transplant it March of the next growing season.

Direct Seeding

During October, dig a hole in the soil about 2 feet deep and 8 inches wide using your garden trowel.

Combine the fresh soil in a 50/50 mix with peat moss and fill in the hole.

Allow this soil to settle after watering or a rain.

Plant the seed between 1/2 inch and 1 inch deep. Just like indoor seeding, if there is no root showing, place it sideways, otherwise, place the root tip downwards.

Cover with your soil mix.

Cut out the bottom of your milk gallon jug and then press the edges about 2 or 3 inches deep into the moist soil. This will act as a shelter for your seedling when it sprouts, keeping animals from eating the sprout.

In a year or so, when the milk carton begins to restrict the seedling's growth, carefully use your scissors and cut the carton away.


Things You Will Need

  • Potting soil
  • 1/2 gallon empty plastic milk or juice container
  • Awl
  • Peat moss
  • Scissors
  • Garden trowel


  • For maximum rigidity, drive a couple of wooden garden stakes in close proximity to your milk carton tree shelter, then tie them all together. This will prevent the wind or hard rains from blowing or washing your tree shelter away.

About the Author


Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.