Grow Apple Trees from Seeds
Every one enjoys eating fruit especially apples, not only for the health benefits but because they are nice and juicy and especially good for your teeth. Imagine the joy of having your own apple tree in your garden,not only that but one that you grew yourself from none other than the very seeds that nature provided. Imagine having your own constant supply and using them for general eating and making delicious apple pies .
Collecting the seeds
Growing apple trees from seeds is really quite easy, it just requires time
and patience. Once the process is complete and the tree is up and growing it really gives you a sense of accomplishment and achievement. First of all you will need some apple seeds, that is not too difficult, just purchase some apples apple from your local grocery store and believe it or not that is the first step on the ladder to growing your tree. You can now either just cut an apple in half to retrieve the seeds or wait until you eat it and then retrieve the seeds after. Usually you can collect up to six seeds from one apple but the more you collect the better.
Once you have your seeds lay them out on a piece of kitchen paper or tissue paper and let them thoroughly dry out. You do not want any apple residue to to remain on the seeds so just let them dry out for about an hour and then check to see that the seeds are clean and dry . At this stage nothing bad will happen to the seed as they are quite robust and you will be ready for the next stage. All this preparation is necessary as it all helps in the germination. Once the seeds are dry and clear they are then ready for the next stage.
Apple seeds are by nature equipped with a built in timer that tells it when it is winter and spring, as it adapts its germination process by the temperature. That is the case for seeds of all plants, but apple seeds need the winter cold to start the process. This is what happens to apples that drop from trees when they have ripened, the apple will gradually decompose and the seed will be left to the elements, washed by the rain and ready for the winter. To imitate the winter cold you can use your refrigerator in your kitchen. Some of you might be thinking at this stage would that harm the seed, but rest assure it will not harm the seed in any way and to start get a clean sheet of kitchen paper and wet it. Place about five or six deeds on the paper so that they have room between each one covering one half of the sheet and fold the other half of the sheet over so that the seeds are sandwiched in between. Get a resealable see through plastic bag or a plastic container and place the paper with seeds inside and seal closed. Write the date on bag or container and place in fridge, checking every few days that the paper stays moist. This is now simulating winter conditions and the seed will start the germination process.
The duration that the seeds need to remain in the fridge can be from one month to 3 months, possibly for some varieties a little bit longer. It may seem a long time but this is a guaranteed way of helping the seeds along and you can check every few days that the sheet holding the seeds is kept moist, and general observation for any signs of roots growing. When roots do start to grow you will see a small white growth protruding out of one end of the seed. When you see this happen it will give you a sense of achievement knowing that the growth of the root was helped along by you. All gardeners know this feeling of seeing any new seedling of any plant showing signs of new life.
Potting the Seeds
When the roots have reached a certain length like ten to fifteen millimetres they are ready to go into small pots. To start use 3 inch pots and fill them with compost, make a hole in the middle about half an inch deep and place one seed in and cover up the hole. Pat it down firmly and water thoroughly, then keep the pot in a warm light place like a window sill or the greenhouse. pot up the rest of the seeds in the same manner. If some of the seeds have not yet grown any roots keep them in the fridge a little longer. After about 2 weeks you should see the new seedling sprouting in the pots and from there they will grow quite quickly. Remember to water them regularly and do not let the compost dry out. As the saplings grow larger you can transplant them into larger pots and then when they reach a height of about two to three feet they are ready to be transplanted into the ground.
Apple trees like a a nice sunny spot and they do not want to be planted too close to other trees. It takes about eight years for an apple tree to reach its full height. It may reach about fifteen feet when fully grown but they can be pruned so that they don't grow too wildly. Congratulations at this point as your new apple tree is on its way.