How to Grow Your Own Apple Trees From Seeds
This post is inspired by @papa-pepper's post yesterday. As I wrote it on the comment thread on that post, I've grown my own apples. Like the many of you here, I also have dreamed of having my own orchard and ground full of fruiting trees. I wrote "have dreamed" because I'm already living half of that.
Like him, I also prefer eating organic by choice. "Prefer" because I have friends who don't and sometimes, we eat out and it's pretty tough scoring organic food that's really delicious and though many restaurants in The Netherlands go organic there are still those that serve - "not so health conscious meal".
I love eating apples but back in the Philippines there was one incident that made me stop eating apples. It was a huge news that apples sold in the Philippines are dipped in wax to preserve them because as you know we have ants every where. There are probably more ants than Filipinos in the Philippines.
Insects only sink their teeth in anything organic. Wax- dipped apples are always ant free. As we all know wax is not edible. I don't know why they do that in those apples but - that news made me quit eating one back then. Whether apples in my country are still wax- dipped I no longer have any idea as I don't live there anymore. I'm sharing this because that's what made me stop eating apples.
When I came here, I refuse to sink my teeth in - on any apples. That thought was hard to shake off specially that it had been instilled in my brain for years. However, I saw that this place abounds in apples - they grow effortlessly every where. Hub has always bought organic food only and since we bought organic apples I decided to try growing them from seed - because I thought; "At least if they're from seeds am sure they're pure. It took a while to reprogram my brain that apples are really healthy to eat specially that I'm also aware that GMO apples exists.
It's pretty easy really and let's cut it to the chase , here's
HOW YOU CAN GROW APPLES FROM SEEDS:
Pluck the seeds out of an apple fruit. You'll find them in the very middle so never cut your apple into half. Doing so might cut those seed,too. This one's an Elstar apple. Don't forget to remember which apple you are planting as there are different sorts. My favorite is the Royal Gala.
Stratification is very important for apple seeds. What on earth is that? It's to allow any seed experience that winter feel so they'd germinate.
There is a short cut to helping apple seed take their coats off.
Peel their coats off yourself by sinking your nail in the pointed tip of the apple seed and slowly peeling the coat off it.
There is a risk of bruising the apple seed so I just use the well proven method.
THIS IS THE METHOD I'VE USED TO GROW MY FIRST SET OF APPLE TREES.
Take an empty box or any container with a lid.
Fill it with a folded kitchen towel or tissue paper.
Wet the kitchen towel till there's a bit of a puddle in it.
Lay the apple seeds on it and make sure they get wet, too.
Do not drown the apple seeds.
Cover the box or any container and put it in the fridge. The ideal temperature would be 40ºF to 41ºF (4.4ºC to 5ºC).
Leave them in the fridge for 8 weeks.
Go back and check the seeds after 8 weeks. You'd see tails growing on the apple seeds showing that they have successfully germinated. The seeds on the picture are that of a Royal Gala I've placed in the fridge 8 weeks and a few days ago.
Take a pot and fill it with enough soil. I use loam soil because it's the most nutritious of all soil so my plants tell me so as they all happily grow with it.
Place two seeds on each pot. Not every germinated seeds succeeds to grow. Having two seeds in the pot would at least ensure you one. If they both grow, just be careful not to damage their roots while re-potting them. What I do is soak the soil in water to free the roots and make it easier to separate the possibly tangled roots of two apple plants that have grown in one pot.
Give the seeds a good soak and the soil would automatically bury them.
Let them stay in the green house. If you don't have one just any place it won't be affected by a chance of frost.
Water twice a week.
This is one of those Gala apple seeds I've manage to germinate in summer this year that has grown into a baby apple tree. It's still staying in the greenhouse as I don't want to risk it dying in case it snows.
These are the rows of apple trees I've manage to grow in 4 years. They're taller than the fence now although I even pruned them till half the height of the fence in December last year. Yes, December is the best time to prune apple trees as long as the temperature doesn't drop to lower than 10ºC for the whole week to make sure they heal.
These guys are still growing on pots and will soon be moved to my spot in the organic garden I've joined in.
I'm training those guys which are already planted in the ground - to grow their stems horizontally using plant clips. Training their stems to grow horizontally is fooling the apple tree that it's already bearing fruit with the hope that next year it'll flower.
They are slow to flower because they have stayed in pots for years as we had to let go of 16 conifer trees last autumn to make room for these rows of apple trees. I could induce them to flower using stuff but as I prefer organic - I didn't. However, there are chances that apples grown in pots would still bear fruits. It would be slow but with proper care and the right pruning it would It does take years to do so as it's pretty slow for them.
You can use this method in every seed that grows in countries with winter. I've grown kiwi, plums, cherries and apple trees this way. There are apricot seeds, nectarine seeds, blueberry and gooseberry seeds I'm trying to germinate in another box in my fridge now, too.
Now, is the perfect time to put any seed directly in the ground as it is near winter. However, planting any seed directly in the ground risks rotting if the temperature drops lower than the ideal temperature the seed needs to germinate and grow.
I still recommend to do it - indoors in your fridge. Besides, all it needs is marking the 8th week of your calendar to make sure you don't miss it when the magic happens.
Good luck and I hope you grow your first apple tree!
I took each pciture with my Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 edition.
Do you like gardening? It's one of my hobbies so ...
Very nice! It will be interesting to see the variety of different apples your seedlings produce. Coming from a Gala, they have some good genetics. But apple seeds don't have the same genetic mix as their parents. By planting a lot of them, you increase your chances of getting something worth keeping. And even if some trees don't produce quality apples, they may still make good rootstock that works well in your soils and climate. The nice thing is that no effort is lost -- you can graft cuttings from your best trees onto the rootstock of the types that aren't such good producers, so your time investment still has a payoff. And your trick of bending branches down has really worked well for me. Happy apple growing!
Very important reminder. Johnny Appleseed planted the now world famous American grafted strains not by purpose, but because any and all apples could be used for making apple cider... ;)
@id-entity thank you for sharing that.
I plan to have mine fresh and if they happen to bear a great lot, I'd be sharing them with friends or making apple cider or juice out of them.
That's a good reminder! I've never run across any "bad" apple, really. But I have come across a lot of apples that struggle with disease. Disease resistance has become a big factor in my choice of what apples I keep growing - and one that Johnny didn't have to deal with. Apples did so well in those early days of European settlement, because the apple diseases just weren't here --- yet. They eventually got here and then there was some real hardship, because folks weren't prepared.
Johnny was Masanobu Fukuoka kind of guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanobu_Fukuoka
Appletrees grown from seed are naturally more resistant and adaptive than the clone combos. A teacher in the gardening school where I hanged around for a while was also very much into seed growing appletrees.
PS: If you are into a very old/very new age trick, they say that if you hold the seed for a while in your mouth befofe planting, the fruits of the plant friend will share the information field of your body and become personally designed health food. Hereabouts the traditional way to sow e.g. rye and barley was to spit it. :)
I guess he was, at that!
cheers! grafting would definitely be useful!
@opheliafu as what @haphazard-hstead wrote - you could graft a stem of your fruiting apple to that of the one that is not fruiting yet or you could trick it that it is already fruiting by stretching its branches horizontally. Just make sure that there is just one stem leader on top and that the tree have at least a maximum of 8 main branches since they are still considerably young. Cheers to all the apple growers :)
Excellent how to!
Thanks for going further with exposing people to this idea!
@papa-pepper thanks! I'm glad you liked it :)
I hope it helps you planting your apple seeds.
You provided some additional information that may indeed be very helpful!
Thanks for that.
Wow, great post! I did essentially this with some lemon seeds this year and have 3 lemon trees growing right now.
@justtryme90 thank you and congratulations with your lemon trees. I have manage to grow some lemon, tangerine, orange and blood orange but I didn't put them in the fridge, I didn't know it would actually work with them, too as those are tropical fruits.
I did peel their seeds off and just put them in the ground sometime in February and as fast as 2 weeks they germinated. It's a new information for me that stratification actually works with tropical seeds. Intrigued now.
Maybe I got lucky? I used a bunch of seeds and only got a few to sprout.
Excellent follow-up article, @englishtchrivy! Would you consider joining @papa-pepper on the Operation Translations for this article?
It would mean spanish language readers would have also a follow-up reading for CUANDO LO INCREIBLE SE TORNA IRRELEVANTE - Lamentando la Obvia Desconexion de las Civilizaciones Modernas y Probablemente Perdiendo $324.000
@traducciones - translate it to which language? Dutch? Tagalog? Korean?
@traducciones I'm sorry I was dead tired from a great party last night so I didn't really understand the question.
Yes, of course, you may translate it go ahead and thank you already @ traducciones.
If you need the direct links for the pics buzz me in the steemit chat I have the same name.
Thank you for allowing this.
Operation Translation is growing and I am currently working on an update post about it.
Looks like I will be mentioning you in back to back posts!
I link your article and the translation too.
Oh wow @papa-pepper how can I not - it's helpful so why not. Yes, you may - works for me, too. Thank you very much as well.
Thank you @englishtchrivy! I´ll let you known when it's ready.
Here the spanish translation of your article:
Cómo Cultivar Tus Propios Manzanos Desde La Semilla
Thanks for this great post Up voted and followed
@me-tarzan, @sheand8, @gikitiki and @siams thank you!
I have yet to try this because I live in Florida and have not seen ONE apple tree in the area. Don't they thrive better when they have a cold season? I come from Upstate New York where apple orchards are everywhere. I miss it.
@merej99 yes, they do thrive and grow better in colder places but there's a this guy who grows Anna Apples in Florida and sells them. There is hope so you could either buy already grown apples or grow your own from seeds?
my ultimate goal is to have Asian pear trees! I had seeds but my fridge killed them as it never maintained a steady temperature - so they literally froze then thawed...then rotted. :( I'll try again when I have my own piece of land where I can grow food and frolic at will :)
I wish you all the best to achieve your goal @merej99.
I have two apple trees, both 5 years old (approx). 1 has no fruit- it doesn't flower. The other is covered in apples- all ready to be picked, Yum! There is nothing quite like picking an apple from your own garden.
Johnny Appleseed thanks you and @papa-pepper.
Thanks for sharing this! I've always been fascinated by gardening and growing things from seed.
@rebeccamorgan It's always amazing how articles could make us bump into each other and find out we're not alone at what we do. Cheers!
I liked your article. Helps you like mine ♥ @siams
Superb post @englishtchrivy!
I remember this I think in the 5th grade at biology class I learned how to do this and I was so happy.
When you grow something, you feel ...like ...you created life, even if it is small you feel content.
PS: I told you in the last coment that I canot upvote with 100%, now finally I can so Upvoted with 100% power. Steem on !
love this post thanks
this is a great reminder of how easy it is to get started gardening or starting a nursery. even though only 1 out of every 20 might be a "great" eating apple...you are doing more good than you know by continuing on and improving every species of apple. Plus you are having fun, and if you have children, you can teach them part of the cycle of life. It's therapeutic to grow things, helpful for the next generation of humans. It also shows an optimism for the future. It solidifies a belief that you and people who will be here after you can enjoy literally "the fruits of your labour"
@cavemanrob well said thank you I couldn't agree more. I don't have children but who knows if we get to leave this earth the next owner of this house may have one and hopefully they enjoy every tree in here.
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