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How To Grow Apple Trees From Seeds: Tips And Tricks For Success

by Jenny

Growing apples from seeds is not just a myth. It is indeed possible to cultivate an apple tree using the seeds found within the fruit you purchased during your recent trip to the grocery store. However, it’s a gardening journey demanding a significant amount of patience and may not produce optimal outcomes. Plus, it’s important to note that apple trees grown from seeds won’t necessarily produce fruit identical to the parent tree.

Preparing the Seeds

The first step on your apple-growing journey is to prepare the seeds. Start by enjoying a delicious apple, and once you’ve enjoyed every last bite, collect the seeds. Rinse them gently to remove any remaining fruit flesh and let them air dry. Some gardeners recommend removing the outer seed coat to help with germination, but it’s not always necessary. Now, you’re ready to move on to the planting stage.

Planting Apple Seeds

Select a suitable planting medium. A mix of potting soil and sand is a good choice, ensuring good drainage. Don’t forget to moisten the medium before planting to help settle the soil. Then, plant your apple seeds about half an inch deep, spacing them a few inches apart in a container or directly in the ground. Now, give them a good watering, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Next comes the waiting game, and this is where patience is key. It can take several weeks for the apple seeds to germinate. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide adequate sunlight or a grow light. Once your seedlings have grown a couple of inches and have several leaves, they’re ready for transplanting.

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Transplanting Apple Seedlings

When your apple seedlings have reached the right size, it’s time to transplant them to a larger container or your chosen outdoor location. We suggest choosing a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Before transplanting, acclimate your seedlings to the outdoor environment by placing them outside for gradually longer periods each day over the course of a week.

When transplanting, dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the seedling’s root system without bending or crowding the roots. Gently remove the seedling from its original container and place it in the hole, ensuring that the soil level matches what it was in the original container. Backfill with soil and water thoroughly is helpful to settle the soil and remove any air pockets. You can also mulch around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Apple seedlings need regular pruning to develop a strong and healthy structure, so prune off any dead, diseased, or crossing branches in late winter or early spring.

Waiting For The Apple Tree

Now, let’s address the big question – when will your apple seedlings bear fruit? Here’s the thing: growing apple trees from seeds is a long journey, as your apple trees grown from seeds don’t follow the same genetic blueprint as their parents. That means they can take quite a while to mature and produce fruit.

In fact, it can take several years, often five to ten years or more, before your apple seedlings are ready to bear fruit. This lengthy timeline is because the seedlings need to grow into mature trees first. Then, they have to go through the process of flowering, pollination, and fruit development. Additionally, the apples they produce may not resemble the parent apple, and the fruit might not be as tasty.

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If your main goal is to grow apples for a reliable harvest, you may be better off obtaining apple tree saplings from a nursery or propagating from known cultivars through grafting or budding. This ensures you get the type of apples you desire, and you’ll start enjoying fruit much sooner.

Growing apple trees from seeds is a wonderful journey filled with patience and the anticipation of what unique apples might emerge. While it may not provide quick results in terms of fruit production, it offers a unique gardening experience. So, enjoy the process, and remember that the joy of growing your apple tree from a tiny seed is a reward in itself.

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