How to grow an apple tree from apple seed


How to grow an apple tree from apple seed


Very few store-bought apples have the sweet taste and crispness of fresh-picked apples straight from your own garden. Varieties of apples you can grow range from those best used for baking, such as the Pippin, and varieties for eating fresh like the Red Delicious. Whatever variety you want to grow from seed, keep in mind no apple variety will grow true from seed.

Step One

Preparation of the Apple Seeds - Collect apple seeds from a fresh, ripe apple. Slice the apple in half. Pick out the seeds using a pair of tweezers or a table knife.

Step Two

Place the seeds in a cup of tap water. Let the seeds soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard all seeds that float; they will not sprout.

Step Three

Mix together about 1 cup of potting mix with enough water to moisten the potting mix. But avoid letting it become drenched. Scoop the moistened potting mix into a sealable container, like a zipper-top plastic bag.

Step Four

Set the apple seeds into the plastic bag and mix them into the moistened potting mix. Place the bag in a refrigerator that is set at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the bag in the fridge for three months.

Step Five

Planting Apple Seeds - Find a sunny location in your garden for planting the apple seeds. Turn over the soil using a shovel. Use a metal rake to sift through the soil, picking out garden debris, such as rocks, weeds or sticks.

Step Six

Create a 1/2-inch deep furrow in the planting area. Plant one apple seed every 12 inches. Cover the seeds with no more than 1/2 inch of soil.

Step Seven

Water the area thoroughly using a gentle spray of water. To prevent birds or rodents from picking out the seeds, cover the area with fine chicken wire or plastic netting.

Step Eight

Water the area as needed to keep the seed bed moist. Sprouting of apple seeds should begin in about four to five weeks. Once the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, remove every other seedling so they are spaced about 2 feet apart. Then when they are about 8 inches tall, remove every other one so they are about 3 feet apart.

Step Nine

Fertilize the apple trees during the first year of growth. Use 10-6-4 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 lb. for the first year, doubling it every year thereafter.

Step Ten

Prune back apple trees during their dormant season (winter). After one to two years of growth, Ohio State University suggests removing all lateral branches below the 18-inch point on the trunk.


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