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Growing Fruit Trees From Seed

Growing Fruit Trees From Seed

Life is tough in my household. You can’t eat anything without my demands following you. Such is the life for kids who like apples. I love buying them apples but they had best not throw that apple core away. I require the seeds from it first! Plus, the chickens like the cores so they’d best not throw them away regardless.

Cold Stratifying Fruit Seeds

Apple seeds need stratified before they will germinate. I cold stratify my seeds in the refrigerator until they have just barely sprouted. Ok, not completely true. I once forgot I had seeds in there and they were leafed out before I planted them. They did not make it. Best to get them when they have just barely started.

A forgotten apple seed, leafed out in fridge and finally planted.
A forgotten apple seed, leafed out in fridge and finally planted.

Whoo that picture is bad. I need a better camera. Anyway, you can barely see the leaves there. I believe these were fuji apple seeds and my very first stratification attempt. I remember they exist a lot better now!

So what I do is easy. I  take out the seeds, put them on a wet paper towel and then put them into a cup that I have labeled with the name of the apple I took them from. I have all the cups stacked and put in a ziploc baggie. This is all kept in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator. Every once in awhile I take them out and check to see if any have sprouted.

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If not, I put them back in the fridge. If they have I plant them in a plastic cup.

I planted 8 germinated apple seeds a week ago and today they look like this:

Growing quite well!

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Now I am also trying to grow rootstock from crab apples I found on a tree in town. The same basic process as regular apples except harvesting these seeds requires more work.

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So far none of them have germinated. They had been dried up hanging on the tree for most of the winter so we shall see what happens.

I also collected various locust seed pods on my daily walks with my parents. We all take our lunch break and walk. They have become quite used to my odd veering off and shoving of various debri into my coat pockets.

To germinate the locust seeds I simply put them in a small “greenhouse” like container with a bit of soil.

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I have germinated many, many seeds this way. It also works. This container has seen many gardens!

The locust seeds did not need to be cold stratified and germinated in just a few days. I have 2 surviving seedlings that are growing quite happily in a windowsill right now.

I believe I only have a few survivors as the seeds had also been collected from the ground in the middle of winter. I did not pre-think most of these projects.

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