Besides being the most famous fruit globally, especially to kids, apples are filled with health benefits. That’s why one of the most famous sayings would be “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” You might want to grow your own apple trees believing that you have a green thumb that sure will make you harvest your own apples in the next few years.
Good news! You need not spend on buying apple seeds from a gardening store to grow apple trees because you can plant them just by using the seeds from the apples you just bought!
Preparing apple seeds for planting
For at least six weeks, apple seeds need to be kept under moist refrigeration before they’re planted.
Place them a moist paper towel, and then put the paper towel inside a plastic bag, leaving it a little opening for air exchange. At the back of the refrigerator, store them, and make sure to check on the towel every week and ensure it has good moisture.
Sprouting Apple Seeds on a Paper Towel
Apple seeds have a minimum germination rate, so you’ll be glad to see seeds started sprouting at the end of 6 weeks.
Buying local apples late in the season like months after harvest, they’ve already been kept under refrigeration for many months. You can do further stratification by putting the seeds in a moist paper towel because extra stratification won’t hurt them, but not enough cold hours. Cutting long-stored local apples open, have chances that some of the seeds may have already started to germinate inside them.
Growing Apple Trees From Seeds
Apples aren’t typically grown from seed because they don’t “come true to seed.” For more chances of growth predictability, people grow apple trees by grafting rather than starting from seed. As others say, planting apples from seeds is like playing the lottery.
Chose the seeds from your favorite varieties to plant because a seedling tree will have some of its parents’ characteristics.
HOW TO PLANT APPLE SEEDS
Once a minimum 6-week germination period and the sprouts have grown out, you can plant apple seeds the same way you plant any other seed. You can directly seed them outdoors when it’s after last spring frost, and the soil can be worked. You can also sprout them in pots since germination rates are low and safe from squirrels, mice, and voles.
HOW LONG DO APPLE SEEDS GERMINATE?
Apple seeds germinate reasonably quickly after six weeks of cold stratification. Either the seeds are on the paper towel, they will already be germinating in your refrigerator, and those will arise from the soil quickest after planting. Assuming that the soil temperatures reach about 75 degrees F, which is relatively warm, in 1-2 weeks, the seeds should emerge from the soil.
TRANSPLANTING APPLE SEEDLINGS
You can wait until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees in the spring (or early summer here in the north country), if you’d wish to get them into the ground sooner rather than later.
Once the seedlings are in the ground, they will eventually grow into a full-sized tree, given proper care and nourishment. One significant advantage of growing apples from seedlings is that they will grow stronger, healthier, and larger since they’re not grafted on dwarfing rootstock that handicaps them and limits their nutrients.
Health benefits of eating apples
Regulation of Blood Sugar (good for Diabetes)
The book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing mentions that the fructose (a class of sugar) and antioxidant polyphenols in apples improve metabolic balance and slow sugar absorption in the body. This property of apples is best for people with diabetes who need regular monitoring of blood sugar.
Experts also suggest to include apple on daily diet as it lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s because of the antioxidants called Anthocyanin.
Aids Weight Loss
If you struggle to lose weight, apples can be your great support to slimming down. It contains pectin fiber that helps lower the body’s absorption of excess dietary fats and makes you less hungry even for an extended period that you have not eaten your meals. Dr. Anju Sood, a nutritionist from Bangalore, says that fiber takes the longest to digest, keeping you satiated and prevents you from binging on other fattening and sugar-laden foods. This helps you lose weight in the long run.
Enables Smoother Digestion
Pectin fiber is a soluble fiber that is also helpful in digestion. It draws water from the digestive tract and forms a gel, helping slow digestion and pushing stool through the intestines.