Growing an apple tree from seeds and the rules of caring for a sprout
If you like the apple you bought and want to grow the same variety in your own garden, you can try growing a fruit tree from a seed. Growing an apple tree from seeds is a rather long process, in addition, due to cross-pollination, a new tree may not retain its original characteristics. Growing from seeds is used in breeding to develop new varieties and varieties. However, in amateur gardening, this method is widely used, and you need to know the features of the technology.
- Selection and preparation of seeds for planting
- Growing germinated seeds
- When should a plant be replanted?
- A few tips from professionals
In nature, the apple tree propagates by seeds, but the growing process will be quite difficult and lengthy: there is no guarantee that a tree will grow from one seed, and it will meet all the gardener's expectations. It is important to choose the right seed and prepare him for disembarkation. For planting, you need to select several large ripe fruits and extract seeds from them, which need to be stratified.
Stratification is the creation of conditions as close as possible to natural ones.
This significantly increases seed germination, and germinated plants will be more vigorous. To create conditions typical for the autumn-winter period, you need to place the seeds in a cool, humid environment. In the first period, the temperature should be within 5-7 degrees, in addition, the flow of air should be provided to the seed.
For accelerated germination, it can be placed in one of several types of substrates:
- The seeds are placed in a mixture of sand and peat, it must be moistened. They are placed in the substrate for 6 days, during which time they should swell in a humid environment.
- For optimal gas exchange, sawdust and moss can be mixed in different proportions.
- Another option is sand mixed with sawdust and activated carbon. This version of the substrate is maximally protected from mold due to the presence of coal.
After a week, the moistened seed mixture is placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, it should stand at a low temperature for about two months.
At the end of the stratification period, the seeds will give white shoots, which will then turn into the first roots of the plant.
Stratification begins approximately 3 months before planting young shoots in the ground, therefore, it is necessary to prepare seed and start growing in January. By the beginning of the summer cottage season, the sprout will be ready for transplanting into open ground.
The strongest and most viable shoots are selected for planting in containers with earth. If several varieties are grown, you can provide the containers with stickers so as not to confuse the seedlings in the future. A drainage layer is placed at the bottom of wide pots or boxes, after which the seeds are covered with a layer of nutrient soil. In the store you can buy a special soil mixture specially designed for fruit trees. The sprouts can be immediately placed in peat pots, which are then completely placed in the ground.
It is necessary to pay attention to the type of sprouts. Thin thorns are characteristic of the wild apple tree, from which you can rarely expect tasty fruits. You can immediately remove such seedlings, since there will be no good harvest from them.
Crop plants of good varieties are distinguished by symmetrical arrangement of buds, large leaves and a large trunk diameter.
Young seedlings in autumn it is better to dig up and place them in tall boxes with soil: it is better to protect them from the cold, while they will be provided with sufficient space to grow. Young trees are planted in the ground next fall, in a year they will gain enough strength to survive the winter.
In order for the apple tree to begin bearing fruit faster, the young plant has to be transplanted several times:
- The first transplant is from a nursery to a container with earth. Placing in a large pot or box will help form the strong taproot needed for the tree to survive.
- The second transplant is carried out after the first year of the plant's life: the grown tree must be placed in a larger and deeper container. At the same time, the root bends and gently turns to the side.
- The third, last transplant is carried out when the seedling is ready for planting in the ground. After that, you will need to constantly take care of watering and fertilization, as well as provide the young tree with protection from the cold.
At every transfer you need to try to preserve the root system as much as possible, it depends on how quickly the plant will take root in a new place.
It is important to choose a variety that suits the climatic conditions. If you, for example, choose southern varieties, in temperate climates they will constantly suffer from a lack of sun and heat, this will ensure slow growth. Seed material is not difficult to find, but it is important to choose only the healthiest seeds, which are guaranteed quick germination.
Growing an apple tree from a seed has many subtleties, and even experienced gardeners note that such experiments are not always successful. However, there are some tips to help you increase your chances of success:
- When the seeds are separated from the fruits, they must be immediately rinsed in water. It is better to use running water for this purpose.
- When soaking the seed, the water needs to be changed every day. If it stagnates, the seeds can become moldy and unsuitable for planting.
- To improve growth, you can use special chemical stimulants. It is a complex of chemicals that strengthens plants and provides them with all the nutrients.
- Seeds for stratification should only be fresh. If stored for several years, the chances of successful germination are greatly reduced.
- To make the plant more hardy, it can be immediately grown in the ground taken from that part of the site where the grown apple tree will be planted. In this case, the plants acquire increased winter hardiness.
- You need to choose the right place on the site: planting an apple tree in an open, lighted area where there are no other tall trees. The seedling should receive enough sun, in addition, it is undesirable to place it in the wind. To ensure good pollination, several seedlings with different fruiting times can be planted in the same area. Before planting, humus, wood ash and mineral fertilizer are introduced into the soil to provide a comprehensive top dressing.
Apples grown from seeds are often healthier and stronger than plants transferred to a new location by vegetative means. This is due to the mixing of the genes of the two plants, and the strongest traits transmitted along the genetic lines between generations are defeated. However, such trees will still require a lot of labor.
It is quite possible to grow an apple tree on your own, but any fruit tree will require a lot of work.
Correct timely care will allow the seedlings to firmly settle in the soil, and soon enough the owner will be able to harvest the first crop. The apple tree remains one of the most beloved and widespread fruit trees.
More information can be found in the video.