Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sprouting Apple Seeds

This idea for sprouting apple seeds actually came about in the 1st or 2nd grade, when we sprouted some seeds at my house. I don't clearly recall if it was a school assignment or not, although it seems as though it may have been. I do remember those little fellows sprouting, though, so it must have been a success. Just remember that the tree you grow from your seed won't produce the same fruit as the apple it came from. It will be mystery fruit! This experiment will attempt to duplicate my previous results. First, you will need an apple, a knife and a cutting board.

Begin by cutting off the bits that you want to eat (or just eat the apple and save the core, I don't care for eating apples off the core.) Save the core, and try not to cut through any seeds as you are cutting the good bits off.

If you cut across the core you will notice that there are five chambers arranged in a star formation. Each chamber has an apple seed in it. Just shake or scoop the seeds out.

My apple had been sitting in my pantry for a while, so my seeds had already begun to sprout a little. I decided, though, that they might need a little more help to get all the way out of their little skins.

Place your apple seeds on a damp paper towel and fold the paper towel over, creating a little envelope.

Put your little seed packet in a zip top bag, but don't close the bag all the way. Leave it open just a little bit to vent any excess moisture.

Place your seed bag in a warm sunny area. I put mine on the window sill in my living room.
After a few days your seeds should have some sprouts coming out. Mine got a head start, having begun sprouting inside the apple. If your seeds are from a fresher apple, I should think that they would look like this in a week or so. Just keep checking on them!

Now  that you have some sprouts, you'll need a container in which to plant them. I saved and washed a yogurt cup to grow my little apple sprouts in.

Just be sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom. If you don't have good drainage the sprouts may get moldy or rot and won't grow.

Fill the cup with some potting soil and choose your two best sprouts. Out of the five seeds I had, three of them sprouted. I chose the best two out of the three and planted those.

Place your little apple pot in a sunny spot. I put it in my kitchen window with some paper towels underneath to catch any leaks.

After two or three days I had a little plant popping up.

A few days after that I had two little plants.

I let them grow until one of them had five true leaves. (Not the little rounded guys that popped up initially, five proper apple tree leaves.) I culled the runt, and found a container to plant the remaining seedling in.

I used a big, 5 pound sour cream tub to transplant my seedling to. It's a good idea to have a container with a lid, so that you can flip the lid over and use it as a saucer. This will prevent leaks on your counter top and floor when you water.

Drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the container. I probably should have used a bigger drill bit for my holes, but I can always fix it later!

Shovel some potting soil into your container, leaving enough room for the plant to go on top, then fill in more soil around it once it's in the container. Water it well and let it drain, then place it on the saucer you've made from the lid. Keep your seedling indoors until it is big and strong enough to plant outdoors. This is as much as I know to teach you so far, but I will make updates in the future as the little sprout gets bigger.