You can find many varieties of apples in a grocery store today. There are Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Pink Ladies, Galas, Rome Beauties, Granny Smiths, Jonagolds and MacIntosh, just to name a few. Most of these apples are grown in the United States.
Apples are a versatile fruit because they can be eaten raw right off the tree. Or, they can be cooked or baked. There is applesauce, apple pie, cake, cider, cider vinegar, and much more!
Just like many other fruits, apples have a long history. Their seeds and small apple trees were brought over to America from England about four hundred years ago. A man named John Chapman is credited with planting apple seeds across the United States. He later earned the nickname, “Johnny Appleseed” for his contributions.
You can easily grow your own apple trees from seeds, although it does take a lot of time for your trees to mature and produce an edible crop of fruit. If you plant a small apple tree, it will take about three to four years for the tree to mature and start to bear fruit. Growing apple trees from seeds will take upwards of ten years before your trees will produce an edible crop.
Apple seeds need to be started indoors. This can be done in one of two ways: you can place some apple seeds into a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over into a small square. Keep the paper towel wet, and place it in your refrigerator. Keep checking the seeds and keeping them moist. In a week or so, your apple seeds will sprout. They are now ready to plant outside. Or, you can use a Styrofoam cup filled with potting soil to start your seeds. Dig a shallow hole in the middle of the potting soil and plant the apple seeds there. Set the container on a sunny windowsill and keep the soil moistened. In a week or so, the apple seeds will sprout. They will then be ready to plant outside.
Once the apple seeds have sprouted, you will be ready to plant them outside. Choose a location that receives a lot of sunlight. Use a shovel or a rototiller to loosen up a fairly good size patch of soil. Rake the rocks, sticks, and other debris from this patch. Dig two shallow holes. Divide your apple seeds and plant them between the two holes. Cover around them with dirt firmly. Keep them watered and keep the ground free of weeds. You can place a clean glass jar upside over each apple tree to help protect it from the elements and from animals. If you are planting several rows of trees, as in an orchard, the rows should be planted approximately thirty to thirty-five feet apart. This will give you plenty of room to spray, prune, and otherwise care for the apple trees after they have matured.
After your apple tree has grown up to a height of about two or three feet, it is now time to stake it up. Simply use a stake or a thin strip of sturdy wood that measures about four feet long. Pound the stake or wood strip into the ground about four inches from the apple tree. Leave about three and a half feet of the stake or wood strip exposed. Use a piece of an old rag, or, a leg of an old pair of pantyhose to loosely tie the tree to the stake or wood strip. The rag, or pantyhose, and the stake will help support the apple tree and help it to grow straight. Wind, heavy rains, et cetera, can bend the young tree over if it doesn’t have anything to support it.
Mature apple trees need to be sprayed with pesticides in order to keep them free from bugs and diseases. They also need to be pruned to a rounded shape. Pruning also gets rid of the nonproductive branches on the apple trees.
Other than spraying and pruning, your trees that you grew from apple seeds won’t need much caring for.