Growing Apple Trees From Seeds

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by

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Growing Apple Trees From Seeds: an activity for children of all ages. In this activity, children will experiment with growing apple seeds into new trees. This experiment is a lesson in patience and a good example of how we have obtained not just many varieties of apples, but of all the food that has been grown and developed over thousands of years!

  • Supplies:
    • 12 apple seeds (have fun eating the apples to get them!)
    • 1 egg carton
    • potting soil
    • 1 medium planting pot
    • refrigerator
    • gardening notebook/journal
    • pencil and eraser
    • cardstock paper
    • page protectors
    • patience
  • Have your child fill each cell of an egg carton with slightly damp potting soil.
  • Next, place one seed into the soil of each cell, pushing it down into the soil and covering it up with a little more soil. Then place it in the refrigerator.
  • After 60 days or more, remove the carton. Place it in a warm place and keep the soil moist until one or more of your seeds sprout (It’s likely many of them won’t sprout, but you have 12 chances).
  • Once the seedling is a couple of inches tall, transplant it to your planting pot with more potting soil. Keep the soil level on the stem the same as it was in the egg carton.
  • Continue keeping the soil moist but not soaking wet.
  • After a few weeks (and it’s not freezing anymore outside) start “hardening off” the seedling by taking it out during the day and bringing it in again at night. When there is no chance of frost you can leave it outside permanently.
  • When planting seedlings started indoors, it is important to first “harden them off”. This simply means taking them outside for increasing periods of time each day over one week and exposing them to more and more weather conditions each day. For example:
    • Day 1: place your seedlings in a shady spot protected from wind for two hours (set a timer with an alarm to make sure you don’t forget about them). Bring them back inside after the two hours.
    • Day 2: place your seedlings in the same place for four hours.
    • Day 3: place your seedlings in a place with protected sun such as under a tree for four hours.
    • Day 4: place your seedlings in the same place and increase the time to five hours.
    • Day 5: place your seedlings in a place that gets partial sun for five hours.
    • Day 6: place your seedlings in a the same place for 7 hours.
    • Day 7: place your seedlings in the same place for 9 hours.
    • Make sure that you monitor your plants and adjust care as needed.
    • Keep it in the pot in a mostly shady spot for the entire season.
  • Next spring plant the seedling in the ground or transplant it to a larger permanent pot.
  • For an older child: Record methods, observations, and other pertinent details on a journal page.
  • Place the page or pages in a protector when finished and include them in the garden notebook/journal. You may want to add pictures of your tree at the different stages as well.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.