How to Grow Apple Trees From Seed

How To Grow Apple Trees From Seed

Have you ever tried to grow apple trees from seeds collected from an apple? It certainly makes good sense that they would germinate. They are seeds and seeds are supposed to grow, right?

I’ve heard people say apples seeds collected from apples are hybridized and therefore can’t grow because hybrids are sterile.

They are correct in that most commercially grown apples hold hybridized seeds inside. They are probably incorrect that this is the reason why your apple seeds don’t germinate.

Bees bring pollen from one tree to the next. If the bee recently visited a delicious apple tree then visits a granny smith apple tree the resulting apples would produce delicious x granny smith seeds.

You might come up with the next award winning apple variety but don’t count on it.

These seeds are not going to produce a granny smith or a delicious apple tree. They would produce a tree with mixed genetics.

Granny smith and delicious are hybrids themselves, this means the new seeds would be ploy-hybrid. This doesn’t have much to do with viability; the seeds can still be fertile. The myth that seeds collected from hybridized apples are sterile might be caused by the fact that apple seeds need to be stratified before they will germinate. Stratification means the seeds have to be treated with cool temperatures for a certain length of time before they will germinate. Most people probably don’t think to stratify their apple seeds. The seeds never germinate hence the idea that they are sterile or infertile.

If you collect seeds from an apple and put them in soil or a terrarium, your apple seeds likely won’t germinate for 2 reasons. The seeds need a dry out period followed by a stratification period. If you skip these 2 steps you probably won’t have success germinating your apple seeds.

If you want to germinate apple seeds collected from an apple first let the seeds dry out for 3-4 weeks. Set the seeds on a piece of wax paper etc and roll them over every day or 2. After a month or so the seeds lose that dark shine and get a lighter dryer look. This is a good indication the seeds have dried well.

Once the seeds are dry put them in a container or zip lock bag. You can also add soil if you wish. Place the container or bag in your refrigerator for about 3 months.

If you chose to add soil you can moisten the soil after about 10 or 11 weeks. Keep a good watch on the bag and let fresh air in often. You should start to see leaves popping out of the soil in a few weeks if everything went right.If you didn’t choose to add soil you can try to plant the seeds directly into pots or in the ground. If you time it out you can let the seeds dry over the winter and put them into the refrigerator 3 months before the frost usually leaves. Cool weather seems to help apple seeds sprout as well. Commercially grown apple varieties are usually grafted to a wild variety rootstock. The wild variety will be hearty and adapted to the local climate. This method not only produces more apples, without grafting, certain varieties wouldn’t be able to grow in certain climates. Grafting allows commercial farmers to produce more varieties in limited opportunity type climates.

This brings another complication into the whole idea of growing cross pollinated apple seeds. You don’t know it the new variety you get will be tolerant to you local climate. The tree might simply die off after a winter or 2.

If you do manage to succeed in starting apple trees from seed don’t forget to protect them from critters. Rabbits and deer like to eat fruit trees, especially young tender ones. Put up some kind of fence for rabbits and use other defenses against deer etc.

Deer, rabbits and other herbivores have also very likely been the culprits of that mystical apple tree that appeared in your field or at your cabin and in those areas that don’t usually get mowed. Animals eat apples and the seeds that pass through these animals can still be viable. I’ve seen many apple trees spring up in my aunt’s horse pasture when I was growing up. We would collect apples from wild trees growing in the woods and feed the scabby ones to her horses in the autumn. The following summer new apple trees would sprout up around the pasture.

A Good time to collect apple seeds is when mom is making an apple pie. Sometimes I eat an apple I think is exceptional and save the seeds. Who knows I might get lucky or I might just have a little fun.

Growing apple trees from commercially grown seeds isn’t really a bad thing. It would make a great project if you are interested in seeing what kind of apples you will get. I suggest starting this project at a young age if you want to see the results though.

Another reason to start apples from seed would be for a science fair project. You could try germinating apple seeds that have been stratified for different periods of time, some that were frozen, some that were never stratified and see which method produced the best results.

Good luck with your apple seeds!

Collecting and growing seeds is one of my many hobbies. Visit my website from more information. Seeds

How to Keep Critters Out of the Garden

Rabbits, Deer, Chipmunks, Squirrels, Gophers, Moles, Voles and Ground Hogs are probably our biggest challenge in our Vegetable and Flower Gardens. Following are a few easy tips on how to get rid of these pests:

There are all natural repellents such as ShakeAway, Liquid Fence, Deer Away and Critter Ridder.

These all natural repellents all work well and all work in different ways.

Shake Away is a granular Predator Urine product. This is a fantastic product. It creates the scent of predators such as fox, coyote and bobcat. They will not wash away in the rain and do not evaporate. They are not messy or highly stinky, like their liquid counterparts. They even have one for cats.

Liquid Fence Products such as their Mole and Vole repellent are odor and taste based repellents. Mole and Vole is all natural liquid that is sprayed and gets down into the soil to coat the roots of plants and earthworms. Their tasty meal is no longer tasty. They simply go elsewhere to look for food. It is long lasting and won’t harm vegetation.

Critter Ridder by Havahart comes as a granular or a liquid and is listed OMRI organic. It will repel skunks, ground hogs, squirrels, racoons, dogs and cats. They are both pepper and capsaicin based products.

Critter Ridder Deer and Rabbit repels by scent and it lasts up to 3 months. It is also listed OMRI organic.

These are all safe, natural products. There are a few other items that also work well. Human hair and dog fur will also work. Human hair works the best. Go to your local Barber Shop and ask for some hair. Yeah, they might look at you a little funny at first, but they will think you are a genius when you tell them what its for. Put it around the perimeter of your garden. This will decompose naturally. It may need to be applied once or twice. With all these products, once a Critter knows your garden or flower beds are not a safe or tasty place to go…they usually will not come back.

Happy Gardening!

Vera Pappas writes articles about sustainable outdoor living and is co-owner of which hosts sustainable outdoor living products.

Keeping The Deer Away From Your Garden

Although it might be the quickest choice to just spray a deer repellent on your plants and shrubs then walk away and forget about it for a while, this is not the only choice obviously. It’s one of the quickest and in many cases the most effective. I wanted to let you know what others are trying. I constantly search the internet for what people are doing to deal with this problem. Here is what I found. Let’s start with the most effective:
Building a fence:
Obviously nothing beats a sturdy fence around your garden or home to keep the deer from getting to your flowers and plants. It provides the best results but it has some very significant draw backs. It is costly; although there are many different ones out there, it will cost you money and time to put them up. It’s labor intensive, you have to build it, but once you build it you are basically done.
The other draw back for having a fence is that it’s not necessarily pretty and might block any nice view you might have. And if the deer is eating the plants in front of your home, building a fence around it might not be a nice option. But if how-it-looks is not a concern and you want a permanent solution for your garden, this one is your best choice in the long run.
Devices that shock the deer:
There are electric operated devices that sense the deers presence and shoot out a sound or a jet of water to keep the deer away. The manufacturers claim it works well, but I have not been able to find any tests that prove that they do.
I am also guessing that the sound would scare the folks that are in the house as well. I have read that it disturbs the neighbors. There are also devices which give out a sound that only the deer hears and humans do not. I’m researching how effective these are and will write about them later.
Smell based and taste based repellents:
There are a lot of deer repellents out there and basically in these two categories. There are repellents that are EPA approved for edible plants but you need to spray them often. There are also deer repellents that both use smell and taste to repel the deer. There are a lot of tests that are done on deer repellents.
Natural deer repellents:
This category goes from other animal’s urine to home-made recipes of rotten eggs and garlic to human hair and dead animal body parts… I did not find any tests on these and could not say how effective they are.
Deer repellent plants:
This is the preemptive approach. Build a garden that has plants that deer don’t like to eat. There are a lot of sites that have information on what types of deer repellent plants there are. Some sites even rate them with a scale and group them by the most deer repellent to least deer repellent plants. I think this is a great approach for the front of the house and with the right deer repellent you should be okay.
Ultimately, deer is a mammal and wants to survive. If your yard is the only one out there with food for the deer and there is not much else around; short of having a fence nothing will stop them from eating your garden. Think about it, if you were really hungry and your life dependent on it, you will eat the plant that tasted bad and smelled bad as well. You wouldn’t care about the water or the loud sound. You would still eat.

Jason Creation – Want to learn more about the basic deer repellent or even the DeerGaurd deer repellent, then look no further.

Deer-Proofing Your Garden – Don’t serve their favorites

Any time we see a deer or two, most of us just want to say, "Aw, look at the pretty deer," particularly if there is a fawn in the group.

But homeowners who have tried to keep a garden looking beautiful in a neighborhood often visited by deer has a few other choice words for these animals. Most of the time, the reason they are in our yards is that housing developments have encroached on their natural habitat. How can we find a way to co-exist?

As deer have adapted to the world of humans and the related daily activity such as fast-moving cars, they are also raising their young in the same environment, creating a new generation of animals that live in a suburban world without fear. But no matter where they roam, these animals have the same instinct – survival.

When deer are hungry, they will eat almost anything, so buying the so-called deer-proof plants may be a waste of money. Even juniper bushes, normally distasteful to deer, will be eaten in a phase of extreme hunger. They may even chew on the bark of trees, using that as roughage.

However, under normal circumstances, many plants are less inviting to deer, so adding those to your garden may be a way to maintain your home's curb appeal and still be kind to animals. Plants native to specific regions are often less appealing than carefully tended garden foliage and bushes. In Colorado, for example, shrubs less tasty to deer include Austrian copper rose, golden currant, lilacs and Oregon grape holly. Perennial flowers may also prove less inviting, such as lily-of-the-valley, Shasta daisy and Russian sage. Many ground-cover plants such as morning glory, English ivy or creeping mahonia are deer-resistant, as are herbs, including lavender and marjoram.

Most University Extension Service departments and municipalities have information on regional plants that are less likely to invite deer into your yard.

Other non-plant solutions include deer repellents, but these have varying degrees of success at keeping the animals away from your plants. They often have to be re-applied if it rains, or if irrigation occurs on a regular basis.

The other solution is to build a deer fence around your garden. using polypropylene mesh fencing, which blends in with the surrounding landscape, can be easily installed and is the most cost-effective choice. Like most deer fences, it should be at least six- to eight-feet high to be effective.

How to Stop Deer From Destroying Your Landscape

I really like seeing my colorful tulips in the spring and bright yellow daylily in the summer. But one major problem that I have encountered here in the Midwest is what is know as “deer browsing.” Deer browsing basically means that your landscape becomes a salad bar for hungry deer.

I think that’s a cute term, and deer themselves are even cuter, but truthfully, deer feeding is devastating to my expensive shrubs and perennials.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really like deer. We see them in the cornfield behind our home nearly everyday. I just don’t want the deer eating up my plantings in the process.

How to Protect Your Landscape from Deer Feeding

It is nearly impossible to completely stop deer damage to your shrubs, especially if their populations are high; but you can reduce it to the point where it is not noticeable.

The most obvious way to reduce damage is to find out what the deer are eating and just don’t put that in your landscape! But I like to think we can strike a balance between our human love for flowers and perennials, and the deer’s voracious need to ingest them.

Another idea is to surround the deer’s favorite plants with varieties that they don’t regularly feed on. For example, deer love tulips, but very rarely eat daffodils. So you plant a few tulips within a large ring of daffodils. This may seem logical, but trust me, it does not work! Deer are not stupid and they’ll trample those trumpety yellow daffs just to get to your Darwin Hybrids!

Deer Prevention Using Special Scents and Repellent

The two types of deer repellents are ‘contact’ repellents and ‘area’ repellents.

Contact repellents are applied directly to plants, causing them to taste bad. Area repellents are placed in a problem spot and repel by their foul odor.

Spray or spread contact repellents on a dry day with temperatures above freezing and concentrate on smaller plants first. Older, larger trees may be treated only on their new growth as it is most tender. Treat to a height 6 feet above the maximum expected snow depth.

Home Remedy Deer Repellent

A spray of 20 percent whole eggs and 80 percent water is one of the most effective repellents. To prevent the sprayer from clogging, remove the screen or white membrane attached to the end before mixing the eggs. The egg mixture is weather resistant but must be reapplied in about 30 days. Be prepared, however, as this spray smells like arse to humans after a few days also! Something about rotting egg smell doesn’t seem too down-home!

Other home-remedy deer repellents are not too effective, but they are worth mentioning anyway just for fun. These include small, fine-mesh bags of human hair (about two handfuls) and bar soap hung from branches of trees. Replace both soap and hair bags often to reset the scent. It is also a good idea to mix up the scents by using different people’s hair and different brands of soap. You have to keep things fresh! (pun inteneded)

Keep in mind that methods that work in one area or for one person may not work at all in an area more highly frequented by deer. You need to constantly try new things and switch them up.

Deer Fences

Of course, you could put up fences everywhere and that will pretty much stop the deer, but they have been known to jump fairly high. In addition, fencing blocks the view of my tulips and that defeats the purpose.

I hope the ideas above will help keep your landscape from becoming the next deer buffet stop. Remember, the key is to try several different methods, and continually switch them up so keep the deer on their toes; or hoofs, if you will.

Al Haneson offers advice and details about sciattica back pain and hair lice on the internet.

Preventing Deer From Eating Your Tomato Plants

Not only do you wait for that great harvest of tomatoes but you may have deer waiting to share your harvest with you. When this is the case you will want to prevent these deer from eating not only your tomato plants but anything that is in your garden. You will not be successful in preventing that deer from coming into your garden and eating dinner unless you have the right products to stop them. There are several products on the market that may interest you with a variety of deer repellents and even deer fencing you will be able to shop and make the best choice in keeping deer out of your tomatoes and your garden.

When trying to keep the deer away from your property you want a safe and effective method to keep the deer away. You will be able to find a product that will not only keep the deer away from your garden but is safe and easy to use. There are many different sprays on the market that will allow you to create a safe zone for your garden. Spraying these products around the perimeter of your garden will keep the deer from having your tomatoes for dinner. When you are using spray products most are safe for humans, other animals, and plants so you will be able to keep your garden and family safe. These sprays are designed to scare the deer away through taste and smell. With bitter tastes and smells that tell the deer predator’s are near by the deer are sure to leave your garden alone.

There are also concentrate mixtures and granular products that can be just as safe and just as effective. You can find one that will allow you to keep the deer away yet let the dogs and children play safely on your property. Some of these products deter more than one animal from coming on your property so make sure the product you choose is exactly what you need. Another thing to be concerned about when you are choosing a product to keep the deer away is the amount of times you will have to reapply the product. This may cut into your time and your budget so checking the frequency of application is important to make sure you get the most effectiveness out of the product.

There are also fences available that will deter deer away from your garden. These fences can provide safe and effective protection against the deer entering your property or certain space. They are easy to use and can be a great benefit in also keeping out other large animals. You can see that you have many options when it comes to deterring deer away from your garden. Whether you need the protection of a fence or a liquid fence you can find what you are looking for. When you want to create a safe perimeter around your property you can with the variety of products that are available. When you find the right product for your deer problem you will be able to enjoy your harvest of tomatoes and vegetables without sharing.