Apple Seedling fun continues, another question.

cocoabeachloraxMay 15, 2010

Zone 9B

Alright, so my apple seedlings have sprouted their second set of leaves and I've transplanted them into 5" jiffy pots. I'm thinking that when they've grown to whatever size those of you with experience recommend I will transfer them to a regular pot. What size do you recommend next ?

Also, hardening them off, a few specific questions. It is about the same low temperature outside overnight as it is inside my home during the night give or take 3 or 4 degrees. Do I really need to pull them in at night ? We're central Florida so the risk of a sudden temperature drop is nil at this point. Perhaps I should pull them in mid day as the temperature will sore to upper 80s and that is about 10 degrees hotter than they have seen on my windowsill.

They are in shade right now, under the overhang of my lanai, how do I best start exposing them to the sun ? Do I make a canopy over them, dappled shade with spots of sun under a tree ? How many days do I wait to transition them to full sun ?

Any advice is very welcome, thank you so much.

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yiorges-z5il

The 3 factors ( light, high & low tempertures, water) must all be considered & the transition from "the house" to the "yard" .... if the diferences are minor then 1-2 days may be all thats need & in your case no need to bring in overnight... I would transfer the seedlings to a 1 gal container but be careful not to overwater

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 8:48AM
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cocoabeachlorax

Thank you so much.

I have a friend who will take one of the seedlings for her garden. She has a great big sunny yard that will give it plenty of light.

I have no idea what I'll do with the other 10 seedlings ! I was assuming some just wouldn't make it, but they are all thriving. I'm going to keep them potted and grow them as tall as they'll get and if/ when they are substantial enough I'm going to see if my kids' school wants a donation, they need the shade so badly. It's an interesting problem to have.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 12:31PM
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calistoga_al

You are letting apple seedlings manage your life. Keeping plants alive you have no use for is wasting your time and energy. Al

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:36AM
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cocoabeachlorax

That is an interesting opinion about my use of my time and energy, however I came here looking for advice regarding the continued care of these seedlings not opinions about that course of action.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 7:02PM
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hubert

Did you start the apple trees from seed ?
Thanks
Hubert

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 10:55AM
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calistoga_al

Last year I grew 300 Coleus plants and 100 would have been plenty. At years end I dumped 200 one gallon pots. I am sorry to have projected my weaknesses onto you. Apple seedlings will be OK in one gallon pots for up to two years usually, after that they become root bound and must be tied to something to keep them upright. Al

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 2:17PM
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cocoabeachlorax

Hubert, yes we started the apple trees from seed. My 5 year old wondered aloud if we could grow new trees from the seeds and so we did our homework, crossed our fingers, and waited. For us it was as simple as placing the seeds straight from the apple into a ziploc with potting soil in the bottom drawer of my fridge and then forgetting about them for several weeks. We then gently transferred them into pots on the window sill and they're doing great.

I know that they won't necessarily ever bear fruit here in Central Florida and may stress from the lack of true dormancy. I know that if they do bear fruit it may be inedible. However, I also know that the experience and the wonder it has provided for my son (and for me, let's be honest) is worth whatever the outcome.

We're hoping (best case scenario) that between the trees we keep and those we give away that at least one or two will grow tall, give shade, clean air, and some shelter for some critters. Apples would just be icing on the cake.

Al, thank you for the information about the 2 years. This helps me to decide what we'll do as previously I was thinking I'd need to find homes in terra firma for them by this Fall. I think I'll nurture those we don't rehome in pots for one year and try to plant next fall.

This is an awesome experiment and very fulfilling. Thank you again for the education and advice.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 3:58PM
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plantman224(9)

Just saw that someone else tried growing apple seedlings in central Florida, wanted to see how they faired after a few years, I have a Fuji apple seedling that I've selected out of 300 different seedlings (diffrent varieties) and will do it again with southern crab apples. Not for a good dessert variety, just would like some cider apples for zone 9b, anyway drop me a line sometime to say how they are/were. This goes for anyone in florida growing seedling apples, it would be appreciated. Thank you

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:57PM
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plantman224(9)

Just saw that someone else tried growing apple seedlings in central Florida, wanted to see how they faired after a few years, I have a Fuji apple seedling that I've selected out of 300 different seedlings (diffrent varieties) and will do it again with southern crab apples. Not for a good dessert variety, just would like some cider apples for zone 9b, anyway drop me a line sometime to say how they are/were. This goes for anyone in florida growing seedling apples, it would be appreciated. Thank you

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 1:12PM
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