Q: I work with a pre-kindergarden class. We have been studying apples and the children are curious about the seeds turning into an apple tree. If we planted some of the seeds now would they sprout before the first frost?
A: I don’t want to dampen the kids’ enthusiasm but apple seeds need to be “stratified” (given a three month period of cold, damp conditions) before they sprout. This occurs naturally when apples rot and spend the winter under their parent tree. It’s analogous to your students needing a good sleep each night before they wake up the next day full of energy.
You can try planting the apple seeds now; I’m curious to know what happens. Just to be safe, plant some bean seeds in an indoor pot so you can be assured of sprouts of some sort to show the children.