An article for those who want to learn about the intricacies of planting, growing, breeding sea buckthorn. Here you will find answers to many of your questions. Sea buckthorn is a dioecious plant. For full pollination, you need to plant one "male" tree on 3-4 "female" trees. The varieties Altai and Gnome are male pollinators. Among the "female" varieties, one can distinguish such varieties as Gift of the Garden, Otradnaya and Chuiskaya. It will not be easy for a novice gardener to determine which sea buckthorn has which sex. Therefore, initially it is better to buy sea buckthorn in a reliable garden nursery. Here you can buy your favorite varieties of sea buckthorn.
Before flowering in spring or autumn after leaf fall, you can distinguish a male tree from a female one by the buds. On it, the buds will be two to three times larger than on female bushes. On males there are 5-7 covering kidney scales, and on females - 2.
Features of planting sea buckthorn
The varieties have been selected, it's time to find the optimal place for the plant on your site. With proper planting, good care, a varietal sea buckthorn tree bears fruit up to 30-40 years. The berries ripen by August-September.
Sea buckthorn does not like heavy soils and high groundwater. If their level is less than 1.5 meters, then it will either die, or it will grow and bear fruit poorly. Sea buckthorn is very fond of light and sun, so it cannot be planted in the shade and partial shade. She will feel great on a gentle slope, where there is no stagnant water and light soil. On a flat area, provided the tree with the necessary conditions, it will also grow and develop well.
The best time for planting sea buckthorn is the second half of April. Several plants are planted at a distance of 2, 5-3 meters from each other. It is better to plant one male tree in the center of the composition, and 3-4 female trees on the sides. For better pollination, place the male bush on the side of the prevailing winds. Then more pollen will fall on the female flowers.
Planting seedlings is normal. A wide hole 60 cm deep is being dug. Drainage is laid down - broken brick, expanded clay or coarse sand. Humus is placed on top of a third of the pit: if the soil is not peaty, then peat, if peaty, sod land. Next, a seedling is placed, the pit is filled with the same nutritious soil, then 1-2 buckets of water are poured on top.
Another feature of sea buckthorn is that it does not like other plants near or under its crown. Therefore, it is better to keep the ground under it under "black steam" - that is, free from weeds. They are periodically removed, and the trunk circle is mulched with peat. Since most of the roots are located in the surface layer, the trunk circle can be loosened to a depth of no more than 5 cm.
Sea buckthorn does not like the increased acidity of the soil. Therefore, in advance, from autumn, to spring planting, the place for sea buckthorn must be lime. Then it is repeated every three to five years, adding 1 m2 300-800 g of lime. Helps to reduce its acidity and ash. It can be scattered around the trunk circle before watering, or you can place 100 g of ash in 10 liters of water, leave for 3-4 hours, and then feed.
Sea buckthorn care rules
It is worth starting to care for sea buckthorn in early spring. In late March or early April, bushes, trees are cut off - dried, diseased branches are removed. Pruning is also done for the purpose of thinning, since the thickened crown leads to a rapid aging of the plant and a decrease in yield.
The trunk circle is kept under black steam for the first years after planting. Subsequent - under tinning, periodically mowing the grass. This helps to reduce the number of root suckers. Tinning excludes loosening of the earth under the bushes, which will prevent shallow roots of the plant from mechanical damage.
If you see that the plant is sick, you urgently need to cut off the drying out branches and burn them. This measure is effective, harmless to trees and berries. If this is not done, viruses quickly spread through the internal vessels of the tree and can destroy it.
Despite the fact that sea buckthorn loves watering, it does not tolerate stagnant water at the roots. Therefore, it is not placed in lowlands and where there is high groundwater.
Watering and fertilizing sea buckthorn
This should be done regularly during the hot season. Under one tree, depending on its size, 4-10 buckets are poured at a time in the summer. From the end of August, in September, the irrigation rate is increased to 6–12 buckets.
This is required to "water" the trees before they leave for the winter, and contributes to more abundant fruiting. In addition, it makes it possible for sea buckthorn to regain strength and meet the cold season well prepared.
A unique feature of sea buckthorn is that it has nodules with nitrogen-fixing bacteria on its roots, with the help of which it supplies itself with nitrogen. Therefore, organic and mineral nitrogen fertilizers should be applied sparingly, only when necessary.
If the leaf mass does not grow well or it is pale green, then at the end of April the plant is fed with a mullein diluted in water (1:10) or urea (20 g per 10 l of water). But preference is given to phosphorus and potash fertilizers.
It is not recommended to spray sea buckthorn with pesticides, since the berries must grow in ecologically clean conditions, otherwise, along with medicinal properties, they may also have harmful impurities.
Breeding methods for sea buckthorn
You can breed this valuable crop on your site if you propagate sea buckthorn by layering, shoots, grafting or cuttings. You can also propagate sea buckthorn by seeds, but this is the prerogative of professional breeders who have skills and special knowledge.
It is not difficult to propagate sea buckthorn with shoots and layering. She grows on her own roots, so her shoots are varietal and cultivated. In the spring, you need to dig up a small seedling, chop off with a shovel or ax the place of its connection with the mother or father tree. Plant in early spring or fall along with a clod of earth.
If you know the grafting technique, then you can graft some male cuttings onto the female to save space in the garden. Then one tree will self-pollinate and bear fruit perfectly.
How to grow sea buckthorn - watch the video:
It is useful to know that the fruits of sea buckthorn have been widely used since ancient times and are still used in folk medicine, and flowers - as a cosmetic product. Sea buckthorn oil, which is squeezed out of berries, is especially appreciated.