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Planting and caring for sea buckthorn is easy. Even a novice gardener will not find it difficult to get a good harvest of berries, subject to certain rules. This article describes the principles of growing sea buckthorn, agricultural techniques and methods of working with this shrub. Its main diseases and pests are listed, as well as recommendations on preventive and control measures are given.
The principles of growing and caring for sea buckthorn
Sea buckthorn is a low deciduous thorny shrub or tree of the Loch family. It is found quite often in the wild, especially in Siberia. Prefers light sandy and pebbly soils, grows along streams, along river banks.
You can plant sea buckthorn in the country both for decorative purposes and for harvesting berries. This plant is quite resistant to both various kinds of diseases and pests. Agrotechnology for growing sea buckthorn is not particularly difficult. Of the mandatory procedures, only pruning is carried out, which is done to form a healthy tree or shrub, as well as for sanitary purposes.
How to distinguish male from female sea buckthorn (photo)
A feature of the culture is that it is a dioecious plant, therefore, the buds of sea buckthorn are male and female, and they are located on different individuals. It is by the kidneys that it is easiest to distinguish a male sea buckthorn plant from a female one. In male sea buckthorn, they are located at the base of young shoots, in a female bush - in the axils of the covering scales. Male buds are larger and collected in the form of spike-shaped inflorescences.
How to distinguish female sea buckthorn from male - photo below.
Important! It is possible to determine the sex of a plant by its buds only after 3-4 years of life.
The difference between a male and female sea buckthorn tree can also be found in the shape of the leaves. In the male plant, the leaf plate is flat, in the female it is curved in the shape of a bowl. The differences between the sea buckthorn of a boy and a girl are also in the form of flowers and their color. Female flowers are yellowish, collected in inflorescences, male flowers are silvery, greenish.
You can also determine the sex of the shrub by the color of the crown in late spring. Male bushes have a characteristic bluish bloom, while female foliage will remain bright green.
A video on how to distinguish male from female sea buckthorn is presented below.
How to plant sea buckthorn
When carrying out work, you must follow some rules for planting sea buckthorn. Here's what to consider first:
- One male plant is capable of pollinating 5–8 females. Most of the fruit trees will only be partially pollinated. Therefore, to obtain a good harvest, the bushes are usually planted in a group, surrounding the male plant with the female ones in a ratio of no more than 1: 5.
- Males die more often, so many gardeners for insurance increase their number relative to females.
- For planting, it is best to choose seedlings of the same variety.
- The root system of the shrub grows widely and is about twice the size of the crown.
- The roots of the plant are at a shallow depth. Therefore, no agrotechnical work is carried out within a radius of 2 m from the bush. At the same distance, neighboring plants are planted from each other.
When planting bushes for decorative purposes, floor issues can be neglected. The distance must be maintained so that the roots of neighboring plants do not oppress each other.
When is it better to plant sea buckthorn: spring or autumn
It is impossible to answer this question unequivocally. Most gardeners agree that it is right to plant sea buckthorn in spring. However, this is not quite true. The timing of excavation depends on many factors. You can plant sea buckthorn on the site even in summer, if before that it has been growing in a tub for more than a year.
Autumn planting can be carried out if it is known for sure that the seedling grew in the same area. If he is from more southern regions, the plant can wake up from hibernation in January-February and is guaranteed to die. Planting sea buckthorn seedlings in spring allows you to minimize the risks.
How to plant sea buckthorn in spring
Planting sea buckthorn in spring is best in late March or early April. During this period, the bushes have a dormant state, and the soil has a good supply of moisture.
Planting sea buckthorn in autumn
You can plant sea buckthorn in the fall if the root system of the seedlings is closed. The optimal planting time is late September - early October. By this time, the leaves from the tree, as a rule, are flying around. Therefore, all the forces of the plant will be aimed at taking root. A step-by-step guide on how to plant sea buckthorn in the fall is no different from the spring one, and is given below.
In case of violation of the terms, the seedlings can be dug in, and after wintering, they can be planted in a permanent place. The seedlings are placed in a ditch 0.5 m deep so that the crown is turned to the south. After covering with earth, the bushes need to be watered well. With the onset of the first frost, they are almost completely covered with earth, leaving only the tops of the branches, and then covered with spruce branches on top. When the snow falls, they fill up the shelter.
Important! When digging in seedlings until spring, you need to make sure that their roots are not tangled with each other.
Where to plant sea buckthorn on the site
The seabuckthorn planting site should be open and sunny. Do not place it next to garden beds, otherwise there is a great risk of damage to the roots when digging. The plant tolerates this very painfully. It is necessary to plant sea buckthorn at a distance from buildings and fences so as not to shade the bushes. This culture does not like close proximity to other trees, therefore, as a rule, it is given a place on the edge of the garden on the south side.
What kind of soil does sea buckthorn like
Sea buckthorn prefers light sandy soils and black soil. The acidity is best neutral. The soil should be moist, but not swampy, therefore, places with a groundwater level above 1 m are contraindicated for sea buckthorn.
How to choose sea buckthorn for planting
For planting in order to obtain a harvest, it is better to choose varietal sea buckthorn. This is especially true for female plants. The men can be wild. Plants are planted with two-year-old seedlings. By this time, their height should be 0.35–0.5 m, and the roots should be at least 0.2 m long. There should be 2-3 main roots, and a sufficient number of small ones.
When examining a seedling, you need to pay attention to the condition of the bark. Detachments are not allowed. The brown color indicates the freezing of the tree, the chances that such a seedling will take root are practically zero.
How to plant sea buckthorn in spring: step by step instructions
Seabuckthorn seedlings are planted in specially prepared pits. They dig them in advance so that the soil has time to infuse and saturate with oxygen. In order to properly plant sea buckthorn in the spring, the pits for planting need to be prepared in the fall, for the autumn - at least a month in advance.
- When preparing the pits, the size of the root system of the seedling is taken into account. Usually a depth of 0.5 m and the same diameter is sufficient.
- Stepping back a little from the center, you need to drive in a wooden support, to which the tree will be tied.
- Add to the removed soil: humus - 1 bucket, river sand - 1 bucket, wood ash - 0.5 buckets, superphosphate - 0.2 kg.
- Mix all components well.
- The seedling is placed in a planting hole so that the height of the root collar above ground level is 5–6 cm. The roots must be straightened and then covered with nutritious soil, lightly tamped to prevent the formation of voids.
- After planting, the tree must be tied to a support.
- The distance between seedlings when planting sea buckthorn in spring is at least 2 m.
Then the seedlings need to be watered abundantly, and the tree trunk circle should be mulched with sawdust, straw or grass.
A short educational video about planting sea buckthorn can be viewed at the link below.
What can be planted next to sea buckthorn
Only lawn grass can be planted under the sea buckthorn. Nothing can be placed in the zone of the root system (which is about two sizes of the crown of a tree). This is especially true for plants with a shallow root system (strawberries, currants), in competition for the usable area, the sea buckthorn aggressor will simply strangle them. Therefore, next to the sea buckthorn, you can plant another tree of the same culture, but at a distance of at least 2–2.5 m, so that they do not conflict with each other.
Sea buckthorn care after planting
Caring for sea buckthorn in the first three years is usually reduced to pruning. During this period, the plant is formed in the form of a bush or tree. In addition, during dry periods, sea buckthorn can be watered and fed.
Proper watering rules
In most cases, sea buckthorn has enough precipitation. Watering is needed if the plant is deficient in moisture, especially when there is no rain. The entire root zone should be moistened.
It must be remembered that excess water is just as harmful to this shrub as its lack. Therefore, watering should be moderate so that moisture does not stagnate in the roots.
Loosening, weeding, mulching, pruning
Usually, the soil is not loosened under the sea buckthorn so as not to damage the roots. Weeds are also not rooted out, but simply mowed down. The soil under the sea buckthorn is mulched not with peat or humus, but with sod. Such a measure allows not only to retain moisture, but also prevents the larvae of pests from leaving the ground.
In the first three years after planting, pruning forms the type of plant (bole or bush). Subsequently, it is necessary for the correct growth of the crown, preventing its thickening. Sanitary pruning is done twice a year in order to cleanse the plant of dry or diseased branches.
How to fertilize sea buckthorn
Sea buckthorn growing on black soil does not need additional feeding. If the soil is poor, the plants can be fertilized a little. Top dressing of sea buckthorn in spring is carried out by introducing a small amount of nitrogen into the root zone. Usually they use a nitrophoscope for this, simply scattering it on the ground. About once every three to four years, humus is added under the bushes, adding a little superphosphate to it.
Preparing culture for winter
Most gardeners do not carry out any additional activities before the winter period. However, certain actions can be taken to help the sea buckthorn survive the frost more easily. For example, insulate the root zone by laying it out with a layer of spruce branches and covering it with another layer of turf. To protect against rodents, the tree-like sea buckthorn can be whitewashed in autumn and the trunk can be closed with a metal mesh.
Planting and caring for sea buckthorn in the Moscow region
The climate of the Moscow region is quite suitable for growing sea buckthorn. To get a good harvest, it is recommended to plant cultivars bred for the conditions of this region. In total, there are more than 60 varieties of sea buckthorn in the State Register, and many of them are recommended for cultivation in the central regions of Russia. The most interesting of them are shown in the table.
Characteristics of the tree / bush
Number of thorns
Large, red-orange. The taste of berries is sweet and sour, with a pineapple aroma.
Up to 16
Medium-sized tree with a spreading crown.
The berries are orange-brown, in the form of a rounded elongated cone. The taste is sweet and sour.
Berries are yellow-orange, large, cylindrical in shape.
Up to 20
The berries are oval, large, orange-red.
The berries are pear-shaped, dark orange with a characteristic red speck at the top. The taste is sweet and sour, the aroma is pleasant.
Up to 14
Medium-sized, medium-spreading shrub.
The berries are medium, oval-round, orange with a characteristic darkening at the ends.
Medium spreading tree, compact
Orange, large, cylindrical.
Tall shrub. Umbrella crown.
Red-orange, large, sour taste with faint aroma.
Compact, medium-sized tree.
The berries are large, bright orange.
In addition to those presented, gardeners of the Moscow region can recommend such varieties as Lyubimaya, Moskvichka and Gift to a garden.
Planting and caring for sea buckthorn in Siberia
In the wild, sea buckthorn is found in Siberia much more often than in the European part of Russia. For this region, varieties have been developed that are distinguished by increased winter hardiness and productivity. The table shows several varieties that are recommended to be grown in Siberia.
Characteristics of the tree / bush
Low compact bush.
Orange, shaped like an egg. The taste is sweet and sour.
Up to 5
Weak bush with a compact crown.
The berries are bright orange, cylindrical, large.
Up to 7
Medium-sized compact bush.
The fruits are oval, bright orange, large.
A medium-sized bush with a pronounced leader and an oval crown.
The berries are cylindrical, orange.
Weak bush with a rounded crown.
The fruits are orange-red, elongated. The taste is sweet and sour.
Up to 12
Medium-sized bush with an oval crown.
The berries are orange, of the correct cylindrical shape. The taste is sweet and sour.
Medium-sized multi-stem bush.
The berries are medium in size, oval, orange-yellow, sour.
Average 13-15, can go up to 20
Medium bush. The crown is oval.
The berries are orange, regular oval. The taste is sweet and sour.
Ear of gold
Weak bush with a compact crown.
Small-fruited variety, for technical purposes. The berries are small, oval, orange.
A medium-sized bush with an oval-flat crown.
The fruits are oval, orange. A versatile variety.
The number of sea buckthorn varieties suitable for cultivation in Siberia is quite large. In addition to those presented, the following deserve attention:
- Altai news;
All of them are successfully grown in Siberia and have a well-deserved reputation. As for agricultural technology, planting sea buckthorn seedlings in spring in Siberia will not differ in any way from the same work in the regions of Central Russia.
When and how to transplant an adult sea buckthorn bush
Transplanting an adult sea buckthorn tree is a very laborious task, and even if all the nuances are observed, most attempts end in the death of the plant. Therefore, it is so important to immediately plant this shrub in the right place. It is relatively painless to transplant sea buckthorn to a new place in the spring at the age of 3 years. The plant must be dug out as carefully as possible, with all the roots and a lump of earth and transplanted to a new place, without deepening the root collar.
After transplanting, the bush is watered abundantly and the soil is mulched. Then part of the crown is cut off so that the plant spends more energy on survival. In the year of transplantation, the plant, as a rule, does not bear fruit.
Important! For better survival, root formation stimulants are added to the water for irrigation, and the crown is sprayed with epin and zircon.
Flowering and fruiting of sea buckthorn
Both male and female sea buckthorn blooms. However, the purpose of these colors is different. In the staminate (male) flowers, pollen is produced, which pollinates the female (pistillate) ones. In place of pollinated female flowers, fruits are tied.
The ripening time of sea buckthorn strongly depends on the variety. The earliest berries can be picked in early August, the latest in mid-September.Dry hot summers will accelerate ripening, cold and rainy summers will push back.
When and how sea buckthorn blooms (photo)
In both male and female bushes, the buds appear at about the same time. The very beginning of flowering strongly depends on weather conditions, for example, in central Russia, sea buckthorn blooms in the second decade of May. This period lasts from one to two weeks. Blooming sea buckthorn (photo) - below.
Sea buckthorn flowers do not have nectaries, so they do not attract insects. This culture is pollinated only by the wind.
Important! Sometimes, in calm weather, the gardener himself has to work as a pollinator, cutting off branches from a flowering male tree and fanning the female ones with them. Otherwise, pollination will not occur and there will be no harvest.
What year after planting does the sea buckthorn bear fruit?
After planting, sea buckthorn begins to bear fruit already for 4 years. Fruiting of 6 years of life is considered to be full-fledged. By this time, the tree is already finally formed and can spend all its vitality on the growth and ripening of berries.
Growing sea buckthorn as a business
Sea buckthorn oil is the most valuable product found in the berries of this shrub. It is widely used for both medical and cosmetic purposes. Sea buckthorn oil promotes tissue regeneration and is widely used in remedies for burns, cuts, etc. It is used to treat internal organs, gastritis, ulcers, colitis and other diseases.
Oil production is the main purpose of growing sea buckthorn on an industrial scale. For these purposes, special technical varieties have been developed. These include Claudia sea buckthorn, Baltic Surprise and some others. The technical grades contain 6.2–6.8% oil. Its amount in the fruits of dessert sea buckthorn is different and ranges from 2 to 6%.
Diseases and pests
Sea buckthorn is rather infrequently affected by diseases and pests. Mostly old plants get sick, as well as those that are not systematically pruned. The crown of such bushes is too dense, air exchange is disrupted and fungal infections begin to develop. The weather also plays an important role in this. Excess moisture also contributes to increased morbidity.
The table shows the main diseases that sea buckthorn is susceptible to.
Name of the disease
Symptoms and Effects
Numerous black spots on leaves and shoots. For 3-4 years, the bush completely dies.
Preventive spraying in early spring with 3% nitrafen solution. Affected shoots must be cut and burned.
It appears on ripe fruits, they become soft and watery. Then the shell collapses, the spores of the fungus spread to other berries, infecting them.
Preventive spraying with 1% Bordeaux liquid solution. Affected berries must be picked off.
The pathogenic fungus lives in the bark of the tree, causing it to separate from the trunk. The wood begins to exfoliate along the growth rings.
Removal of the fruiting bodies of the fungus. Timely treatment with copper sulfate of all damage to the tree bark. Spraying with 1% Bordeaux liquid solution.
It is recognized by its characteristic bark bulges, which then burst along the trunk, exposing the black wood.
The same as for stem rot.
Numerous red or orange spore pads of the pathogenic fungus appear on the bark.
The same as for stem rot.
Brown spots appear on the leaves, which then grow and merge.
Spraying with 1% Bordeaux liquid solution. Removal of infected shoots.
Multiple rounded brown spots with a colorless middle appear on the leaf plate.
Spraying with 1% Bordeaux liquid solution. Removal of infected leaves.
Part of the crown or individual shoots turn yellow and die off.
It is not treated. The affected tree must be dug up and burned.
Caused by soil fungi. Recognized as black rot at ground level and slightly above. The affected plant simply rotates at this point and falls to the ground.
Saplings are more susceptible to the disease. It is recommended to plant them in a soil mixture with the addition of sand (1: 1), as well as water with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
The berries affected by the fungus begin to flow, and then mummify, remaining on the branch and being the carrier of the disease.
Spraying with 1% Bordeaux liquid solution. Removal of infected berries. Thickening of the crown should not be allowed.
There are few pests of sea buckthorn. These include:
- sea buckthorn aphid;
- sea buckthorn sucker;
- sea buckthorn moth;
- spider mite;
- gall mite;
- sea buckthorn fly;
- fatty leafworm omnivorous.
For the prevention of the appearance and control of pests, the bushes are treated with special agents. Timely pruning is also important, since pests appear much less often on well-groomed trees with a properly formed clean crown.
Planting and caring for sea buckthorn will not be difficult for any gardener. The maintenance of the tree is minimal, and the return is very high. Planting and growing sea buckthorn in the country means providing yourself with a supply of wonderful berries for the whole winter, which are not only tasty, but also very useful.