Care and growing hazelnuts at home
Tasty and healthy hazelnuts are loved by both adults and children, especially with chocolate. It is quite possible to grow it in our latitudes, because its wild-growing species - common hazel - grows and bears fruit well in the forests of Russia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Ukraine. In order to decorate your garden plot with a beautiful shrub and get a hazelnut crop, you need to know the simple rules of care necessary for its good growth and development.
Growing a Walnut in a Pot
If you want to grow hazelnuts from a nut - it’s not difficult, but you have to wait long enough. Having bought ready-made seedlings, which are about two years old, the crop can be obtained already for 3-4 years. And with a nut, a full-fledged plant bearing fruit will grow only 6-10 years after planting.
Important! Hazelnuts planted with seeds do not preserve the varietal characteristics of the shrub from which they are obtained.
This method of propagation is used mainly to obtain new varieties of walnut. But if you do not care about the characteristics of the obtained fruits, and the fact that they will have to wait long enough, you can try to grow hazelnuts from seeds. To do this, you need to choose nuts without damage, large, beautiful, high-quality. After all, it is from these that good bushes can be obtained, bringing a stable harvest.
Seeds must germinate. To do this, they are placed in water or wet sand. Even better results can be achieved by preliminary stratification of nuts at low temperatures, which will significantly improve their germination and protect future young plants from the negative effects of the environment.
Germinated seeds are planted in a pot to a depth of 6-7 cm. It is better to fill it with soil that is well suited for hazelnuts: light, moist, with low acidity. It is advisable to mix it with compost or humus in equal proportions so that the young plant receives as many nutrients as possible and develops better.
In a pot, hazelnuts can grow up to two years. We must not forget to maintain optimal soil moisture and provide good illumination. When the plant reaches 15 cm in height and its stem near the root becomes 3 mm thick, it will be possible to transplant into open ground.
Planting hazelnuts in the ground
It is better to transplant young plants in the fall, in November. Before transplanting, you need to hold the pot of hazelnuts in the open air for as long as possible so that it gets used to the effects of the environment. You can also plant it in the spring (early March), but autumn is more suitable for better adaptation of plants to low temperatures.
Hazelnuts are a fairly unpretentious plant, so it can be grown on almost any soil.
There are only small planting requirements that improve growth conditions and increase yield:
- the soil may contain a lot of sand or clay, the main thing is not to be too acidic;
- increased acidity can be removed by adding lime;
- chernozem is perfect for growing, if it is slightly facilitated by the addition of sand or humus;
- best for planting is gray forest soil, just the same as in the natural habitat of common hazel;
- it is necessary to protect the young hazel from drafts;
- hazelnuts grow and bear fruit better when they receive enough sunlight;
- the slopes of the mountains are great for nuts, but only the north-west and north-east sides, because in the south it blooms very quickly and can not withstand frost;
- groundwater nearby will have a beneficial effect on the growth of hazel, because he loves moist soils;
- do not plant hazelnuts in very wet or very dry places;
- the distance from the young plant to large trees with a spreading crown should be at least 5 meters.
Did you know? According to folk signs, lightning never strikes a walnut tree.
Since hazelnuts love loose soil, the area reserved for it must be dug up half a year before planting. At this stage, potash and phosphorus fertilizers can be added if there are not enough minerals in the soil. Also, making humus or compost will not hurt.
Acidic soils are sprinkled with lime or chalk.
If the site stagnates and the soil is too wet, you should think about a drainage system, or choose a more suitable option. Too dry soils need to be very well watered and fertilized with compost and humus, due to which their quality will significantly improve.
If the place is too open, and drafts are not excluded, it is better to take care of hazel protection right away. To do this, you can put a fence of slate or plant a fast-growing hedge. Be sure to remove the weeds during the excavation of the site so that they do not interfere with the young plants to grow and develop.
Pits are dug large enough, their depth and width should be at least 50 cm. The distance from hazelnuts to large trees is maintained from 5 meters or more. If you want to make a nut fence along the fence, between young seedlings there can be only 2-3 m.
Moreover, in the first years of growth, it is recommended to plant garden plants between them, to improve soil quality and prevent the appearance of weeds that interfere with development.
Important! If you did not grow seedlings yourself, but bought them at the age of 1–2 years, before planting, you need to hold them for several hours in a clay solution so that they are better rooted.
For the proper growth and development of hazel, it is necessary to plant it in the following sequence:
- Dig holes and make small mounds in their center.
- Distribute the rhizome on this knoll.
- Sprinkle with a fertile topsoil mixed with compost in equal proportions.
- You can add mineral fertilizers and a handful of mycorrhiza.
- Tamp the ground carefully, taking care not to damage the root.
- Make a recess for watering and pour two buckets of water under each plant.
- Mulch the soil with grass or sawdust so that moisture does not evaporate longer.
- If necessary, trim the top of the seedling at a height of 15–20 cm. If it is shorter than this height, you do not need to cut it.
- Make a support in the form of a wooden peg and tie a plant to it.
If you buy a ready-made seedling in a nursery, you need to make sure that the climatic conditions of your area are suitable for your chosen variety. In this case, a good survival rate and productivity are practically guaranteed. But if you grow hazelnuts from walnuts, its varietal features are not preserved, so you can not be sure that it will take root.
But it's still worth a try. It is better to plant as many nuts as possible so that some of them can eventually become fruiting shrubs. In the future, you can plant a plant with good varietal characteristics on hazelnuts grown from walnuts.
Subtleties of care and ripening
Hazelnuts - a plant unpretentious, so it is increasingly began to grow in the country, not only experienced gardeners, but also beginners, since it requires a minimum of attention. Caring for the shrub is quite simple, but you should not forget about it if you want your home nut garden to give a generous, stable crop.
For the first time, young seedlings must be watered a week after planting. The next watering should be no earlier than after 7-10 days. While the plant takes root, it needs to be watered twice a week, and then once a month will be enough.During this time, the soil from the hole should connect with the one that is around it, so that the optimum moisture level is maintained in the area.
Water for monthly watering will need 3-4 buckets. In July-June, the number of irrigations increases to 2 or even 3, depending on how dry the summer is, because in these months nuts grow and the future crop is laid.
Hazel does not tolerate excessive moisture, so if you notice that after watering or rain, water has been standing under it for a long time, you must take care of the drainage system. The last time a year, hazelnuts are watered after leaf fall, so that the moisture contained in the soil helps him safely prepare for wintering.
Did you know? It has long been believed that hazelnuts can protect the soul, so amulets were made of them.
Fertilizer selection and top dressing
The need and amount of fertilizing depends on the quality of the soil. The more fertile and richer it is, the less fertilizer is required. Before planting hazelnuts, compost, humus, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are introduced into well-dug soil. And then once a year, in early spring, the bushes are fed with a bucket of manure and humus, compost and wood ash.
100-200 g nitroammophoski (no more) will help plants grow and develop even better.
If the soil is fertile enough, it is better to do without adding nitrogen fertilizers, because they accelerate the growth of bushes, but at the same time their productivity decreases. But dry, poor, infertile areas such feeding will not hurt. In June, when nuts begin to form, it is advisable to add a 0.5% urea solution to each bush.
So that moisture does not evaporate very quickly, and weeds do not appear, it is recommended to mulch the soil around the hazelnut bushes. Before this, of course, you need to thoroughly weed and loosen the area under the hazel. Peat, compost, straw, sawdust and dry grass are well suited for mulching. If it often rains, you can do without it, because the soil under the bushes will be sufficiently moist all the time.
Did you know? Hazelnuts are more high-calorie than meat and fish.
Since hazelnuts are bred specifically suitable for certain climatic conditions, each gardener can choose the best option for their site. Such bushes will tolerate even the most frosty winters, when they become adults and strong enough.
But young plants are better protected from severe frosts, so when the daytime air temperature drops to -2 ° C, they need to be covered with a pair of layers of spunbond or other non-woven material.
The branches need to be bent to the ground, squeezed with something and covered well so that the hazelnut can safely survive the winter. Before wintering, mulch, leaves and weeds need to be removed so that pests, lovers of delicious nuts, do not hide under the bushes for the winter.
Pests and diseases
In the forest, hazelnuts are very popular among forest dwellers, such as squirrels, wild boars, mice, woodpeckers. Hazelnuts growing in summer cottages, of course, rarely have such problems. But caterpillars, bugs, weevils and butterflies can cause significant damage to the hazelnut crop.
And also hares, which, although rare, run to the cottage to enjoy delicious nuts. Nut weevil and barbel are the biggest problems for growing nut bushes. If you do not get rid of them in time, some of the nuts will be irreparably damaged.
To protect plants from them, it is necessary to carry out such measures:
- digging the soil around the bush;
- harvesting worm nuts;
- shaking off pests on a film and destruction;
- insecticide treatment.
Most often, hazelnuts suffer from powdery mildew, which appears in the second half of summer.
To get rid of it, there are such ways:
- spraying with calcareous broth;
- colloidal sulfur treatment.
And of course, to prevent diseases and the appearance of pests, it is necessary to weed the soil under the bushes in time, water as necessary and remove leaves and mulch before wintering so as not to leave pests and their larvae under the bush for the winter.
Collection and storage of fruits
Hazelnuts begin to ripen in 3-4 years after planting by seedlings and in 6-10 years, if it is grown from walnut. At the end of August, nuts can be collected. This is quite simple to do, because the branches of hazel are perfectly bent and unbent, so they can be tilted without harm to the plant.
A harvesting ladder is not needed, even if the bush is tall. You need to collect hazelnuts until the moment when it begins to fall out of the shell so as not to lose some of the nuts.
With good care from adult plants, you can get from 5 to 12 kg of crop.
You can store hazelnuts for 3 years in a dry place in a container, which prevents moisture from getting in, so that the nuts do not become damp or mold. If you maintain optimal storage conditions, the taste of hazelnuts, even at the end of the term, will remain unchanged.
Important! To increase the productivity of hazelnuts, it is recommended to plant several bushes with different varietal characteristics nearby.
Hazelnuts are a fairly unpretentious plant that can be grown even from a nut, but for this you need to approach the process very seriously and responsibly. If you choose high-quality seeds, grow seedlings in a pot, transplant in a suitable place, protected from drafts and with fertile soil, and do not forget to properly care for it, it is quite possible to start receiving a stable, generous crop in 6-10 years.