It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like chocolate or hazelnuts. These small nuts not only have a pleasant taste, but also have a positive effect on the human body .The high content of vitamins, chemical elements and amino acids improves health with anemia, chronic fatigue, diabetes, neurosis and heart disease. Hazelnut oil contained in nuts, supplying the body with vitamin E, returns vitality and has a rejuvenating effect. Eating hazelnuts for food is equally beneficial for both children and older people. Let's take a closer look at this plant, with the peculiarities of care and cultivation of hazel at home.
There is no industrial cultivation of hazelnuts in our country. Valuable fruits are imported mainly from Turkey, Italy, Spain and China. But hazelnut is not such an exotic plant as it seems. It is the cultural form of common hazelnut , which grows in natural conditions in the Caucasus, the Middle East, Ukraine and throughout European territory up to northern latitudes. So why not grow this unpretentious and useful plant at your dacha, because planting hazelnuts is an excellent business prospect and investment in your health.
Hazelnut - the cultural form of hazel in the area
Cultivation of hazelnuts for the gardener does not cause much trouble. No wonder the Italians call "cultural hazel" plant for the lazy. Hazelnut is a shrub reaching 2-5 m in height depending on the variety , but can be formed by cutting in the form of a tree - the choice depends on the owner of the site.
The first harvest can be expected already at 3-4 year after planting an sapling. The plant does not need particularly careful care, because in nature, hazel grows well without human help. After planting, agrotechnics are reduced to watering, removal of basal shoots, annual pruning, and pest control if necessary.
Hazelnuts planted on the site for decades will provide fruits with high nutritional properties and beneficial substances. Mass collection of nuts begins with 5-7 years plant life and lasts for 10-15 years .After that, the plant is "rejuvenated" - for several years in a row 2-3 old branches are cut off, which are replaced with young ones over time and begin to bear fruit generously.
For each adult hazelnut, while following agricultural practices, receive 5-12 kg of fruit that can be stored for a long time( 1-3 years) without sacrificing taste. If you plant on the site at least three plants, the annual harvest will look quite weighty.
In addition to the benefits of harvesting, the plant has a high decorative effect. Hazelnut varieties have leaves of different color and size , so gardeners often plant a row of leafy bushes with red, yellow and green leaves. Hazelnuts look spectacular as a soliter plant formed in the form of a tree. Fans of aesthetics will appreciate the beauty of the shrub, which throws out spectacular earrings that attract bees in early spring.
Reproduction of hazelnut at home
Fans to grow a tree from a nutlet may well resort to the seed method of reproduction. It is simple and, subject to the necessary requirements, will allow you to get a strong and healthy plant. However, this hazelnut will begin to bear fruit much later than the one that is grown from the seedling. If, when planting a seedling, the first nuts appear on 3-4 year after planting, the plant grown
from the nut, fruits on 6, and even 10 year .
Therefore, gardeners often use planting seedlings. With this method of reproduction, in contrast to planting a nutlet, all the varietal signs of hazelnuts are retained, on the basis of which they choose the plant that is suitable for certain conditions.
Selection of seedlings.
. One or two year old seedlings are selected for planting. Preference is recommended to give winter-hardy and drought-resistant varieties .Purchasing a seedling at a local nursery guarantees obtaining zoned varieties adapted to the climatic conditions of the region.
Choosing hazelnut seedlings in a nursery or garden center, you need to carefully examine the root system of the plant. It should be well developed, without damage. Minorly damaged roots are cut to a healthy place .If there is a lot of damage, the purchase of a sapling should be abandoned, as a strong pruning can affect survival and lead to the death of the plant.
Choosing a site for planting
Hazelnut is considered a plant that is unpretentious to the composition of the soil and the terrain. A moderately fertile soil and a sufficient amount of moisture are favorable for the development of the plant and the future abundant fruiting. Gray forest soils, loamy, sandy and black soils of various types are most suitable for cultivation. The optimum groundwater location is no closer than 1.2–1.5 m to the surface .During the spring thaw, the area should not be flooded with water - prolonged waterlogging causes the hazelnut to rot and die.
However, you shouldn’t be upset about those who have far from ideal soil composition. Hazelnuts are safely grown on almost all types of soils characteristic of the middle zone, except for very heavy clay, marshy, saline and dry sandy. When planting seedlings, black soil is facilitated by the introduction of sand and compost humus - this will improve the air and moisture permeability of soil. The composition of acidic soils is improved by the addition of hydrated lime, ground chalk or wood ash.
Hazelnut grows equally well on lowland areas and mountain slopes. Due to the developed fibrous root system, the plant is planted specifically in places where it is necessary to prevent soil erosion. When planting on a plot under hazelnuts, you can take any place that is not suitable for other garden crops.
An important requirement that must be met when choosing a place to land is good illumination. Hazelnuts can grow in shady places, but then you shouldn’t hope for a good crop. Only the presence of a large amount of natural light contributes to abundant fruiting.
When planting on the slopes for “cultural hazel” you can determine a place on any side other than the south. It would seem that the south side is better lit and suitable for plants that love light. In fact, in early spring, in bright sunlight, the flower buds bloom early, and then die during the spring frosts.
The culture is sensitive to cross-winds, therefore, the , when determining the landing site, select the most drafted areas of the .As protection against the wind, use the walls of buildings or hedges.
When planting several seedlings, the distance between them and the nearest trees with a volumetric crown can withstand at least 4-5 m, depending on the size of the future plant in adult condition.
According to the gardening reference books, seedlings of “cultivated hazel” can be planted in early spring( March-April) or in autumn. The hazelnut has a short dormant period, its buds are advanced before other trees, and most of the plants planted in the spring do not take root.
Gardeners with experience are more inclined to fall planting - in October-November. Timing for each region is determined individually depending on weather conditions .In any case, the autumn planting is carried out a month before the onset of frost.
During the autumn planting, a planting pit for hazelnuts is prepared from the spring , if planting is planned for spring, then preparation is done in the autumn. This technique allows you to rest the land, freed from weeds, and accumulate a sufficient amount of moisture. Often life makes adjustments to our plans, and if the decision to plant hazelnuts came spontaneously, the landing pit can be prepared at least two weeks before or immediately before planting.
The pit is dug up 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 m in size. Organic and mineral fertilizers are introduced into the prepared pit and mixed well with the ground :
- - 2-3 buckets;
- double superphosphate - 150-200 g;
- potassium sulfate - 50-70 g.
Compliance with the recommendations on the preparation of the soil will provide the seedling with adequate nutrition for 3-4 years.
Planting hazelnuts is more convenient with an assistant: one holds the plant and straightens the root system, the other carries out all the necessary manipulations. Planting technology is simple :
- If the seedling roots were processed in a clay talker, wash the clay from the roots. Dipping in the talker is only necessary to preserve moisture in the roots until planting.
- If the roots of the plant have dried out a little, pre- to put them in water for for 1-2 days .The shriveled bark of shoots testifies to drying of roots.
- If the roots have dried out , then not only them, but also the whole seedling should be dipped in water for 1-2 days until the bark is smooth.
- Form an planting mound in the center of the pit, insert a peg into it.
- Place the sapling next to the peg, gently spread the roots of the plant across the pit. The root neck of the seedling during planting should be just above the soil level. After watering the land will settle, and the root neck will be leveled. This is very important - when the root collar is buried in the ground, hazelnuts will develop poorly, and may not produce any fruit at all.
- Fill the pit in two passes .First, half of the hole covered with soil, a little tamped earth and generously watered. Then fall asleep the rest of the pit, again tamped and watered again. The total amount of water under each seedling is at least 25 liters, optimally depending on weather conditions - 30-40 liters.
- Check the level of the root of the cervix - the maximum permissible excess above ground is 1-3 cm .
- A sapling is tied to a peg and is cut over a 5-6 bud. The height of the aerial parts should be 20-25 cm. Pruning contributes to the development of several fruitful shoots during the growing season.