How to grow a walnut from a nut?
I think everyone knows about the taste and benefits of walnut fruit. Surely, many people, taking out delicious kernels from their shells, wondered: “But can I grow it on the site, moreover from the nuts themselves, because in fact they are the same seeds as other plants?” There are many gardening myths and legends surrounding walnut cultivation. Half of them turn out to be untrue. Therefore, plant and test your own experience. We will talk about the features of growing walnut with nut, in this article.
In autumn or spring - when is it best to sow a nut?
There are, by and large, two options: sow in the fall or sow in the spring. Autumn sowing, it is very simple - take nuts, bury them on the site and wait until spring when they come up, or maybe not. Much depends on the region and its climatic features. In the southern regions with mild winters, perhaps this option is quite acceptable.
And in the north, where winters are long, frosty and also with little snow, autumn sowing is a matter, I will not say that it is impossible, but risky. Long lying in the ground may not be beneficial to them, and there are certainly people who want to sharpen their teeth about them. So, although autumn sowing is simple, it’s still better to do everything in a controlled and guaranteed success, which means sowing in spring. And we’ll talk about this in more detail.
On the cultivation of Manchurian walnut (a close relative of walnuts), read the article Manchurian walnut in a summer cottage.
Artificial stratification - a mandatory stage of spring sowing
In order for the nuts to spring, they must undergo a long stratification - treatment with cold and humidity for about 100 days.
Read more about stratification in article 6 of the rules for stratification of seeds at home.
To do this, take a container, a bucket, pan, basin, container, flower pot, depending on the number of nuts that you want to lay on the stratification, is suitable. At the bottom of the tank we pour a layer of wet sand, not very wet and not quite dry, from the street. This layer is about 5 cm thick (not important). We put nuts on top of it.
We lay it with a distance so that the gap between the neighboring ones is at least 1 cm, and again we fill it with sand. On top, you can lay out a second layer of nuts and again fill it with sand. You can make a multi-layer “cake” of nuts and sand, but the lower and upper layer should be wet sand.
This container is placed for 100 days in the cold. The temperature should be within + 3 ... + 7 degrees (basement, refrigerator, unheated garage, etc.). At this temperature, the sand will remain wet for a long time, but if necessary, sometimes it can be slightly moistened.
Now let's figure out when this process is best started. You can, of course, and in the fall, but then you will have additional trouble with seedlings that appear too early, you have to keep them at home and equip them with additional lighting.
It’s best to start everything right after celebrating the Old New Year. For example, in the morning we woke up on January 15 and we begin. 100 days will expire by April 25, and the street is already warm and there is a lot of light. Of course, these dates can be shifted, depending on the region and your desire.
How to plant a nut in the ground?
After 100 days we take out nuts from the sand and, in fact, sow them either in a special school, or immediately to a permanent place. Sowing in the case of walnuts is putting a nut in a hole. To what depth? Here a general rule works: the depth should be equal to three diameters of the nut itself. In practice, it is 7-10 cm. Moreover, it is advisable to put the nut correctly in this hole so that the resulting sprout does not spend too much time and effort to get out of an uncomfortable position.
As practice shows, putting a nut is not a vertex up or a vertex down, but on the side, (apex sideways), so that the seam is bottom and top. In about a couple of weeks, shoots will appear from the already warm earth.
Features of sowing thin-bark nuts
There is one caveat that can negate all your efforts. Probably heard that there are thick-nosed nuts - "greedy", and there are thin-skinned ones. This concept is not entirely accurate, but nonetheless. If the nut breaks easily when squeezed with fingers, then it is considered thin-skinned. Such nuts may not last for 100 days until it is warm and simply rot. They can be treated differently.
Around the border of March and April, these nuts are stacked in a glass, enameled, plastic or stainless container and filled with water for 5-7 days. The main thing is not to take chlorinated tap water, but natural water from a river, lake, rainwater or thawed snow. Change the water 1 time per day and do it all at room temperature.
Such soaking allows you to violate the integrity of the shell (water enters the core), and partially remove the substances contained in the nut, which block germination. After this procedure, the stratification process takes less time. Soaked nuts, too, are laid in wet sand, but only for 20 days, and kept at room temperature about +20 degrees. Sprouts appear directly from the sand. Sprouted nuts must be carefully removed and planted in the prepared pits to the desired depth, naturally with the roots down and the shoot up.
That's the whole process of germination, the seedlings are given one year to grow in the school, and then carefully, trying to maintain the root, they dig and plant them in a permanent place.
Features of transplanting walnut seedlings from the school
Walnut - the plant is large and takes up a lot of space on the site. Planting one nut, about a radius of 10 m from it, do not plant other plants and trees. In addition to the large shade, walnut leaves have another feature. They contain the substance yuglon, which has a depressing effect on other plants (even weeds under a nut grow poorly).
I think that fertilizers for nuts are superfluous. Moreover, it is noted that walnuts do not tolerate winter frosts on highly fertile land.
Why is it better to plant seedlings in the school? Even if you need only one seedling, lay a few nuts for stratification and germination. Transplant shoots to the school, with a distance of 40-50 cm, and only after a year from the school, select the strongest seedling and plant it in a permanent place.
Walnut often gives self-seeding (and birds actively sow it on the site), so you can simplify everything and just dig up the finished seedlings under the familiar nut. Especially there are many where foliage is not raked. In foliage, nuts undergo a natural stratification and the strongest survive.
Planting a nut is worth the rule. To do this, dig a hole 60x60x60 cm. Set a stake at the bottom and place a seedling from a schoolhouse with a lump of earth next to it. It is recommended not to change the orientation of the seedling to the cardinal points and in no case to deepen the root neck. Immediately after planting, the seedling must be securely tied to the stake and water abundantly. Reliable fixation and the absence of air voids at the roots contributes to quick and easy survival.
Crown formation begins one year after planting, leaving the central conductor and three branches extending to the side.
What to do to make walnut fruits large?
Often gardeners argue about whether the properties of the walnut mother plant are preserved during sowing? In other words, if I plant a big nut, will there be large nuts on the future tree? Opinions differ. Apparently the truth, as always, in the middle. Just those who planted a large nut and harvests the same large nuts will claim to save. Those who, having planted a large one, received a trifle as a result, will deny this. Apparently, you need to plant 100 nuts in one area and find out the percentage of repetition of maternal properties.
In fact, everything is simpler. Walnut changes perfectly with the help of vaccination, and any, whether it is an inoculation with an eye or a cuttings. For your grown seedling you need to find and plant a obviously good and large variety. Cuttings should be taken from young, but already fruiting trees.
It is believed that walnuts grown from nuts take too long to bear fruit in 8-10 years, but there are some agrotechnical methods that can reduce this period by half, to 4-5 years.
Good luck and good harvests!