Growing fir at home from seeds
Fir is a beautiful evergreen coniferous plant that can become a decoration of a garden or terrace (in the case of container growing). Propagate it in three ways - cuttings, layering or seeds. The latter method is not very popular among gardeners, although not complicated. How to plant and grow fir from seeds, as well as how to care for it, and it will be discussed in the material.
Preparation for landing
Before starting all the procedures, it is worth knowing that breeding of fir by the seed method does not guarantee that the variety from which the seeds are collected will grow. The genetic memory of such planting material contains only species qualities, that is, you will definitely grow fir, but what kind of variety will become known only when the seedling reaches a more mature age (7-10 years). The first thing to do is get the seeds. They can be purchased in specialized stores or assembled by yourself.If everything is very clear with the purchase, then the collection should be treated with special care, the main thing is to do it on time. Fir cones open when ripe, and the seeds are carried by the wind over a very large distance. This is a plus for natural reproduction, but not for the gardener who needs planting material. Going to the forest is in late October - early November, climbing a tree is not necessary, you can search under it.
Important! For the preparation of planting material, only two-year-old cones are suitable. They have gray wings, and annuals have green wings.
If there are only a few firs, then the probability of finding seed material is significantly reduced and, most likely, you will have to climb tree cones. After collecting the seed, it is cleaned of scales (it does not need to be thrown away, it will become an addition to the mulching layer), dried, folded in a linen bag and sent for delamination (stratification) in the refrigerator. Such storage is necessary to improve seed germination.
Video: how to grow fir from seeds
Planting dates depend on how you will grow fir - the seeds are planted in open ground in the fall after harvesting, the container method involves spring (in the middle of the season) planting. The specific time for planting in the pots is determined individually, and depends on the location of the seedlings. The microclimate is important for her - it should be warm, humid and light.
Preparing planting material
For winter sowing seeds do not need to germinate. They are placed in the ground, as mentioned above, immediately after collection. They only need to be separated from all that is superfluous, discarded empty and ripe, and dropped off at a prepared place. When spring planting in open ground, the seed, a month before the procedure, is removed from the refrigerator, soaked for half an hour in a solution of sodium permanganate, washed, folded in a linen bag with a moist substrate and sent to the refrigerator or dripped in snow.
Important! To open the cones, they are exposed to elevated temperatures. At + 45 ° C they stand 24 hours, at +35...+40 ° C - two days.
When potted home planting them either:
- kept in the refrigerator all winter;
- placed in perlite or sand (the substrate must be wet);
- soaked a week before disembarkation in water.
Such manipulations will accelerate the germination of seedlings. If you do not do this and plant just dry seeds, the sprouts will appear 2-3 weeks later.
Site selection and preparation
During the autumn landing, the seat must be prepared in advance. Firstly, it should be a site protected from direct sunlight (partial shade), SecondlyDo not be exposed to drafts.Also, it should not stagnate melt water. As for the soil, it needs to be removed from the weeds, dug and make soil for conifers. Sand is introduced into the clay soil so that it is sandy loamy, loose and allows oxygen and water to pass through well. It is also worth preparing softwood sawdust.
For growing seedlings, the best place will be on the windowsill, on the side where the sun shines only part of the day. It can also be a warm veranda or a winter garden. The containers are filled with purchased soil mix for conifers or prepared independently with a substrate of sand, sawdust and compost, taken in equal proportions. A drainage layer of coarse river sand, small fragments of broken brick, etc. is laid at the bottom.
When all the preparatory conditions are met, you can proceed with the landing.
To do this, you will need:
- garden tools;
- softwood sawdust and bark;
In open ground
Spring planting in open ground is made in March. Furrows of 5–7 cm deep are made in the prepared area, sawdust is laid in a layer of 2 cm in them, seed is placed on top (one seed at a distance of 10–15 cm from each other), and a second layer of wood chips with a height of up to 1.5 cm is sprinkled on top. Then planting abundantly, but carefully so as not to wash the seeds, watered and covered with polyethylene.A fir greenhouse is ventilated at least 2 times a day, protected from direct sunlight and moistened with a spray bottle. The soil should always be slightly moist. With the emergence of seedlings, the covering material can be removed, but provided that the air temperature is stable and night frosts will not harm seedlings.
Did you know? Fir has a lifespan of about 500 years, but there are also 700-year-olds.
For winter sowing in the prepared soil, the same furrows are made, but without the addition of sawdust. Seeds are laid out in them, sprinkled with fertile loose earth. Then planting is watered, a mulching layer of wood chips and coniferous bark is applied. So that animals do not damage the nursery, it must be fenced with a net.
In the pot
Prepared seeds are planted in containers in mid-April. The height of the pot should be no more than 15 cm. Planting can be done with subsequent diving (transplanting), or 2-3 seeds in one container, but after emergence only the largest specimen is left. Seeds are placed in the earth filled with loose substrate, for subsequent transplantation to a depth of 2-3 cm, for cultivation in one container, deepened by 3-4 cm.Then the planting is sprayed with warm water, a thin layer of mulch from sawdust is applied, the required thickness is 0.5-1 cm and covered with a film. In the process of seed germination, the pots are aired and moderately moistened 1-2 times a day. After the appearance of the shoots, the film is removed and the seedlings provide good lighting. In summer, the container can be left outside under the trees, but taking into account that they will receive a sufficient amount of sun.
Diving is carried out after the seedlings reach a height of about 4-5 cm. In the prepared containers, drainage is placed at the bottom, the substrate is poured, the soil is moistened in containers with seedlings and in the landing tanks. Recesses are made so that the roots are completely covered, with the help of tweezers, seedlings are removed and transferred to a new pot. They are placed in the recesses, lightly tamped the earth around them, sprayed with warm water.
Seedlings are transplanted to a permanent place after 5 years of growing in a pot. So a higher percentage of survival. The place is chosen in partial shade, without stagnation of melt water and with a low occurrence of groundwater. For mass planting, a distance between plants of at least 2 m is maintained. The size of the planting pit should be 2 times the size of an earthen root lump of seedlings.A 15 cm drainage layer of fragments of brick, pebbles, coarse sand is lined at the bottom of the recess; components can be mixed together in arbitrary proportions. A nutritious soil mixture is poured on top, watered abundantly with water, after absorbing moisture, a seedling is placed in the center, the roots are straightened so that they do not stick out and sprinkled with fertile, loose soil, gently ramming it around the trunk.
Did you know? The height of the highest fir in the world is more than 99 m. It grows in the USA, Oregon.
The root neck should remain at ground level. Then make a near-stem circle, moisten well and apply a mulching layer of at least 10 cm. For clay heavy soils, it is necessary to prepare a separate soil mixture. To do this, the soil itself is mixed with humus or sheet soil, peat and coarse sand in a ratio of 2: 3: 1: 1.
How long do the seeds germinate
Stratified and prepared planting material sprouts about 3-4 weeks after planting. If the seeds were used dry, germination is observed 2-3 weeks later. Also, the microclimate affects the timing of the appearance of the first sprouts. The optimum temperature of air and soil should be within +24 ... + 27 ° С, humidity - 75–80%.
If everything is done correctly and seedlings appeared, the time has come for agricultural work. Young firs love well-loosened soil. Therefore, this procedure should be carried out regularly, avoiding the formation of earthen crust. Doing this is careful and not deep, so as not to damage the roots.
Watering is carried out as the earth dries. Avoid waterlogging and fluid stagnation, this can lead to rotting of the root system and the development of fungal diseases. To protect the roots from drying out, after watering and loosening, apply mulch with a layer of 3-5 cm.
Given that in the first 2 years of life, firs are actively building up the root system, fertilizers need to be applied to help them in this. For this, radical top dressings are introduced, such as “Kornevin”, “Heteroauxin”, “Radifarm”, etc. They are used according to the instructions and combined with watering. Also for young plants, foliar top dressing has proven themselves well.
You can purchase ready-made preparations, for example, Aminomax-N, or feed them with a solution prepared on your own, taking 500 ml of water, 4 g of ammonium nitrate, 10 g of superphosphate, 1 g of magnesium sulfate, 8 g of potassium nitrate, 10 g of sucrose, 30 mg indolylacetic acid. Spraying is carried out with an interval of 2 weeks.After two years of seedling growth, complex mineral fertilizers (Florovit, Agrekol) for coniferous species are used as bait. Apply according to the instructions 2 times a year. The first is introduced in early spring, the second - in the fall, not forgetting after fertilizing thorough watering of plants. Adult specimens do not need regular feeding. You can make them if the plant is poorly developed or has lost its decorative appearance.
Important! Organic fir is not needed for fir, because it does not take off needles like deciduous plants. And an excess of such top dressing leads to a massive increase in branches that do not have time to fully develop before the onset of cold weather.
Cropping and shaping
The fir does not need a special haircut. The exception is sanitary procedures in which damaged, dry or with signs of disease branches are removed. Forming pruning begins to be done when the plant reaches 1.5–2 m in height, at about 7–10 years of age. It is produced in order to suspend growth both in length and in width, as well as to give decorative forms to fir. Formation is carried out in early spring, before the start of vegetation processes or in late autumn.
To do this, the central buds of the side shoots are removed. Frequency - 1 time in 2-3 years. The main thing in forming pruning is phasing. According to gardeners, it’s better to do more than skip the planned procedure.For work, a sharp garden tool is needed - delimbers, scissors, saws, secateurs. Before processing, it must be disinfected with alcohol, a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate, 5% solution of iron sulfate.
Video: pruning fir
Young plants do not tolerate temperature extremes, so they need to be prepared for winter. First, remove weeds, loosen the soil, water and fertilize (if necessary), apply a mulching layer of at least 15 cm. Cover the crown with spruce branches. In winter, you need to ensure that the snow cover does not break the tree, for this it is carefully sweeping away with a broom.
Possible diseases and pests
Fir is rare, but can be affected by diseases and pests. Invasions depend on natural factors, disturbances in agricultural technology, plant age, etc. It is extremely difficult to identify some of the pests, because they are too small and their presence is noticeable only after visible lesions. Therefore, plants must be periodically visually evaluated.
You need to sound the alarm if:
- the needles turned brown and / or falls;
- individual parts of the tree are deformed and / or destroyed (needles, shoots, bark);
- resin, growths, or rot present;
- other signs uncharacteristic of a healthy plant.
The most common are lesions with the following insects:
- Fir moth - Causes massive damage to fir plantings. Young growth, hatched from eggs laid under the bark, feeds on the needles juice. As a result of the lesion, the needles curl and dry out. Adult individuals eat the needles completely, starting from the lower branches. The fight against them consists in spraying damaged trees with biological products (Fitoverm, Rizoplan, etc.) or insecticides (Fufanon, Karbofos) according to the instructions.
- Silkworm Siberian - its defeat can harm a vast area of fir plantations. Initially, this is a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly and eats needles, with mass reproduction, young cones and shoot bark are affected. To combat them, the Pepidocide biological product, at a rate of 30 ml / m², has proven itself well.
- Nun caterpillar - invasion leads to the drying of fir species. Young animals eat the shoots that appeared in May and begin to grow buds, then pollen from male inflorescences and needles is destroyed. Against him use the biological product "Lepidocide" (30 ml / m²).
- Hermes fir-fir - Its presence is noticeable by the twisted and yellowing needles. They feed on the juice of needles, located below. Also present in the form of brown or yellow-green larvae and nymphs. Individuals with wings move to neighboring plants. Lesions occur in April. To destroy them, damaged and neighboring plants are sprayed with insecticidal preparations (Aktara, Z0-D, etc.) according to the instructions.
To avoid damage, the earth should be loosened in autumn and spring, plants and the soil beneath them should be sprayed with Bordeaux fluid. In early spring, before the sap flow begins, you can water the crown and the basal circle from the watering can with hot (80–90 ° C) water, cover the soil with slate, cardboard or other dense material, this will prevent the pests remaining in the ground from wintering and get out and they will die.
Did you know? Among all coniferous plants, only in fir cones grow vertically.
- Brown shute - the yellowed needles are covered with a cobweb that glues needles. Then they blacken, but do not crumble. The disease is promoted by thickened plantings and high humidity. For control, spraying with biological products is used, which are also used for invasion by insects.
- Fusarium - It affects the roots and spreads to all tissues through the vessels of the plant. As a result, in young plantations, the needles turn brown and crumble. Diseases are affected by trees that are planted in lowlands or clayey clay soils due to poor outflow of excess water. In case of damage, treat with biological products and make drainage around the trunk - for this, loosen the earth and drive tubes of plastic to a depth of at least 20 cm.If possible, the plant should be transplanted to a higher place, with a good loamy and loose soil composition and drainage layer.
- Rust cancer - seals in the form of a spindle appear on the branches and trunk. In the first case, the affected shoots are cut off, in the second, the plant cannot be helped, they uproot it with an earthen lump and dispose of it outside the site.
- Conifer rust - called by a mushroom. It appears in late spring - early summer on the lower part of the needles in the form of orange or yellow vesicles (etia), which are arranged in 2 rows. Mostly appears in thickened young landings. To combat, they are sprayed with copper-containing preparations (Bordeaux mixture, vitriol) and potassium-phosphorus fertilizers are applied according to the instructions for the drug.
To protect a fir planting, you should adhere to agricultural technology at the stage of planting:
- choose the right place and prepare the soil;
- provide drainage;
- observe the distance between plants;
- Do not overmoisten the soil.
Pot care features
Transplanting fir into larger pots is necessary as it grows (about once every 2-3 years). It does not require a special condition for air, it will be enough to spray needles weekly. Watering should be regular, without stagnation of water. The frequency depends on the temperature in the room, the earth is dry, then it means time to water.
After transplanting the plants into a larger container, you need to fertilize the tree. Granulated fertilizer for conifers Kemira Universal is ideal for this purpose. Granules are scattered on the ground in a pot and watered, but not earlier than 2 weeks after transplantation. Loosely loosen and mulch the soil in the pot.If you want to suspend growth, then spend a shaping haircut in the spring, as mentioned above. With waterlogging, the roots can rot, the treatment with a 1% solution of copper sulfate and transplanting the plant into new soil will help to cope with this. If an insect is found on a tree, it is worth spraying it with insecticides for indoor plants, for example, Akarin, and prepare a working solution according to the instructions.
How fast fir is growing
The growth rate of fir, like other plants, depends on the variety, location and soil, care and fertilizers. Since your plant is grown from seed, there is no single answer as to what tree growth will be. The first 5-6 years it will be small, because there is an increase in the root system, then increases.
It is worth noting that in the open ground and in the pot, the same variety will grow in different ways. So, if it is characterized by an annual growth of 30–40 cm, then on the plot it will add about 20 cm in height, and in the container 5–6 cm, in order to calculate the growth rate of a particular tree, it is possible to measure lengths with a frequency of once a year in one and the same time.
How to dig a fir
To remove a tree from the site (the reasons may be different - it is old, sick or just needs to make room), it is worth remembering that it is not just necessary to cut it, but also to get rid of the stump and roots. For quick removal, you can use special equipment, but if there is no such possibility, you will have to tinker. You can get rid of a tree mechanically or chemically. The first involves cutting the trunk, digging the earth around the root in a radius significantly larger than the diameter of the trunk. On light soils, they resort to leaching the soil under the roots with the pressure of water.
In this case, it is worth taking care of the removal of excess fluid from the basal pit and construct a gutter. The bare roots are cut down with an ax or with the help of a winch they are taken out of the ground. If there is no possibility to resort to it, then the stump is rocked and twisted with a crowbar. You can also try to chop it and take it out in parts. A longer method is chemical. For him, in the autumn, in the remaining stump, make deep holes with a drill with a large diameter, fill them with urea granules (urea), pour water and tightly wrap them with polyethylene.The result does not depend on you; it can be observed already next spring or in a year. With this effect, the wood will become softer and the stump will be easier to remove. Also, this method is harmless to surrounding plants. Also, as chemical extermination, sodium chloride, copper and iron sulfate, and herbicides are used. But such methods should be treated with caution, because they can harm the surrounding plantings, and the latter option is suitable only if the vacated space is not planned for use under planting.
The action plan is the same as with the urea method. It is possible to grow fir from seeds at home, although this will take time and some effort. This method is suitable if you need to get a lot of seedlings, but it does not guarantee the safety of varietal characteristics. It is quite difficult to get rid of an adult tree, therefore, the choice of place should be treated with special care, that is, fir - long-lived plants.