Perennial coniferous plants are one of the best ways to decorate the local area. Undoubtedly, it is very easy to purchase a ready-made seedling in a nursery, but growing pine from seeds at home with your own hands will give you incredible pleasure. A self-grown tree from the moment of a tiny seed to an adult pine tree will warm the soul every time you look at it. In this article, we will share all the intricacies of this process, starting with the collection of planting material and ending with the features of caring for grown seedlings. In addition, we will definitely share a photo of growing pine from seeds at home, which will make it possible to visually verify the simplicity of the process. So let's start with one of the most important steps.
The process of growing pine from cone seeds is a fairly simple but lengthy process. If you decide to create your own pine grove on your site, it is important to take responsibility for the choice of planting material. Collection of conesheld either in early spring or autumn - during periods when they have not yet opened. The autumn collection period lasts from mid-September to early November. Moreover, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the species of trees in advance and collect cones under several pines at once. The strongest, fully ripe and he althy buds are selected - two years is enough for them to fully mature. In the first year they are green in color and medium density, and at the end of the second year their color changes to brown. In addition, the cones begin to stiffen, and the seeds inside begin to fully ripen. It is important to remember that only female cones are suitable for growing pine from seeds at home, on the scales of which there are seeds with wings. Cones are collected as carefully as possible to prevent spilling of seeds. Transportation of seeds to the house is carried out in paper bags.
Preparation of planting material
Before you start preparing the seeds for planting, free them from cones. To do this, shake the cones well over a white sheet of paper or in the same bag where they were stored. If the seeds after this procedure did not crumble, let the cones ripen at room temperature or on a radiator. An oven should not be used for these purposes, since it is possible not to calculate the temperature regime and overheat the seeds, which can lead to their death. After the scales are completely open, you can try again to shake the cones to get seeds.
After that, the strongest seeds are selected and preparedcups with water (their number corresponds to the number of collected cones). The seeds of each fruit are immersed in a separate cup of water for a while, after which those specimens are selected for planting that have sunk to the bottom of the container much faster. Floated seeds are not suitable for further use and must be removed. After that, there are two ways to prepare: germination at room conditions in wet gauze and stratification, which we will talk about a little later.
In terms of soil selection, growing pine from seeds at home is a fairly simple procedure. However, it is worth remembering that heavy soil is not suitable for these purposes. Seeds in such soil may simply not sprout even when other comfortable conditions are created. Preference should be given to sandy or sandy loamy soil, which will be well saturated with oxygen.
In addition, light and loose soil will prevent rotting of the hatched root and embryo. Rot can develop not only with a lack of oxygen, but also with excessive soil moisture. If you plan to plant pine in sand, then its moisture content can be controlled as follows: moisture should not ooze from a lump of substrate, but its particles should be well adhered to each other. The ideal environment for seed germination and the development of already hatched sprouts is peat compost from a looser, upper layer. This substrate is rich in various trace elements necessary for the growth and development of pine.
Need for stratification
From experienced gardeners, you can often hear reviews about growing pine from seeds at home. And they say that the pine necessarily requires stratification, or, in other words, a significant cooling of the seeds before planting. According to some statistics, such a procedure accelerates the growth of the plant well, not only in the first year after planting, but also in later stages. However, it is not recommended to carry out seed stratification at home, since it is quite difficult to control the temperature regime, which as a result often leads to rotting of planting material. Fully ripened seeds sprout perfectly even without aging in a refrigerator or cool room. It is enough to germinate them in warm water or damp gauze.
Scotch pine is considered a heat-loving plant, and it does not tolerate too high air temperatures. The heat dries out the soil and causes the seeds to die. At the stage of ripening and drying the seeds, it is important not to heat them up to more than 40 °. However, lowering the temperature to -27 ° C is completely undesirable for this plant. After planting the seeds, you should ensure that the soil does not overheat, because this threatens the development of fungal diseases. The optimal temperature for growth is 22-24 °C.
In addition to pleasant and warm air, pine trees need sunlight. Therefore, planting containers are best placed on the south side. Even slight shading can lead toslow down the development of sprouts. When growing pine from seeds at home, it should be understood that ultraviolet radiation plays a key role in this process. Therefore, you should be prepared for the fact that home plantings will develop a little slower than those that were planted in open ground. Replacing natural light with artificial light will not change the situation for the better at all. Therefore, it is much more correct to organize a place in a greenhouse for a pine, and not spend money on expensive fluorescent lamps and other equipment.
Pine from seeds at home grows, though not quickly, but without much difficulty. The main thing is to comply with all the requirements for the selection and preparation of planting material, as well as competently carry out the planting process itself.
After two or three weeks of germination in moistened gauze, the seeds split into two parts, and a root begins to grow from them. Planting material is planted immediately in separate containers with prepared soil and a drainage system. At least 200 grams of substrate is calculated for each seed. The seeds are buried slightly and very carefully so as not to damage the fragile sprouts. Regardless of the location of the seed, the plant will develop properly and grow evenly. The plants will be ready for transplanting after reaching a height of twenty centimeters.
Water and fertilize
Moisten the soil regularly, namely daily. But at the same time, watering should be moderate and notpreventing access to oxygen. Water hardness does not affect the development of germinated seeds at all. To ventilate the substrate, small holes should be made in the side walls of the container. This is done if more than 500 grams of soil has been prepared for each plant. Watering is preferably carried out from a sprayer or by immersing a container with plants in a pan with water (provided that drainage holes are prepared in it). Pine is fed exclusively with mineral preparations until mid-summer.
Features of growing pine from seeds in open ground
This way of growing pine is only allowed in warm regions. Preparing seeds for planting in this case is no different from growing at home. Seeds are sown to a depth of about three centimeters at a distance of at least 15 centimeters from each other. After planting, the soil is mulched, but not shaded, as this will lead to inhibition of growth. In spring, seedlings are covered with a film to protect against birds and rodents. Such a shelter is removed after dropping the remnants of seeds. Under such conditions, pines grow for three years, after which intermediate planting should be carried out. In this case, the distance between seedlings increases to 90-100 centimeters. After another five years, the pines are transplanted to a permanent place. At each transplant, soil from the pine forest must be introduced into the soil.