Many summer residents seek to decorate their personal plots with evergreen plantings. One of these plants is pine. Currently, buying a seedling is not difficult. But it is much more pleasant to grow this proud beauty with your own hands from seeds.
Scotch pine structure
Scots pine, growing in a dense forest, has a smooth, straight, slender trunk without knots. The trunk of a pine tree growing in a rare forest is less tall and gnarled. The bark in the lower part of the trunk is thick, brown-red or gray, indented with furrows. In the middle and upper parts of the trunk, the bark is thin, scaly red-yellow.
Depending on the growing conditions, the root system is divided into four types:
- Strongly developed tap root with lateral processes. Such a root system is typical for plants growing on soils with a good drainage system.
- Weakly developed tap root with well developed lateral roots running parallel to the soil surface. It is observed in plants growing on dry soil with a deep location of groundwater.
- Weakly developed root system with many short branched roots. Such roots are in plants growing in swampy areas.
- Dense root system, located close to the surface of the soil and resembling a brush. Such a root system in plants growing on dense soil with a remote occurrence of groundwater.
In a different period of growth, the crown of a plant looks different:
- young plants have a cone-shaped crown;
- in adulthood, the crown takes the form of an umbrella.
The branches are directed from left to right, located on the trunk at the same height. Every year a new ring of branches forms on the trunk. In an old tree, the lower rings of branches die off, and the trunk remains bare, and the places where the branches used to be are overgrown.
The buds are brown-red, egg-shaped, located at the ends of the shoots. The most active tree growth falls on the period from 15 to 30 years.
Pine needles have a rich green color. From above the needle has a convex shape, from below it is flat. The length of the needles is from 5 to 7 cm, vital activity is 2 years.
How to grow pine trees from seeds
First of all, you need to decide on the type and size of the future tree. Going to the forest for cones, you need to find an adult tree as a sample of the desired specimen and stock up on cones growing on it.
When collecting cones, it should be borne in mind that the seeds in them ripen only in the second year. Seeds are collected in the fall, choosing cones that have a brown color with open scales. Cones with tightly closed scales are not suitable. The seeds in them will not ripen. Cones that have a green color are also not suitable for collecting seeds.
In addition to cones, it is recommended to collect soil in the forest. Young pines respond well to soil taken near mature conifers.
After extracting the seeds, it is necessary to clean them from the husk, select mature ones suitable for planting. To do this, the seeds are soaked in water and left for 20 minutes. Remove those that float to the surface, as they will not sprout. Seeds sunk to the bottom are soaked in warm water for 2 days to swell. Water must be changed every 12 hours.
Prepared seeds are mixed with sand in a ratio of 1:3 (one part of seeds and three parts of river sand). A container with seeds is placed in a room with a temperature of 0- +5 degrees and left for two months. For these purposes, a basement or refrigerator (shelf for vegetables) is suitable. In February, the seeds can be planted in planting boxes.
We put a drainage layer in the landing box. Expanded clay or small pebbles can be used as drainage. On top of the drainage layer lays out the soil brought from the forest. If it was not possible to collect soil in the forest, you can cook it yourself by mixing the following ingredients in the following proportion:
- sod land – 2 parts;
- peat – 1 part;
- river sand – 1 part;
- particles of pine bark or needles.
Before use, it is recommended to water the soil with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate and keep it in a microwave oven for 20 minutes to kill pathogenic microbes and insect larvae. When filling containers with earth, do not add 2-2.5 cm of soil to the upper edge of the box.
Sift the seeds from the sand and plant in the prepared soil mixture to a depth of 25-35 mm. After planting, the soil is well watered and the container is covered with polyethylene. A container with seeds is placed in a room with a temperature of + 22-27 degrees. Before germination, polyethylene is removed daily for 10 minutes to ventilate the seedlings and moisten the soil. To keep the soil constantly moist, boxes with seedlings can be placed on a tray with water.
Young seedlings need care, which consists in the implementation of the following activities:
- Watering should be carried out regularly 1 time in 10-14 days. Watering should be moderate, as excess moisture in the soil can lead to root rot. In addition to watering, young shoots need daily irrigation with a spray bottle.
- To prevent diseases in order to prevent pine, spray it 2-3 times with Fitosporin.
- So that the shoots do not turn yellow, the seedlings must be shaded from direct sunlight.
- Crown formation is carried out no earlier than two years after planting. Pruning should be done carefully, as after this procedure the tree may begin to hurt.
Transplanting seedlings in open ground
Young seedlings are transplanted into open ground from the end of April to the last days of May. By this time, the height of the seedling should be at least 20 cm.
The best place to plant a seedling is a site located on a hill or hillock. If the summer cottage has a flat surface, then it is necessary to create good drainage.
It is necessary to pour a drainage layer into the landing pit, 15 cm high. Gravel or broken brick can be used as drainage. A small amount of nitrogen-containing fertilizer is poured onto the bottom to stimulate the growth of green mass. A layer of soil with a thickness of at least 7 cm is poured over the fertilizers so that the roots of the plant do not come into contact with it. The seedling is placed in a planting hole along with a clod of earth. After planting, the plant is watered.
Loosening is carried out after each watering, simultaneously destroying weeds.
You can fertilize with compost or special fertilizer for conifers. Manure for fertilizer is not recommended due to the high nitrogen content.
Sowing seeds in open ground
In open ground, seeds are sown in those regions where winters are mild. For planting, choose large seeds and soak them for 72 hours in warm water. The water needs to be changed daily.
The site for planting seeds is prepared in advance. When digging the site, peat and sand are introduced into the soil. The soil is leveled with a rake and grooves are made 30 mm deep. Seeds are planted at intervals of 15 cm from each other, sprinkled with soil, compacted and mulched.
In the spring, when the first shoots appear, the plants are covered, thereby protecting them from birds and animals. When the leaves are cleared of the remnants of seeds, the shelter is removed.
On such beds, seedlings grow up to three years. After three years, the seedlings are seated, leaving an interval of 1 meter between plants. At the age of five years, the pine is planted in a permanent place of growth. In order for the plant to take root better, when transplanting into the ground, it is recommended to add coniferous needles and earth from a coniferous forest.
Sowing seeds is carried out at the end of winter. Seeds previously undergo cold stratification for three months, then they are treated with a growth stimulator and planted in a deep container to a depth of 20 mm. The distance between the grooves is at least 3 cm. The soil for planting seeds is prepared from peat and coarse river sand, mixed in a 1: 1 ratio. You can also use cactus soil for this purpose with the addition of coarse river sand. Such soil retains moisture well, has a sufficient amount of nutrients, and is breathable.
We fill the container with the mixture, without adding three cm to the top. On top we pour 1 cm of soddy soil, previously aged for 15 minutes in a microwave oven to kill microbes. We compact the soil with a wooden plank, spread the seeds on the surface and sprinkle them with a layer of pre-calcined sand. The thickness of the layer should not exceed double the size of the seed. The sand is compacted and watered.
The seed container must be covered with polyethylene to create a greenhouse effect and installed in a dark room with a temperature not higher than +15 degrees. Every day, the film is removed for 10 minutes to ventilate the seedlings and moisten the soil.
The soil should be constantly moist, but excessive moisture is not allowed. When the first shoots appear, it is necessary to pierce the polyethylene to provide air access. When mass shoots appear, the polyethylene is removed and the containers are transferred to a well-lit room. The container must be placed in such a way that direct sunlight does not fall on the seedlings.
After 60-90 days, the tap root is cut off by 2/3, forming seedlings. During the period of maturation of seedlings, top dressing is necessary. The crown can begin to form when the plants grow up to 5 cm. Seedlings can be transplanted into separate pots when they reach a height of 10 cm.
The most important part of bonsai care is watering. As a result of growing a plant in small pots, its roots are deformed, so watering efficiency is low. Watering must be done in two ways:
In the first case, the plant is watered with a watering can, settled for 48 hours with water at room temperature. The soil should not be allowed to dry out, as roots that have been without moisture for a long time die off. In the hot period of time, watering should be more frequent and plentiful.
Feeding is of great importance in growing bonsai. During the formation of the crown, the plant is fertilized every 15-21 days. For these purposes, fertilizers containing:
Once a month, algae-based top dressing is applied. A plant growing in a room is fed year-round, and a plant growing in a garden is fed from early spring to mid-autumn. Young seedlings are fertilized every 14 days. Mature trees – 1 time in 28-42 days.
Bonsai growing in the garden, with the onset of cold weather, they begin to prepare for wintering:
- clean branches from pests;
- transferred to an elevated place, protected from drafts;
- when the temperature drops to -10 degrees, move the plant to an unheated room;
- Reduce watering, keeping the soil slightly moist.
Pine Bunge growing from seeds
Bunge pine differs from its relatives in the unusual color of the trunk, which appears at the age of 50 years. The color of the bark at this age becomes gray-green.
This type of pine grows in height from 10 to 22 meters. Good growth gives when growing in brightly lit areas with slightly acidic or slightly alkaline well-drained soil. Frost-resistant, withstands up to -25 degrees below zero.
Sowing seeds is carried out in March. The specifics of cultivation and further care does not differ from the cultivation of Scots pine. Seedlings are planted in open ground the following year in the spring.
They are transplanted to a permanent place of growth after three years.
Growing pine from seeds is a troublesome and time-consuming process. However, the resulting luxurious tree more than justifies the physical strength expended in the process of growing.