Seaberry buckthorn seeding

HamtownfarmsApril 27, 2012

Hi there

I�m new to seaberrying-so if I sound uninformed, it is because I am.

I tasted seaberry preserves 2 weeks ago and was immediately hooked! A number of interested parties and myself are in the process of establishing an urban orchard (Hamtown Farms) on 9 vacant city lots.

We will be erecting a fence along the perimeter of the lots but think that the thorns of the seaberry will add a second layer of deterrence while producing an amazingly awesome fruit! Win-win!

We are poor. Buying 120 plants (20 males & 100 females) is not a possibility. So growing from seed seems to be the only and most rewarding option for our needs.

I have only seen male plants advertised as "males" not a Botanica male or Askola male. This leaves us wondering if the female plant solely determines seed characteristics. That is, if I plant seeds taken from a "Golden Sweet" will the resulting seedlings resemble "Golden Sweet?" Again the assumption is that all males are simply males.

When we plant the seeds can we expect a 50/50 crop of males to females? In order to get at least 100 females we need to plant 200 seeds (this is assuming a 100% germination/ survival rate)

Then, from what I�ve been learning, wait 3 years to determine the gender of each plant before planting them in their final spot along the fence line in a 5 female 1 male pattern.

Does this make sense?

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Seaberry can be an acquired taste, so if there are several of you that like it, your berries might come in handy.

The seaberry thorns may deter people from taking those berries but may not keep them from proceeding to the other fruiting plants. If you plant them close enough for a hedge, harvest will become more difficult. It has been my experience that the plants do not like to crowd each other.

All of the males I have planted get uniformly huge and require yearly pruning.

Seaberry seedlings typically, as a group, are not as productive as clones or cuttings from named varieties. You may end up with mostly foliage, but 120 plants are going to produce some fruit.

Your math and gender ratio is fine. Wind pollination is the key, so putting all the plants in a single line will reduce the harvest also, much like a single row of corn versus a field of corn. Better to plant them in a grid, like an orchard, if fruit is the main goal.

Most of the seaberry research in this hemisphere is done in Canada. There is a fellow who has planted many seeds and has posted here in years past. Use the term seaberry, seaberries, or sea buckthorn when searching the forum or the Internet. "Seaberry buckthorn" would be an uncommon phrase.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Just out of curiosity, is a seaberry/buckthorn not a naturally sweet berry? I read that people often add sugar to the juice.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Fresh-picked ripe seaberry is tart like a lemon.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Ah, I might pass then since I already have other produce that gives me similar nutrients, and I'm not sure they grow in So Cal.
Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:56AM
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