• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Paul Fookes
  • Tina Wolf

Tell me about Sea Buckthorn

 
pollinator
Posts: 643
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
132
goat dog forest garden duck trees books chicken food preservation cooking woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My husband swears it is a miracle plant -- chock full of vitamins and tasty to boot. It apparently withstands severe weather and requires little care once established. However, I have never seen it and have no experience with it at all. Do any of you have it growing near you? If so, what do you think of it? I would love to know more AND, if anyone would be so kind, I would love to have some seeds or starts of it, as well. Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
121
4
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hippophae
https://permies.com/t/13986/plants/Seaberries-Sea-Buckthorn-Pacific-NW
https://permies.com/t/5205/plants/Seaberry-seed-separation
https://permies.com/t/20877/permaculture/Hippophae-Rhamnoides-Sea-Buckthorn
 
Posts: 27
Location: coastal northern nor cal
5
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought several very healthy young plants and put them in the orchard of my 8b garden, morning shade from the neighbor's hedge, afternoon sun. They struggled pathetically for 2 full seasons until I finally rescued the 2 remaining, thankfully 1 male, as they require male and female pollination. Put them in pots in a warm south facing spot protected from maritime winds ( I'm a mile from the ocean-can see the waves on a rough day) with all day sun and 9 months later they are finally growing. In my experience they are not quite as easy to grow as advertised, the former spot is great for other very happy berries. My winter lows are about 24 and summer averages about 70. I have great luck with other Russian grown plants but am still skeptical as to the future of these berries in my climate.
 
Posts: 310
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
7
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my garden they are very slow growing. I think it's because of our clay soil - they seem to prefer sandier soils. Once established they are very hardy though.
The male plants are the more vigorous. They spread through underground runners and can be pretty invasive.
 
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought a couple female cultivars and they struggled and died. Some of the unselected seedlings are starting to run and getting taller than me now. Let's hope the fruit is miraculous to balance out the negatives like thorns.
 
Posts: 8620
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial, clay/loam with few rocks 50" yearly rain
2252
4
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought fresh seed this winter and stratified in damp sand in the refrigerator...there was great germination but I couldn't keep them alive past seed leaves. I found they are really susceptable to damping off so next year I will try a layer of sand on top and more ventilation. I think they are worth growing...and maybe not so invasive if the young plants are so hard to establish
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
121
4
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:...and maybe not so invasive if the young plants are so hard to establish



Except if they're preferring way to invade is via runners

I'm on year 3 and I hope they do better now that I've kicked the poultry out of that paddock for a while.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 8620
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial, clay/loam with few rocks 50" yearly rain
2252
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cj Verde wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:...and maybe not so invasive if the young plants are so hard to establish



Except if they're preferring way to invade is via runners

I'm on year 3 and I hope they do better now that I've kicked the poultry out of that paddock for a while.




...I missed that part...so another 'feast or famine' plant. i have had several that were really hard to establish and then in a few years I would wonder what I was thinking....horsetail was one.
 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
Posts: 643
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
132
goat dog forest garden duck trees books chicken food preservation cooking woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

gina kansas wrote:I bought several very healthy young plants and put them in the orchard of my 8b garden, morning shade from the neighbor's hedge, afternoon sun. They struggled pathetically for 2 full seasons until I finally rescued the 2 remaining, thankfully 1 male, as they require male and female pollination. Put them in pots in a warm south facing spot protected from maritime winds ( I'm a mile from the ocean-can see the waves on a rough day) with all day sun and 9 months later they are finally growing. In my experience they are not quite as easy to grow as advertised, the former spot is great for other very happy berries. My winter lows are about 24 and summer averages about 70. I have great luck with other Russian grown plants but am still skeptical as to the future of these berries in my climate.



Judith Browning wrote: bought fresh seed this winter and stratified in damp sand in the refrigerator...there was great germination but I couldn't keep them alive past seed leaves. I found they are really susceptable to damping off so next year I will try a layer of sand on top and more ventilation. I think they are worth growing...and maybe not so invasive if the young plants are so hard to establish.



Wow -- sounds like they are going to be a bit harder to establish than I thought. Awhile back my husband bought some seeds and got almost 100% germination, but after they got about 2" tall -- still with only seedling leaves -- they all mysteriously died. I thought maybe we had done something really wrong, but maybe they are just harder to grow than we bargained for. Those of you who have had success, what sort of soil mix and temperatures did you use? We used our ordinary garden soil (which is really good for everything else, being loamy, fine textured and fertile after a lot of years adding compost and other organic improvements), but might a soil-less mix maybe work better? The seeds are so expensive and the packets are usually only about 20 seeds, so unless some kind soul has some to donate (in exchange for something I have perhaps?) I really hate to waste time experimenting. I would rather be surer of the best culture method before starting them. Regardless of what the official info says, I find the hands on experience of other gardeners more valuable. Especially if you live in zone 7a (Ozarks) like I do.
 
gardener
Posts: 2494
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
819
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sea buckthorn grows native around this region. Somebody planted a lot of it back when this campus was first started 20 years ago, and now it has gone rampant in some places.

It is the most vicious thorn I have ever worked around, penetrating the sole of a sandal. The thorns make the berries so hard to collect that what we do is lay tarps under it and beat the bushes with sticks. Then we pick out the sticks and leaves by hand. We don't collect all that grows in the area, only a few mornings at dawn because they are said to fall off more easily before the sun hits them.

I know the berries are super high in vitamin C etc, but honestly they are just extremely sour and faintly bitter with no real flavor or fragrance like a favorite fruit would have.

They are indeed very invasive by runners. They send up shoots ten or twenty feet from the mother plant, and this means they can form an impenetrable thicket in a wide swath along canals or water bodies. We have to dig them up out of the playing fields every year, and try to restrain them to growing only on the outer edge of the canal, but they aren't very obedient.

Since so few things grow here, and they fix nitrogen (yep, you can see the nodules when you pull up the runners), and they make nice thickets for bird habitat, and we do make a bit of juice, I am happy we have some. Only some though.

But if you are in a different climate where other more appealing things are possible, I wouldn't really recommend sea buckthorn.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
2
fungi wofati bee
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Deb,

I just thought I would throw this out there, the biggest advocate of sea buckthorn I have ever seen has to be Ben Falk he LOVES them but calls them Sea Berry's. I can't quickly find the video but I know that somewhere on his site he talks about how they make juices every morning for breakfast and sea berry is a large component however they use the other fruit to temper the taste.

Here is a different video which he talks about the beneficial aspects of sea berry at about 3:40 skip there if you want but pretty much all of Bens work is gold:
http://vimeo.com/33919587

One cool thing I remember hearing I think Jack Spirko said this was that Ben had grafted male branches onto female sea berry plants to reduce the space required for proper pollination of the plants.

I find it interesting that although some of the most nutritious food is also quite delicious often the really amazing foods have a flavor that is stronger than humans find "tasty". Vegemite comes to mind LOL

Anyhow I am pretty sure Ben's wife who is a naturopath makes and sells they're sea berry extract on the whole systems design website which I haven't tried it but I imagine would be good to add to the old supplements until I get my own systems rocking.

Daniel
 
Deb Stephens
pollinator
Posts: 643
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
132
goat dog forest garden duck trees books chicken food preservation cooking woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Daniel,

Thanks for the link -- really good info! I watched the video, then looked around and watched a couple more. I really like his ideas about digging swales and making paddies since all 75 of our acres are on west and south-facing slopes. Never considered the idea of planting nitrogen fixers at the top of the hill to increase soil fertility at the bottom, even though it seems obvious now that he mentions it. (Duh!) I think we may incorporate both the swales and the sea buckthorn in our sloped, south-facing 3 acre goat yard. We used to have 15 goats, but over the years they have gotten elderly and died one by one until we only have 4 old goats left. We will need to protect the trees (sea buckthorn and other fruit/nut trees) for a few years, of course -- since goats are browsers, not grazers like sheep -- but by the time the trees mature, we should have no more goats and we will be well on our way to establishing the essential canopy layer of a food forest. Most of our slopes are limestone glades covered in diverse native vegetation like warm-season grasses and flowers, so we don't want to disturb those, but the old goat yard was once savannah and woodland edge and has deeper, fertile soil (especially after having goats on it for 20 years.)

Rebecca,

I have read about sea buckthorn's invasiveness elsewhere and don't take that lightly, believe me. (There are a few other plants I sometimes wish I had never planted -- like purple passionfruit, lemon balm and garlic chives -- because they are running rampant everywhere.) However, considering the health benefits of sea buckthorn AND the fact that in this day and age when we never know what will happen to the climate and the environment next, I figure anything that will grow is better than nothing. Already in our area we are seeing massive die-offs of many native species from the extreme heat and droughts that are becoming a normal part of our summers. I worry that if we don't do something now to increase the diversity of species around us, we may soon find that we are living in a desert where nothing will survive. So, while we are very careful to protect the native plant diversity in areas where we have restored our glades and woodlands, within those areas we call our living zone (about 7 acres), we want to intensely plant food crops of many varieties -- with the idea that some will adapt to, and survive climate changes better than others and we will always have something to eat. We will just have to be prepared for a potential invasion and nip them out of the natural areas as they appear. Thanks for the warning!
 
pollinator
Posts: 449
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
75
forest garden trees food preservation bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I purchased a male & female (Leikora or something like that), and also started some from seed. They are all doing great. I had a few berries last year, this year I have probably a hundred berries. I can send some seeds if you'd like.

I would guess that your seeds experienced "damping off". I used to get that too, but now whenever I plant seeds indoors I mist them with a weak vinegar solution, and also blow a fan on them. The fan helps with damping off and also strengthens the stem.

Mine are starting to spread by runners. I plan to air prune them with a trench around the plant.

Deb Stephens wrote:

gina kansas wrote:I bought several very healthy young plants and put them in the orchard of my 8b garden, morning shade from the neighbor's hedge, afternoon sun. They struggled pathetically for 2 full seasons until I finally rescued the 2 remaining, thankfully 1 male, as they require male and female pollination. Put them in pots in a warm south facing spot protected from maritime winds ( I'm a mile from the ocean-can see the waves on a rough day) with all day sun and 9 months later they are finally growing. In my experience they are not quite as easy to grow as advertised, the former spot is great for other very happy berries. My winter lows are about 24 and summer averages about 70. I have great luck with other Russian grown plants but am still skeptical as to the future of these berries in my climate.



Judith Browning wrote: bought fresh seed this winter and stratified in damp sand in the refrigerator...there was great germination but I couldn't keep them alive past seed leaves. I found they are really susceptable to damping off so next year I will try a layer of sand on top and more ventilation. I think they are worth growing...and maybe not so invasive if the young plants are so hard to establish.



Wow -- sounds like they are going to be a bit harder to establish than I thought. Awhile back my husband bought some seeds and got almost 100% germination, but after they got about 2" tall -- still with only seedling leaves -- they all mysteriously died. I thought maybe we had done something really wrong, but maybe they are just harder to grow than we bargained for. Those of you who have had success, what sort of soil mix and temperatures did you use? We used our ordinary garden soil (which is really good for everything else, being loamy, fine textured and fertile after a lot of years adding compost and other organic improvements), but might a soil-less mix maybe work better? The seeds are so expensive and the packets are usually only about 20 seeds, so unless some kind soul has some to donate (in exchange for something I have perhaps?) I really hate to waste time experimenting. I would rather be surer of the best culture method before starting them. Regardless of what the official info says, I find the hands on experience of other gardeners more valuable. Especially if you live in zone 7a (Ozarks) like I do.

 
Posts: 184
Location: Zone 4 MN USA
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought 10 seedling plants and dispersed them around my garden, no maintenance at all, honestly I forgot where I put them.
Covered in weeds, with no water they have all doubled in size. Very impressive plant IMO, hopefully I enjoy the taste once they produce.
 
Posts: 7
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I started 5 seaberry seeds back in January 2014, out of those 5 seeds only one sprouted and it's doing good I think, it's about 16 inches tall and is very bushy, I'll add a picture of it.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
Seaberry
 
Posts: 10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey does anyone know what variety of sea buckthorn is tastiest? or what are your favorites? I see alot of comments from people who bought some plants a few years ago... what are your results?
 
pollinator
Posts: 3825
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
553
2
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
List of sweet cultivars:
Golden Sweet
Sirola
Star of Altai
Sunny

Most take 4yrs to start fruiting after buying potted plants.

My male plant grows really really fast and the non-bearing, female grows very very SLOW.
 
Posts: 4
Location: London, Ontario (Zone 6A)
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does anyone know if sea buckthorn will tolerate growing near black walnut (juglone tolerance)? I have a nice spot that I would like to create some guilds on, but the canopy trees are black walnuts.

Thanks!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
121
4
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can't locate my reference ATM but I believe autumn olive goes best with black walnut.
 
Ed Chapman
Posts: 4
Location: London, Ontario (Zone 6A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks CJ, what is the name of reference document you use....it sounds like something I could use, as I am wanting to really increase the diversity of the forest!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
121
4
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ed, I actually made my own reference. Well, 2 because I'm such a data nerd. 1 is a spreadsheet so I can sort and filter, the other a text doc so I could organize the various tidbits I hear and read about.

Plants for our Future is the best free database online.

I did find the reference for you:

In a recent scientific study, native green ash, red maple and black walnut grew up to twice as fast if their root zone was in contact with autumn olive. I’m taking my cue from nature.

Guilds: (Black Walnut ) Hackberry/Sugarberry, Mulberry, Autumn Olive. Tomatillo

What naturally grows under Black Walnut? Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and Spicebush (Calycanthus occidentalis) grow as understory shrubs under Black Walnut naturally in Central Illinois. Ground level wildflowers are no less abundant under Black Walnuts than in other natural forest communities.
 
Ed Chapman
Posts: 4
Location: London, Ontario (Zone 6A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks again, Cj!

I agree that PFOP is a wonderful resource...

In our scenario, we have a bit of forest, actually more accurately...a 25-30 year old plantation, with black walnuts and white pine...the pines are dead or dying off, so I will drop them, and either let them decompose or chip them...other species (like red maple, hickory) have made their way in...I will try to find some olive as you have mentioned!

As a side note, I was just reading about putting in plants as a buffer between black walnut, so that I might be able to successfully grow the sea buckthorn (Black Locust was one that was mentioned).

Thanks!!!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
121
4
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No problemo. FYI, Hickory and to some extent Red Maple make good shiitake logs.
 
Posts: 255
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut zone 0 / Mont Sainte-Marie, QC zone 4a
52
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow! I saw this thread in the daily email and it is just in time! I have ordered seed, which I was having trouble getting. I should do well with 10 seeds but my cultivars died off right away. I have the seeds in one of my freezers: a safe impermeable container outdoors. I plan on direct seeding in 4a probably winter planting 5, and another 5 nearby directly in the meager top soil. It grows in our area: some is encroaching into a road ditch but those people are nuts: recently moved there. The cellular reception starts there, which is why I noticed their cultivars when they were new (parked on the shoulder I was accused of stealing their wifi lol) Anyway I will stick with the thorny ones: excellent for keeping out undesirable neighbours!

Rebecca, I shall remember a tarp and beat mine half to death lol

Thank you all for your advice: I have copied it all.
 
Posts: 19
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Im not sure how many cultivars were available in 15 but onegreenworld.com has a large selection. Many are listed as sweet. Now im not sure if cultivars are different than wild sea buckthorn in their invasiveness. I am willing to take a chance on buying a bundle . We did start seeds last year and out if 10 we ended up with 2. Small and unknown male or female. I do know for sure full sun only. No shade.
 
Posts: 3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
very different height profiles too and varying thornyness.

smallest 1.8m ish to tallest 3m ish.

Tatiania
freisdorfer orange -(dioecious)
Mary
sunny solnechya
Towan
orange energy
goldrain
lord  --(male)
 
Matt Reynolds
Posts: 3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have several cultivars , one that stands out is 'Freisdorfer orange' which is the only one I know to be dioecous/self fertile.  fruits later in the year and can have fruit into autumn  (Cornwall,UK) very tart but tasty , Other varieties taste varies dramatically along with nutrient profile, A good source of omega 3,6 and 9 and bizarrely omega7 which I had never heard off prior to a deep dive on the subject, good for eyesight allegedly. so my tip is get a lot of female cultivars for a range of fruits that taste different and are available at different times. they can all sucker a lot and spread , possibly 'sunny' (early mid fruiter) and 'orange energy '(later fruiter) sucker the most and the male 'lord' suckers running amok, others not so much.
 
Ra Kenworth
Posts: 255
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut zone 0 / Mont Sainte-Marie, QC zone 4a
52
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For those in Canada I have found a link I hadn't seen before (reading 2/10 germination-success prompted me to buy more seeds!) This is for 50 seeds for $5cdn
https://www.incredibleseeds.ca/products/seabuckthorn-seeds
I can comment on success rate later this year
 
Posts: 108
Location: Southern Manitoba...bald(ish) prairie, zone 2b/3
34
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another Canadian source is https://ttseeds.com/product/sea-buckthorn/ - this is a bundle of 5 bare root plants - one male, four female.  They are located just outside Winnipeg, so when I order from them I set it up as a pickup, but they do ship across Canada.  They don't give a particular cultivar name to them though.  There are a couple named varieties available at another relatively local nursery that I know grows their own stock.

I have a packet of seeds from Incredible Seeds awaiting appropriate timing to scarify and begin the cold stratification.

Even though these are listed as up to zone 7, as they are originally from Russia / Ukraine (and quite possibly broader, but that's what I remember) area, I wonder if perhaps some of the folks who'd responded earlier in MO and CA are perhaps not in an ideal location for them.  

I do have some growing at our acreage.  We haven't been diligent about harvesting, but have picked a few.  I like the flavour, but I'm also not a huge fan of sweet.  We planted a number more last year including harvested suckers as part of a sun trap area - I figured their silvery leaves and nitrogen fixing would be good for what will grow in the sun trap.

There's a local company with a founder from eastern Europe who was excited to find sea buckthorn growing in Manitoba and built a firm that makes a puree - https://shop.solberry.ca/.  The puree has shown up at the local Co-op grocery stores.
 
Posts: 107
Location: SW New Mexico, 5300'elevation, 18" precip
27
goat hugelkultur forest garden chicken greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was hoping to learn more from this thread about pollination.
I bought about 20 seaberry seedlings 5 years ago and assumed several of them would be males.
We planted them here and there, mostly on the fencelines. I had no idea how tall and wide and invasive and thorny they would get to be! I was only thinking ahead to all of that wonderful food source of Vitamin C we'd be harvesting.
They have quickly, without much care, grown into 10 foot+ trees, spreading all over. They bloomed profusedly for the first time last spring and I thought for sure we'd have some fruit. But alas, I read afterwards that the male and female plants need to be within a few feet of one another to pollinate with wind. And I didn't know enough last year to check and see which flowers were male and which were female so that maybe I could have grafted where needed this spring.

But, wow, when I hear about so many people having a hard time getting them started....it's hard to believe because we're not exactly in a lush environment. It's high desert, 16 inches of rainfall...maybe. Last summer the monsoons missed us and the temps got up to 107 degrees but the stress did not bother them at all and they just kept on growing and growing.
We've got sandy loam, drains really fast, not especially high in nutrients. Maybe they don't like to be pampered?
 
Posts: 27
8
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I guess you all mean what in Germany is called Sanddorn. Up on the Ostsee (Baltic) it grows everywhere behind the sand dunes and there's quite an industry with the juice, jam, liqueurs, ice cream etc. So they like sandy soil and lots of sunshine in long long summer days. Wind and salt resistant I guess I though the Ostsee isn't fully salty if course). Definitely sour, usually heavily sweetened. (Probably historically with beet syrup, another local product).

There's a problem though - in the past few years (2022,2023)  there's been a disease wiping out commercial harvests, I don't know if the wild stuff is affected, I haven't been on as much coastal exploring these past couple of years.

https://m.faz.net/aktuell/wissen/erde-klima/sanddorn-in-not-die-vitamin-bombe-des-ostens-16556499.html#:~:text=Der%20Phytopathologe%20hat%20auf%20dem,kein%20Wasser%20mehr%20aufnehmen%20k%C3%B6nne.

Sorry, I can't find anything in English. They don't seem to know exactly what the issue is, maybe a fungus or bacteria. It's really quite worrying.


I do know that for growing seeds you need to freeze them for a while or they don't grow - the packet I had had directions. They may also need long summer days to thrive - 16 hrs. Or maybe like onions there are different varieties.
 
Ra Kenworth
Posts: 255
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut zone 0 / Mont Sainte-Marie, QC zone 4a
52
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope it doesn't wipe out their industry. Thanks for the heads up
 
Posts: 6
3
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live near Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada, zone 3a.  I got 2 female and 1 male Sea Buckthorn plants from Richters Herbs at Goodwood, ON (they have several cultivars).  They were very small, like 6 inches high.  They grew at a reasonable rate in straw bales over this awful gravel and clay of the ancient shore of Lake Superior (I am 30 minutes up hill from Thunder Bay).  Finally last summer (year 4) they produced fruit.  I didn't get to eat any because I was away for 6 weeks - they weren't ripe when I left and the birds got to them while I was gone.  The bushes are now 7 feet tall and have some runners which I disconnect from the parents with a few jabs of a shovel (not so easy since they are well rooted into the gravel now).  Then after they have survived on their own for a month I dig them up and gift them to others who have asked for them.  I have a waiting list.  Yes they have thorns but then no worries about deer eating them.  I have read about all their amazing health qualities and look forward to some berries although I like to plant things for birds since I don't provide any bird seed unless there is a blizzard.  Somebody is growing them in Canada for the retail trade because I bought frozen, certified organic Sea Buckthorn berries at my local Metro grocery store last year to my amazement.  They have an interesting, unusual flavor I can't really compare to anything else (sour oranges with a hint of mushrooms??) and went well in green smoothies.  Most of the cosmetic uses are of the seed oil which I can't access.  MY Vita Mix blender ground up the berries and seeds completely so I am getting all the nutrition that way.  I don't know that I would enjoy them by them selves but tree ripened might be sweeter than the frozen ones were.  They were with blue berries and huge amounts of greens in the smoothie which was delicious.  Without removing runners, in a few years, I'd have a forest only birds could penetrate.  Although that would be OK too.  I will prune them some early this spring or they will be too tall to harvest.  They get well watered along with the rest of my garden since they are on the east edge of it.  I'd suspect that they need really good drainage and they have that here.  The cold temperatures here don't faze them.  And they do fine with harsh south and western sun.  They are a bit shaded in the morning from forest right behind them on the east.  All in all I'd say they are extremely hardy bushes and fruit even in our short summers.  Good luck with yours.
 
Posts: 1
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello from Greece, here is video of our farm  "BareFoot-The Safety Cell Project at Hippocrates Farm@Meteora"  where we cultivate Seabuckthorn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf_M5VLsikY

and here you can find articles in English about cultivation and more
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ippophaes/files/files
 
Posts: 8
Location: Pasco, United States
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew a sea buckthorn.  I bought it for the same reason you did.  I heard about all the health benefits.  BUT, the berries are very very sour.  The closest berry I can think of for flavor comparison is mountain ash.  If you can stomach mountain ash then you might like sea buckthorn.  The other problem is the bushes are very thorny and the berries cling tight to the stems in between the thorns.  I had to actually cut the limbs off in order to harvest the berries.  I have never been so disappointed with a berry bush as I was with sea buckthorn.
 
pollinator
Posts: 549
Location: Northwest Missouri
213
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Harrold wrote:  I have never been so disappointed with a berry bush as I was with sea buckthorn.



And here I was holding off on digging them up until they produced! Doesn't sound like they'll be any better if/when they finally do give me berries. Not that I'm certain I'll even be able to dig them up with ALLLLLL the runners they've put out.   I did a post about it last summer: https://permies.com/t/224627/ready-give-Seaberry
 
Posts: 20
4
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found that if you put them in the right spot (lots of sun, wind no problem,) they not only thrive but send out root suckers that you can then chop off, dig up and plant elsewhere.  I now have them in both a sandy, acidic, low fertility  spot and a loamy, more fertile spot, and both groups are happy. They do live up to their name though, they ARE thorny!

 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 2494
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
819
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sunny Baba wrote:
But, wow, when I hear about so many people having a hard time getting them started....it's hard to believe because we're not exactly in a lush environment. It's high desert, 16 inches of rainfall


Yes, I where I live in the high desert in the Himalayas, seabuckthorn is native. We have only about 4 inches of precipitation so the seabuckthorn only grows where there's water, but yeah, it sure doesn't need pampering here.

David Harrold wrote: the berries are very very sour.  ... The other problem is the bushes are very thorny and the berries cling tight to the stems in between the thorns.  I had to actually cut the limbs off in order to harvest the berries.  I have never been so disappointed with a berry bush as I was with sea buckthorn.



A man after my own heart! I posted the same opinion ten years ago upthread.

By the way, I'll repeat that how it is harvested here is by laying a tarp under the bush and thwacking it vigorously with a long stick. Then you can put the berries with all the detritus in a bucket of water to partially float off the berries from the leaves and sticks and thorns. And also pick out the detritus by hand, which is easier once they're all loose rather than trying to pick the berries off the stems of the viciously thorny standing bushes. Since it is such a vigorous bush, no long term damage is done.

I sorta feel like we on this thread are like the blind men describing an elephant. You know, where the guy touching the ear says "An elephant is like a blanket" and the guy touching the ear says "An elephant is a rope," etc. I'm just amazed to hear the guy upthread who said he didn't like the berries very much because he's not a fan of sweet. Whaaaat? Sweet? Here where they grow wild I can't find the slightest hint of sweetness in them. I guess the cultivars are amazing, huh?
 
Derek Thille
Posts: 108
Location: Southern Manitoba...bald(ish) prairie, zone 2b/3
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't recall if it was mentioned earlier, but another harvest method I've seen is to clip off the branches that are bearing fruit and freeze them immediately.  Once frozen, whack the branches and the frozen berries come off.  That's handy if you want to keep them frozen, but in that case, you'd need to work relatively quickly.

We've harvested a few berries from ours but they haven't been abundant.  Then again, all they've really had is neglect.  There's another relatively local nursery that has some named cultivars.  I've heard there are some newer varieties developed in Ukraine that are thornless or nearly so...but where's the fun in that
 
Posts: 7
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No experience growing it, but a possible common denominator to those who have had trouble doing so may be that you're not in a place that's cold &/or dry enough for it's preferences? I associate it with Mongolia, where it grew like a weed. Thrives in brown places, not green ones.

The post from Greece gave me pause about my hunch, but I don't think Meteora has the typical Mediterranean climate that most of us associate with Greece, right? It was cold, brown, and snowy when I was there.
 
They kept fire breathing monkeys as pets! This tiny ad told me so!
6 Ways to Keep Chickens, ebook - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/t/138684/Ways-Chickens-ebook-FREE
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic