• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Tell me about Sea Buckthorn  RSS feed

 
Deb Stephens
Posts: 375
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
18
books dog food preservation forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
 
gina kansas
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 303
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5727
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
324
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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: 5727
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
324
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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
Posts: 375
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
18
books dog food preservation forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1210
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
120
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Daniel Clifford
Posts: 53
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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
Posts: 375
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
18
books dog food preservation forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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!
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
Posts: 416
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Russell Olson
Posts: 184
Location: Zone 4 MN USA
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Chris Ulinski
Posts: 7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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
 
Randy Grant Heacox
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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?
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1357
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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.
 
Ed Chapman
Posts: 4
Location: London, Ontario (Zone 6A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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
  • 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: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • 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
  • 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: 3725
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
86
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No problemo. FYI, Hickory and to some extent Red Maple make good shiitake logs.
 
For my next feat, I will require a volunteer from the audience! Perhaps this tiny ad?
permaculture bootcamp - boots-to-roots
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!