The chestnut ( Castanea sativa ) is a strongly developed tree that can reach 20 to 25 meters in height. It is one of the most beautiful fruit trees in our gardens, offering generous and pleasant shade in addition to its delicious fruit. But it needs space, so there is a need to consider planting it in a place where it can develop well, growing in pots is not recommended as its roots need a lot of space. In this article, we will see how to plant chestnuts organically, plant in the garden, and collect them. Growing a chestnut tree is relatively easy to carry out successfully, follow the tips below and you will be able to harvest beautiful chestnuts in your garden.
- Botanical name: Castanea sativa
- Common name: Chestnut
- Family: Juglandaceae
- Height: 20 to 30 m high
- Foliage: Determined
- Bark: Soft, gray in color
- Wood: Hard and renowned for its high quality
- Flowers: The chestnut tree is self-fertile, the female flowers are white and the male ones are yellow.
- Fruits: Chestnuts are grouped by 2 or 3 in a prickly green envelope
- Exposure: To the sun and the heat for a better fruiting
- Soil: Chestnut can grow almost anywhere, except in calcareous or too heavy soil.
- Resistance: -20 ° C. Rustic grows in most regions but needs heat to bear good fruit.
Plant Chestnuts Organically
How to sow chestnuts
It is preferable to keep chestnuts in a humid environment before planting them. You can leave them to soak for 48 hours to facilitate germination.
Plant the seed flat, germinate horizontally, as usually happens when the fruit falls from the tree. Sow the seeds in individual pots so that later the transplant is easier, also if you prefer you can sow in the place where you want your chestnut to grow, but you must take good care of it so that the plants around it do not invade it quickly.
The depth should be three times the size of the fruit, that is, about 3-4 centimeters. Moisten the soil before and after placing the seed. This facilitates rooting and a better settlement.
If the seedling hasn’t taken root, wait until the tree’s first anniversary is passed before transplanting it.
Planting and transplanting chestnut trees
Preferably plant young chestnut trees in autumn, so that they have time to settle before the vegetation begins to grow again. Remember to plant the chestnut in the afternoon, when the sun is not giving directly on the place of cultivation. Never do it at noon or in the strong sun.
So dig a hole that is wider than it is deep. If the soil is not too compact, a height of 30 to 40 cm is sufficient for a width of 60 cm. The size of a shovel will give you a good indication of the ideal depth.
Put the tree in place by spreading its roots across the entire surface of the bottom of the hole. There is no need to prune them unless they are really damaged.
Fill the hole with a mixture of excavated soil and potting soil. Halfway through, pour in some rainwater to expel the air bubbles. And finish filling.
Place a solid stake, parallel to the tree and always facing the prevailing winds. This will help the chestnut to grow straight and not be affected by the wind.
If your garden is open to the surrounding countryside, consider installing a fence to prevent rabbits, hares, or deer from nibbling on the bark at night.
During the first year of cultivation, water your young chestnut regularly to help it settle down. In the following years, there will be no more watering!
When and how to collect chestnuts
Chestnuts are not picked from the tree; you just have to pick up the ones that have fallen to the ground by themselves. Some shake the lower branches to make them fall and put a net on the ground to retrieve them more easily.
Pruning the chestnut tree
Leave him free to develop his antlers. They only cut the lower branches when they are still young to encourage their growth.
Avoid big cuts. Large wounds do not heal well. In addition, pruning does not favor fruiting, which is all the more reason to limit pruning to a strict minimum.
The specialized nurseries offer about fifty varieties of chestnut trees, all of them from trees grafted to obtain large chestnut trees.
First of all, choose a variety adapted to the soil and climate of your region, keeping in mind that you will plant this chestnut tree and it will live there for centuries to come. So take an interest in the quality of the fruit.
Chestnut trees do not appreciate loneliness, they need a partner to grow well. If you only plant one, make sure more chestnut trees grow in your neighbors’ yards or the surrounding woods. Otherwise, it is necessary to plant more than one nearby.