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In the proper cultivation of blackthorn the strong challenge and the vehement propagation urge are the main challenge. All other care measures are part of it, because a Prunus spinosa is characterized as a wild shrub by a robust resilience and frugal unpretentiousness. For this reason, wear suitable work clothing for all planting and care work, which protects against sharp thorns. In the best case, plant the shrub with a stable root barrier. Well suited are a stone masonry vat without bottom, a concrete ring or the strongest geotextile, which the specialized trade has to offer. In addition, you control the industrious blackthorn with regular cutting measures, which are explained in detail in the following care instructions.
As a nature-related precaution against a blackthorn invasion, prudent hobby gardeners plant a mixed hedge with matching composting shrubs. These include juniper, hawthorn, yew, barberry and wild roses. All these trees have the potential to defy the Prunus spinosa's urge to spread. In addition, you create a small paradise for the beneficials of the garden, which is noticeable over time in the decline of pests.
Tip: The blackthorn is one of the flat-rooters, so root locks should indeed be stable, while not having to reach deep into the ground. Lower a concrete ring or a geotextile to a depth of 50 cm, effectively absorb the propagation urge.
LocationA look at the occurrence of blackthorn in the open nature suggests that the plant requires a sun-drenched location. In dusky light conditions, the flowering gets miserable, resulting in a sparse sloe crop. Therefore, grow the wild fruit grove in such a way:
- Sunny to partially shaded location with at least 4-6 hours of sunshine daily
- Warm and protected
- Nutrient-rich, fresh to slightly dry soil
- Gladly calcareous and coarse-grained
In sandy, dry soil, such as a heather garden, and in permanently moist soil along a body of water, you and the beneficials of the garden will not enjoy the hedge thorn.
Pouring and fertilizingThe water and nutrient balance of a prunus spinosa moves at a minimal level. If the wild fruit shrubs find a suitable location, these care aspects are limited to the following measures:
- Blackthorn should be watered only in the summer, when the rain is not enough
- As part of the planting mature compost and horn chips to enter the planting hole
- In the following years, give an organic fertilizer at the beginning of March
- Fertilize again in lean soil in June
tip: A freshly planted blackthorn is abundantly and regularly poured in the first few weeks, so that the roots can spread quickly. As a result, the water supply is reduced because the shrub feels more comfortable with short-term dryness than in permanently moist soil.
To cutIf sufficient space is available for a blackthorn, you can confidently forego a regular cut. By nature, an uncut hedge develops completely impenetrable, which your winged and feathered gardeners will appreciate. In the small garden, however, we recommend a consistent pruning from the beginning. This is how it works:
- The best time for a shape cut is immediately after flowering in late May / early June
- Shorten too long branches to the desired length
- Place the scissors 1-2 mm over an outward eye
- Additionally, thoroughly clean up the entire shrub
- All deadwood at the base caps and remove miserable and sick branches
If necessary, do not shy away from a spirited pruning when a blackthorn threatens to take over the scepter in the garden. The wild wood can tolerate a cut to the ground. As long as at least one sleeping eye remains on the shoot, the plant drives it joyfully out again. For such a drastic measure, the wintry safe is the best time. In January or February, grab a pair of scissors on a frost-free, overcast day, protected, of course, with sturdy workwear and solid gloves.
tip: Check with each cut whether a blackthorn does not boldly try to overcome the barrier with its roots. In this case, disconnect the wet root shoots with a ground-breaking ceremony and dispose of them in the household waste.
overwinterAs a native wild wood, blackthorn is completely hardy.Thus, the shrub is healthy through the cold season, so no precautions are taken. In contrast, the early flowering is threatened annually by late frosts. From March, keep an eye on the weather forecast to protect the buds and flowers with a fleece or jute hood when needed.
multiplyAs soon as you cultivate a single specimen in the garden, numerous offspring can be grown from it. For uncomplicated propagation, the following procedures are available:
- Cut off root shoots in spring
- Cut to 3-5 cm
- Plant in pots with a lean substrate
- Keep slightly damp until the pot is rooted
- During the summer, cut 10-15 cm long head cuttings
- Defile in the lower half and place in pots with peat sand
- Keep slightly damp throughout the winter in a partially shaded place
- Plant out in the spring with a strong root system
- In the early summer half lignified shoots on the outer edge of the shrub to the ground pull
- Cover with earth in the middle, fix with a stone and tie the shoot tip to a wooden stick
- In autumn, cut off the rooted branch and plant in a sunny spot
harvestFrom September, the small, black-blue drupes on Prunus spinosa ripen. Anyone who already tastes of the green pulp will be disappointed to perceive a very sour, tart taste. This changes immediately after the first frost, as a result of the cold, a large part of the starch contained in it turns into sugar and at the same time the previously hard pulp softens. How to correctly harvest:
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and thick gloves
- Pick the mature sloe one by one from the branches
- Put the harvested fruits in a breezy basket and not in a plastic bag
- Before further preparation, remove the slightly poisonous seeds
Harvest the sloe in the open air, avoid busy roads and proximity to fields where chemical sprays were used. Moreover, it is not allowed to harvest in nature reserves because the fruits serve as a source of food for many endangered bird species.
tipAnyone who does not like to wait until after the first frost picks the ripe sloe fruits and freezes them for a few days.
Those who plant a solitary blackthorn or even a hedge for the benefit of its winged and feathered gardeners, will be rewarded with a dense wind and privacy protection as well as rich stone fruit crops. As long as the defensive distress and the vehement propagation urge remain in the horticultural field of vision, the care hardly makes itself felt. Watering is only required in summer drought. An organic start fertilization is sufficient in the year, provided that the location is rich in nutrients and sunny to partially shaded. This manageable care results in a wonderfully fragrant blossom and a lush sloe crop immediately after the first frost.