Growing Nuts For Food


Hazel, or Cobnut and Filbert.

In England, Kent is the main area for growing nuts for food. But where the wild hazel grows is a sure guide to the suitability of the local soil. If hazels grow near your home you can plant nuts with a good chance of success. Good drainage is necessary and loam overlying chalk or sand is best.

Growing Nuts For FoodNuts do well under dense shade, so here is a useful subject for that awkward spot in your garden. If you are planting more than one bush, put them at least 15 ft. apart—or more if possible.

They do not require staking when planted. The trees are trained to a basin shape and pruned in late February or early March. By this time the female flowers will have been pollinated by the catkins and there will be no fear of severing shoots that beat the catkins before their work is completed. The leaders are shortened and the laterals thinned and shortened. Wood that fruited the previous year must be spurred back, as for apples, to two or three buds.

Suckers springing from the base are a very great source of trouble and must be broken away. Do not cut; this only increases the trouble. These suckers are called “wands “ and are very useful as garden sticks, growing often 4 ft. to 6 ft. high and very straight.

Nuts should be in cultivated ground and not grass. Avoid quick-acting nitrogenous fertilizers. Fur or hair waste or shoddy material is the most satisfactory.

Nuts are ready for gathering about mid-September when the bushes are turning yellow. They can be kept dried and stored in a heap, but this should be turned constantly.

The sweet or Spanish chestnut thrives in a light gravelly loam in full sun. Though produced in large quantities, the nuts in this country are generally rather small. Plantations of chestnuts are chiefly used for the production of poles; the shoots from the base develop into fine straight stakes, the wood is hard and does not rot quickly.

The walnut is a good tree for a large garden. It has some properties repellent to flies, an I any one sitting under a walnut will not be bothered by midges or gnats—a great consideration on summer evenings.

Research is being done to discover,a really satisfactory strain of walnuts which is hardy in this country and produces good quality, large-sized nuts.

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