Everyone loves a natural Christmas tree, but have you considered growing your own? It’s a great way to have that proud feeling on Christmas day, with all the presents jumbled under it. So here is our step by step guide to growing your own:
1) Pick a space.
The best place is where the tree will be protected from strong winds and has some sunlight. It should also have loose, non-clay soil to allow for drainage, although this isn’t too important though high-alkaline soil is not recommended. You can buy pH testing kits at most garden centres. If you feel it is necessary, you can fill the plot with high-quality compost.
2) Prepare the ground.
An average Christmas tree will need about 5’x5′ to grow. The plot needs to be cleared of any weeds, grass or brush.
3) Choose your seeds.
Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine and Blue Spruce varieties are most commonly used for Christmas trees. You can buy seedlings at most nurseries.
4) Plant your seeds.
Spring is the best time for planting. Firstly, dig a hole for your seedling, and make sure the seed stands upright. Firmly pack the soil around the base to get rid of air pockets around the roots, so that the roots don’t dry out.
5) Protect your Christmas tree.
Deer, mice and rabbits all feed on trees and young saplings are particularly vulnerable. You can protect your tree using a vertical wire mesh.
6) Weed your tree.
Ensure no weeds grow around your tree for the first couple of years. Weeds can be controlled by spraying herbicides around the tree during autumn and spring.
After the third year, you can begin shearing your tree annually to ensure it grows in a traditional cone shape, as the tree should have begun to look after itself by this point.
When the tree is big enough for you, remove it! You can do this either by uprooting and potting it or chopping it down.
So let’s get cracking in preparation for Christmas 2016!
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