Sumac Seeds or

Sumac Seeds or

Sumac Seeds

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and the Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). The berry clusters are beautiful to look at, and actually make a nice drink. Like anything you have never had before, make sure you have very little at first to make sure you aren't allergic. It doesn't matter which one - the Staghorn or Smooth Sumac, as they are the same from an eating perspective.(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Staghorn and Smooth Sumac, but just finding the berries, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Staghorn and Smooth Sumac page.)



Seeds: You can start a Sumac from seed, but it is not just planting it in the ground. You have to either cut the hard shell without damaging the seed inside, or bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off, toss the seeds in, and leave until the water cools. Next, take the seeds and mix with some damp but not wet peat moss and put in a sealed freezer bag in the fridge - not freezer. Leave for a month or so. After, plant the seeds 3mm (1/8 inch) deep in a pot with potting soil, mist it until it is moist, cover with a clear plastic bag and put a rubber band around the bag and pot to seal in the moisture. Put the pot in a warm area away from direct sun. Once they have sprouted, take off the bag and mist to keep moist and grow in a bright, but not direct burning sun spot. Transplant in the spring into the ground and keep moist for the first season.

Part sun, part shade would be best, but if no shade where they are transplanted to, cover them from direct mid-day sun after transplanting. A plastic chair over them would do well and let in the morning and evening sun.Transplanting: Transplanting is straight forward. Try to get as big diameter around the Sumac as possible. Don't transplant very little ones, or really large ones. Between 60-100 cm (2-3 feet) high is about right. The roots are shallow, so 20 cm (10 inches) deep is good enough. Most likely the one you transplant will be a root sucker from a larger one nearby, so cut that root as far from the one you are transplanting as you can. Put in a hole and cover with the soil from the hole mixed with composted manure or compost. Cover around the new tree with about 5-7.5 cm (2-3 inches) of mulch. Water well and keep wet for the first year if done in spring. If done in the fall, water well after planting, and the next year don't let it dry out. (Source: wildfoodshomegarden.com)



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