The carob tree is one of the best known trees in Spain. Carobs are traded for gastronomic purposes and are in good demand. The cultivation of the carob tree is not too complicated, but it requires some fundamental aspects so that the fruits have the maximum yield. plant a carob tree It is a simple task and we will explain it here.
In this article we are going to tell you how to plant a carob tree and what are the aspects that you must take into account for it.
His scientific name is Ceratonia siliquaa name that we will never forget because we have to study it and recognize it in the game. It is an evergreen tree, or sempervirente in Latin. Also in the introduction we commented on the importance of this fruit, a derivative of a chocolate called carob, which is used to make candies and chocolates for people with diabetes.
The young leaves have also long been used to feed livestock. Everything that is in the carob tree can be used, including the wood, as it is used by carpenters to make handcrafted furniture and also as firewood. Spain leads its cultivation (Mediterranean region), followed by neighboring Portugal. There are also great pieces in Greece and Morocco.
How to plant a carob tree
Climatic and edaphic requirements
The carob tree is a typical tree of the Mediterranean region with a temperate climate, typical of coastal areas. In fact, they are usually found near the surface of the sea, at less than 500 meters altitude. It is a crop similar to other typical fruit trees, such as orange or almond trees. But as we said, it needs a temperate climate, and we will tell you why. It is not resistant to cold.
Carob trees are very rustic, but are subject to temperatures below 2 ºC. Of course, this temperature range is achievable in many winters, although it is also affected by sudden drops in temperature and high humidity. That said, if the temperature gradually drops overnight, the tree will do much better than an untimely frost on a rainy night.
Regarding the high temperaturesonly temperatures above 45 ºC will affect it.
Generally, carob trees tend to grow in loose or medium consistency limestone soils, but they have no problem growing in other types of soils. As we said before, this is a fairly pristine tree and problems with the ground are not a problem. It only checks that the permeability (drainage) is adequate and that there is no stagnant water or problems of this nature.
Irrigation and fertilizer needs
The carob tree is a very adaptable crop to arid environmental conditions (350 mm per year is sufficient, that is, 350 liters per square meter per year). But these are not the conditions we want, which are the minimum requirements for growth, so you need about 800-1000mm per year.
Carob trees are rarely fertilized, and many people don’t, but we don’t think so. It is recommended to apply compost fertilizer or manure before fruit production and during flowering, about 10 kg per tree.
Step by step to plant a carob tree
Carob is a tree that adapts well to a variety of soils, which is beneficial for its planting location. The adaptability in this sense, however, does not exempt it from the need to have good drainage levels to avoid puddles that can cause rotting.
On the other hand, plowing is required when planting to loosen it and roots can be distributed as needed. And, to avoid damaging seedlings while they’re still young, it’s best to weed the entire area before planting.
Carob trees are traditionally grown from seed, although in some cases cuttings can also be used to reduce the growth time. Let’s see step by step how to plant a carob tree:
- Carob seeds are collected from the fruit produced by the carob tree.
- Soak the seeds in a container with water and let them hydrate for about 10 days.
- Choose a seedbed of suitable size (you can get them here) and prepare it with a moist all-purpose substrate.
- Spread the seeds out and put a thin layer of soil on top.
- Water a little more for the seeds to settle.
- Place the seedbed in a ventilated space where the humidity is neither too high nor too low. Wait for them to sprout to continue transplanting.
When you already have carob sprouts, you should transplant them into a pot so that it develops a stronger seedling. When the seedling is about 20 cm tallyou can move it to a selected outdoor space. It is important to keep in mind that carob trees are slow-growing, so you must have a lot of patience throughout the process.
Some care to plant a carob tree
Some carob trees grow well without the need for fertilizer because the soil is rich in organic matter.. If not, it’s best to apply compost or rotted compost early in bloom, followed by fruit.
Pruning is another action that must be carried out at the right time to favor optimal conditions for the plant. Ideally, do it once a year from the age of 2 to help him develop a better structure. After that, it is necessary to pay attention to all possible damaged parts in order to remove them. The correct time to prune is after fruit production has ended.
Finally, carob trees will do better if a plow is applied to the environment to help loosen the soil. These plows will be on the surface of the earth, allocating two to three per year.
The method traditionally carried out is seed propagation. Stakes and elbows can also be used. The benefit of producing new plants from seed is that it increases the vigor of the tree, thus increasing its resistance to pests and diseases. However, it takes a long time to get a 5 or 6 meter tree from seed, after which a higher yielding commercial variety should be grafted if a good crop is to be obtained.
Tips to speed up germination the seeds include placing them in water for 10 dayswhich allows them to swell and accumulate water. They are usually planted in spring, between March and April, with controlled indoor temperature and humidity, until the seeds germinate. Be patient, the first batch will take about 7 years.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to plant a carob tree and what you should take into account for it.