Apricot - sunny fruit
Apricot, or Common Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) - a tree from the genus Plum (Prunus) Pink family (Rosaceae), as well as the fruit of this tree. Apricot is also called a yellow-cream, morel, dried apricots, spaghetti, apricot.
In modern literature, three to six possible centers of origin of the apricot are distinguished. Among them, the Tian Shan region in China is considered the most likely. However, in Europe he became known from Armenia (hence the botanical name in Latin: armeniacus - Armenian). Subsequently, the apricot came to Rome, as mentioned in his writings by the ancient Roman scientist and writer Pliny the Elder.
A special species is Siberian Apricot (Prunus sibirica), growing wild in the mountains of Dauria. It is found in the Primorsky Territory, Eastern Siberia, Northern China, and Mongolia. It has a very high frost resistance (at rest it withstands frosts up to minus 45 ° C), but it does not tolerate thaws in the second half of winter. Fruits - dry drupes cracking along the seam with a diameter of 2-2.5 cm, grayish-yellow in color, have a sour-tart taste, almost inedible.
Apricot - deciduous tree of medium height and crown circumference. The leaves are round, ovate, at the apex drawn, finely serrated or double-toothed. White or pink flowers bloom before the leaves appear.
Fruits are odontostruses of yellowish-red (“apricot”) color, rounded in shape, elliptical or obovate. The bone is thick-walled, smooth.
Apricot tree has long been grown in many countries of a warm temperate climate.
Apricot fruits are consumed both in fresh and in dried form (apricots with pits, kaisa, dried apricots, pastille). Patients with diabetes should limit their use of apricots due to their high sugar content.
Apricots are used to make apricot vodka, a liquor, and apricot juice is fermented and then distilled.
For planting, as a rule, standard branched one-year-olds are used, in which single branches (lateral branches) are evenly placed along the trunk and in space, and are also well matched to the continuation shoot (conductor). Unsuitable for planting seedlings with branches from adjacent buds, with acute angles of departure. In the future, such branches break off under the weight of the fruit, which leads to the death of trees. The active development of diseases on wound surfaces also contributes to this.
Errors in the purchase of planting material should not be made. The grafted seedlings of cultivars differ from seedlings (necklaces) in a number of morphological characters. Saplings of cultivated varieties do not have thorns (spurs), but they have stumps - the place where the rootstock cuts off over an accustomed eye (kidney), which has not yet completely grown. On the annual branches of cultivars, double or triple buds are already forming, and in seedlings only single (single).
The poles bear fruit in the early years of fruiting only on simple and complex spurs, and by 8-10 years, short fruiting formations appear on individual plants.
Annual branches and stem of seedlings are less developed and thin compared to a cultivated seedling. Seedlings of unknown origin and imported from the southern regions are usually not resistant. They freeze in our conditions to the level of snow cover and are characterized by low palatability of the fruit. There is a danger of importing viral diseases with seedlings and seedlings from other regions. In this case, the plants die prematurely.
The best results are obtained when landing unbranched annuals. Their weak growth in the first year after planting causes the formation of large angles of emergence and the creation of a strong crown.
Before planting, the roots are dipped in an earthen mash. When planting, plants are placed in the pit so that the root neck of the seed stock and the site of grafting of the cultivar on the clonal stock are 3-4 mm below the edges of the pit. The roots of the plant are covered with the prepared fertile mixture. When backfilling, the plants are shaken slightly, and then the soil in the pit is compacted with the foot from the periphery of the pit to the center, keeping the plant at the desired level.
The pit is poured to the edges with soil of the lower horizons and an earthen roller is made along the edges of the pit for convenient watering of plants. Plants are watered, regardless of soil moisture, 20-30 liters of water per plant. After watering, the soil strongly settles and the pit is poured to the edges and the earthen roller is straightened.
Depending on the prevailing weather conditions and soil moisture during the summer, an additional 2-3 irrigation is carried out with an interval of 10-15 days. Moderate and timely soil moisture contributes to the normal development of plants in our area.
Apricot content and garden tillage
Soil content according to the type of pure steam with the rational use of fertilizers in conditions of insufficient water supply ensures the normal development and fruiting of apricot. This system contributes to a deeper placement of roots in the soil and a better resistance of plants to extreme conditions.
In the first two years, and no more, the seat (trunk circle) is kept under the mulch. A longer stay of the soil under the mulch leads to a superficial placement of roots in the soil. As mulch, you can use semi-rotted manure, sawdust, peat and other organic materials. It is important to timely and accurately carry out loosening of the soil, preventing the strong development of weeds and damage to the roots.
In conditions of good moisture supply due to the use of irrigation, starting from the entry of plants into the period of full fruiting (at the 6-7th year of life), soil can be tinned. For these purposes, short-stemmed cereal grasses with a poorly developed root system are used: bluegrass, red fescue, field pole, pasture ryegrass and other species used to create lawns (lawn mix).
Seeds are sown in early spring on well-prepared soil from last year, after the complete destruction of the rhizome and root shoot weeds. Sown seeds are periodically watered using finely dispersed sprinklers (sprayers) in order to get friendly and dense seedlings and to prevent drying of the topsoil. Herbs periodically mow when they reach a height of 20-25 cm.
Such a system of soil content can significantly improve the water-physical, chemical properties of the soil and increase its fertility. In combination with the rational use of mineral fertilizers and optimal moisture supply, the incidence of plants is reduced, normal growth and regular fruiting are ensured, and the yield and resistance of plants to summer and winter whims of nature are increased.
If plants are not provided with the necessary conditions in a timely manner, then they are oppressed, prematurely age, and plantings become economically disadvantageous.
Apricots are photophilous, undemanding to soil conditions, grow better on deep, well-aerated soils containing lime. Drought and wind resistant, avoid moisture stagnation and salinization, and grow rapidly. The best areas for growing apricots are the south, south-east and south-west directions from Moscow.
The site must be protected from the north winds. The lowlands where cold air flows are unsuitable. The place to choose is sunny: apricots need to get as much heat as possible during the summer, this will help them safely transfer the winter.
In the middle lane, apricot needs regular watering, especially after transplants and during growth, in May-June. In the second half of summer, plants are watered only during drought, which is rarely observed in the Moscow region. In other cases, excessive watering in August can cause a prolonged growth of shoots that will not ripen and freeze by winter.
From an early age, in late autumn and early spring, the branches and the main skeletal branches of the tree are whitened, adding copper sulfate to the whitewash. Wounds and frost holes on the trunk at the end of April - in May, clean up to live tissue and cover with garden var or kuzbaslak.
Apricots grow quickly and give the first crop on average for the fifth or seventh year. For more effective pollination, it is desirable to have at least two seedlings on the site, or even better, three to four. With direct growing and proper care, trees can bloom in the third or fourth year. Flower buds are laid on plants every year, even with a heavy load on their crops. Crohn in apricots is formed naturally.
Propagation by seeds that retain viability for up to a year, and grafting. Seeds are sown in autumn or spring after a three-month stratification.
Locally adapted apricot trees can be grown from seed seeds extracted from fruits bought on the market. It is not necessary to take for sowing seeds of Armenian and imported, too large fruits. They are planted immediately, without overdrying, to a depth of 5-6 cm, which ensures almost 100% germination. Unlike pomegranate seeds, in which wild birds grow from seeds, in stone fruit they produce both wild birds and seedlings, which in the future can even exceed parental forms in terms of fruit quality.
Early in spring, in March, annual seedlings are pruned. This pruning is then carried out annually. First of all, they remove weak, frozen twigs and their ends, shorten too long and powerful shoots, and also cut extra shoots that thicken the crown “onto the ring”. All sections are covered with garden varnish or with thick-wiped paints (red, ocher, soot) diluted with natural drying oil. If seedlings grow on a bed, they are transplanted to a permanent place at the age of two immediately after the snow melt or in September-October.
On fertile, structural soil, it is enough to dig a hole according to the size of the roots. On clay, peat or sandy soil it is made deeper and wider, drainage is arranged at the bottom and the pit is filled with a nutrient mixture. The best thing is to grow trees without transplanting.
After collecting the first crop, seed seeds immediately after extraction from the fruits are planted in the ground. Grown seedlings will be the second generation of apricots, much more resistant to the local climate.
Extremely beautiful during the flowering period, when the shoots (before the leaves open) are completely covered with large pink flowers. They are elegant in the autumn decoration of bright leaves and at the time of fruiting. They can be used to decorate gardens, parks, forest parks, squares, in intra-quarter landscaping, in single and group plantings.
Apricot flowers exude a pleasant honey aroma - because the apricot is beautiful, the earliest honey plant. Of the woody flowering species, at the same time, low almonds, daurian rhododendron, forzition bloom with it.
Diseases and pests of apricot
Apricot is less susceptible to disease and pests than plum. However, sometimes trees become infected with fungal diseases.
Kleasterosporiosis, or “holey spotting” (Clasterosporium carpoplilum Aderh.): At the beginning of summer, reddish spots appear on the leaves, in place of which holes form by the end of summer. The affected tissue of the young shoots is cracked and gum - a sticky, viscous juice that freezes in the air - flows out of the affected areas. This fungal disease usually affects weakened plants that have either poorly tucked planting pits or after overloading the crop.
Moniliosis (Monilia cenerea Bonord.): The causative agent of the disease is a fungus, which hibernates on the affected organs of plants. In the spring, the mycelium of the fungus forms sporulation. Initially, the disease causes browning and drying of the flowers, and then - the leaves and annual shoots. During the summer, the fungus develops on the fruits. First, a small dark spot appears, which, gradually growing, covers the entire fetus. The pulp of the fruit turns brown, and the surface is covered with small black sporulation pads. Affected fruits shrink, dry and fall.
Of primary importance is the maintenance of the garden in good sanitary condition. Pathogenic fungi are found on leaves, branches, fruits, bark and other parts of the tree, it is important to collect and burn leaves in the fall, to dig around the tree trunks. An effective measure is the application of organic, mineral and calcareous fertilizers. Fertilizers provide good growth of trees and at the same time change the reaction of cell sap to the side, which is unfavorable for pathogens and pests.
It is also necessary to remove the root shoot and cut out dry and diseased branches, clean the trunk from frozen bark, cover the damaged areas with garden varieties. Blowing of crowns is of great importance: it is important to timely remove the shoots on the stems and skeletal branches, to rejuvenate the crown.
Of the chemical control measures, eradicating spraying is effective in early spring, before budding, nitrafen (2-3%), Bordeaux liquid (4%), iron sulfate (5-8%). During the period of active vegetation against diseases, they are sprayed with Bordeaux liquid (1%), cinebom (0.5%) or copper chloroxide. The first spraying is carried out immediately after flowering, the next three to four - every 10-15 days.
With proper care, the trees have a healthy appearance, grow by 40-70 cm annually and practically do not get sick.
Of the insect pests, aphids cause great harm: it weakens plants, and then a sooty fungus can settle on them. You can fight against aphids mechanically, destroying it when it appears, or spray it with soap infusions of tobacco, dandelion, ash.
Plum moth (Laspeyresia fundebrana Tr.) Damages the fruits of plums and, to some extent, apricots. This is a small butterfly, winters in the form of a cocoon in the lower part of the stem or in the surface layer of the soil. Butterflies fly out in the first decade of June, and lay their eggs in the ovary of the fruit or on the leaf petioles. Then the butterfly pupates and from mid-July to mid-August there are years of butterflies of the summer generation of the moths and laying of eggs on the formed fruits.
Mechanical methods are quite effective: collecting and destroying damaged fruits, cleaning the bark on the trunk, digging around the trunk.
Damages apricot and caterpillar of the butterfly hawthorn, gnawing buds, leaves. It is also not difficult to destroy it mechanically, and wintering nests — dry leaves with egg laying secured by cobwebs on branches — need to be collected and destroyed in autumn or early spring.
How do you grow apricots?