Apricots in central Russia now surprise no one. Thanks to the efforts of breeders, varieties with very tasty fruits are now ripening here. You can plant an apricot tree in the country if the gardener has enough space and basic skills in caring for fruit trees.
In regions where the apricot feels like a host, both spring and autumn planting of apricot is possible, so long as there is no sap flow at this time, and the buds have not yet awakened. For example, in the Stavropol or Kuban regions, the optimal planting dates for apricots are from mid-October to mid-November. In the middle lane, the situation is somewhat more complicated. Still, apricot trees are not as hardy as, for example, apple or pear, which are traditionally cultivated almost throughout the country. Therefore, the autumn planting of an apricot is quite risky: a poorly established seedling in winter can freeze and die.
The degree of winter hardiness of apricot is somewhat increased by grafting it on local varieties of cherry plum or plum, as well as on taiga trees like the Manchurian apricot, but this only partially solves the problem.
If we are considering planting a ready-made seedling from a retail network, and not the whole process of growing it from an apricot kernel, the question of the timing of planting in the middle lane is practically not worth it: it should be carried out only in the spring, and quite early, until the buds wake up. And they begin an active life in an apricot even earlier than in an apple tree, so the planting dates in the middle lane are very tight. In most regions, there are only one to two weeks left, which falls at the end of April, while the seedlings are still sleeping, and it is already possible to work with the land. You can try to plant an apricot in the fall, from about mid-September, but then you don't have to worry too much if the work turns out to be in vain.
If you managed to buy a reliable seedling in the fall (after all, this happens: in the fall there is less chance of running into confused varieties, sellers usually behave more honestly), you can leave it until spring. You can even keep it in the cellar, but it is better to dig it in the garden, burying it almost entirely in an inclined position in the ground and covering it well with brushwood or coniferous spruce branches. But all the preparatory measures for the spring planting must be carried out in the fall: in the spring there is simply not enough time to dig the planting holes and ripen the soil in them.
The climate of central Russia, and especially the Moscow region, is famous for winter surprises and the inability to predict how the coming winter will differ. And if severe frosts are not very scary for most modern apricot varieties, bred specifically for the local weather conditions, then frequent and unexpected thaws are the main trouble of apricot trees. Roots dry out and are injured by ice crusts formed after thaws. Struggling with damping off, grafting of apricots on plums or blackthorns is done at some distance from the roots, into the stem of a frost-resistant stock. A few decades ago, in central Russia, only poles were considered affordable apricots. They grow quite resistant to weather conditions, but produce small and not very tasty fruits. This is not the case now.
The best varieties of apricot are Severny Triumph, Lel, Krasnoschekiy, Medovy and Zeus. Popular in summer cottages is the Eastern Sayan, which grows as a small tree (up to 3 meters high), which greatly facilitates care.
In the 21st century, you can buy seedlings of most garden plants with a closed root system. True, you often need to buy together: a two-year-old tree is in a container with earth, no less than a bucket, and weighs a lot. It is easier to plant them, and not necessarily in the spring. But we will consider the case of a normal planting, when all the roots are in front of us and we can easily make sure that they are powerful and healthy.
When choosing a place in the country for planting an apricot tree, you must immediately clearly realize that it will grow in your country for at least 25 years.
So, the first task is to choose a place on the site. The apricot tree responds negatively to heavy clay-dominated soils. Breathable loams seem to be the best. The reaction of the soil environment should be close to neutral. Most apricot varieties are very powerful trees that shade the entire surrounding area. Apricot strongly depletes the soil for many meters around it: its root system significantly extends beyond the projection of the crown. Therefore, next to it, almost nothing can be planted, and this must also be taken into account. In addition, for successful pollination of flowers, it is advisable to plant at least two trees next to each other, planting them at a distance of 3-4 meters from each other. A lonely apricot will also bear fruit, but the yield in this case is less. Only low early spring flowers (tulips, daffodils, crocuses) can be planted next to it. Do not plant apricots where other stone fruits have recently been uprooted (such as plums or cherries).
The apricot planted in central Russia should be illuminated as much as possible by the sun's rays. But even this is not the most important thing. It is necessary that it be maximally protected from blowing by piercing winds, especially from the northern direction.
The most profitable place for apricots is usually somewhere on the southern side of the site, especially if there is protection from the winds in the form of a house or a blank fence.
If this is not the case, it is advisable to build a barrier specifically for the apricot. Often summer residents install shields painted with white paint from boards or metal so that more sunlight falls on the apricot tree and warms it faster. In any case, during landing, you should avoid any low places where cold air accumulates. In such places, stagnation of water is often formed, which is even worse for apricot than severe cold.
Any tall buildings protect apricot trees well from the harsh northern winds.
In nature, apricots often grow on mountains, sometimes so steep that they keep the slopes of the mountains from crumbling with their roots. The middle zone of our country is mainly a plain, and for summer residents this is a plus: it is easier to take care of a garden-vegetable garden. Nevertheless, agricultural scientists advise remembering the natural living conditions of the apricot and planting it on artificial heights, and they must be built regardless of the type and composition of the soil on the site. The apricot mound should be up to half a meter high and up to 2-3 meters in diameter.
What is a hill, how to make it? You will still have to start its construction with the preparation of a landing pit.
The second task: we dig a landing pit. We do it the previous fall. This is always done when planting trees in the garden: early in the spring, digging frozen and wet soil is not the greatest pleasure! The pit for the apricot is dug solid: not less than 70 cm in depth and diameter. Although not necessarily in diameter: in projection, it can be square: either simpler or swarm. The less fertile the land on the site, the deeper you need to dig. It is worth recalling that the upper, fertile soil layer is folded into one pile, and the lower, useless, into another, then it is removed from the site or scattered along the paths.
On this, the good soil, apparently, ended: what goes on will have to be thrown away.
The third task: drainage. Here options are possible, depending on the severity of the soil on the site. In the case of clay, drainage is required: 10-15 centimeters of crushed stone, pebbles, broken bricks, etc. If there is mainly sand in the country, then exactly the opposite: it is better to put a little clay on the bottom of the pit, with a layer of up to 15 cm. It will help to hold up the apricot roots water during irrigation.
For clay soils, drainage in the planting pit is absolutely essential.
Instead of gravel, some gardeners place sheets of flat material: slate or iron on the bottom, creating an artificial obstacle for the roots to penetrate deeper. In such a hole, the roots will mainly grow in different directions, which will keep them from the harmful effects of groundwater.
The fourth task: preparation of a nutritious mixture. On top of the drainage, soil removed from the pit is poured from the upper layers. But even on the ground, this soil must be thoroughly mixed with fertilizers. The main pre-planting fertilizer is organic matter: humus, compost, and semi-rotted manure is also possible. You need a lot of it: buckets can be 6. Of the many available mineral fertilizers, complex fertilizers are the most convenient, so as not to gain in parts potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen.
Azofoska, which contains the main nutrients in a balanced ratio, has gained great popularity among gardeners.
Azofosk (synonym: nitroammofosk) should be evenly distributed in the removed soil, taking about 500 g. If the soil on the site is highly acidic, you will have to add half a bucket of slaked lime or chalk. But the most environmentally friendly fertilizer in the garden is wood ash. Ash is the most reliable supplier of potassium, which apricots are especially fond of; moreover, potassium is gradually released from it, so you can fill the planting pit with ash for future use, pouring out half a bucket of ash from burning branches, boards and other wood waste.
Ash is one of the most important fertilizers for most horticultural crops.
It is necessary to carefully examine the seedling of any fruit tree when purchasing it. Needless to say, buying from obscure sellers on the side of the road is not very promising. Now in big cities it is not a problem to find a reliable trading network, and in small cities such issues are usually resolved in a chain: gardeners know each other well.
Task five: choose a seedling. When purchasing an apricot seedling, the main attention should be paid not to the branches, but to the apparatus that feeds the tree: these are its roots. There should be at least three main roots extending directly from the base of the stem. All of them should be without excessive build-up, elastic, bend well, and not break, not look dry. If there are roots slightly damaged during excavation, they can be shortened with a sharp pruner to the beginning of an intact area, but at the same time both thick main roots and fibrous small roots, the main workers in absorbing moisture from the soil, should remain.
When choosing a seedling, we mainly look not at the branches (cut them anyway), but at the roots
Two-year-old seedlings are considered the most popular for planting in the middle lane: they will easily take root and quickly give the first fruits. But it happens that one-year-olds, which are easy to recognize, take root better: they have only a trunk without branches, and after planting you will have to shape the future tree yourself from scratch. The process is fascinating, but it takes longer to wait for the fruits for a whole season than in the case of planting a two-year-old.
Task six: prepare the seedling for planting. The roots of a seedling brought to the country for spring planting should be placed for a couple of minutes in a chatterbox made from fresh cow dung and clay (in a ratio of about 1: 2), shaken in water to the consistency of liquid sour cream. If there are no talkers, it's not scary, but then you just need to put them in the water, where they will lie down until landing, if possible, they will be saturated with moisture.
Saplings treated with a mixture of clay and mullein are easier to take root
So, an apricot in the middle zone of our country is necessarily planted on a small hill, which is made at least 1.5-2 meters wide. But first we dug a hole and covered it with fertile soil! When planting, for example, an apple tree, we would take out part of the soil according to the size of the root system, place a seedling in the hole and cover the roots with earth. In the case of an apricot, because of the construction of a mound, it is not necessary to do this: maybe, on the contrary, you will have to add more soil, it depends on the size of the seedling. But we must not forget about strengthening the seedling for the first couple of years.
Seventh task: support installation. First, you need to drive a strong stake into the hole (a metal pipe, long fittings, a wooden stake from a once-cut large branch of an apple tree, etc.). It should hold securely and protrude outward by almost a meter. A seedling should be placed next to the stake.
The stake in the pit must stand firmly and withstand at least a couple of years
Task eight: placing a seedling on a filled pit. In most cases, the seedling will have to be installed in a hole just at the main ground level of the garden plot, and then cover the roots with soil. Of course, this work is easier to do together.
The seedling is placed next to the stake, and then a mound is formed.
Problem nine: building a mound. One of the planting participants should hold the seedling by the stem, placing it on a horizontal surface and spread the roots over it so that they take the most natural position. Another gardener will gradually sprinkle clean, fertile soil over the roots. Constantly compacting the soil with your foot, you need to make sure that a slide forms as a result. It is not necessary to put fertilizers in this part of the soil, especially mineral fertilizers, so as not to burn young roots. Having started growing in a new place, they themselves will get to the fertilized soil, which we placed in the planting hole.
Even small hills help the roots to cope with winter damping.
As a result of the arrangement of the hill, after the compaction of the filled soil, the root collar should be on top. It's okay if it turns out to be 2-3 centimeters higher than the top of the hill, but it is unacceptable for the root collar to remain underground: there will be much less harm if some roots are not completely covered with earth.
The tenth task: tying the seedling. After arranging the mound, we take a strong ribbon without tension, we tie the trunk to the pre-hammered stake. All gardeners know how to do this correctly, and they call the tying style an eight.
The eight holds the seedling tightly, but does not interfere with growth either
Task eleven: roller device. In the early years, a tree planted in a new place will need to be given a lot of drinking until powerful roots grow in the right amount. Therefore, not far from the trunk, along the circumference of the mound, it is necessary to build a kind of roller so that water does not run away from the hill during irrigation. In the fall, this roller will have to be leveled so that during the winter thaws, the water flows freely: excess water in winter is more harmful than summer shortage. In the spring it will be necessary to re-fill the roll of earth and do this for the first few years.
A roller (side) to retain water will take several years
Task twelve: watering the seedling. The first few buckets of water should be given to the seedling immediately after planting. Carefully, not eroding the top of the hill. In the first summer, it is necessary to water systematically: the soil should not dry out for a single day. Periodically, the hill will have to be loosened so that a sufficient amount of oxygen flows to the growing roots. At the end of summer, to prepare for overwintering, it is better to water the apricot with wood ash infusion. Adult apricots are rarely watered: in the summer, which is normal for the conditions of the more harmful strip, they themselves are able to obtain water for themselves with powerful roots.
The hill can be overlaid with turf or sowed with grass: both lawn and aromatic herbs like lemon balm. The grass must be mowed periodically, while the apricot will have a natural mulch.
Problem thirteen: pruning. The planted apricot tree must be slightly trimmed immediately. The goal of annual pruning is to ultimately form a powerful crown that is accessible to the sun's rays. In the meantime, we need the first, shortening.Its task is to ensure that the roots that have not yet taken root at first have enough strength to feed the aboveground part of the seedling.
If you planted an annual twig without branches, you just need to shorten it by about a third. It is necessary to leave the stem no higher than a meter, and usually 60-80 centimeters.
If they planted a two-year-old, that is, a tree that has already acquired side branches, then the seedling should be cut more seriously. Having examined carefully the branches, we select the two most powerful, but located, if possible, opposite each other and slightly at different heights. Wow, shorten it by half. The rest will have to be cut out completely, in the way of the ring. Do not forget to carefully cover all the cuts with garden pitch.
Apricot pruning is not difficult, the technique fits well into the above diagram.
That's it. It remains to wait, but we got 13 steps, the number is unlucky. Step fourteen will be to wait for the first fruits to appear. Bon Appetit!
In summer cottages in central Russia, apricot planting is not done exactly as in the case of most other horticultural crops: it is planted on a specially created hill. It is necessary to very carefully choose a place on the site and plant a tree, observing all the rules. Then, subject to careful care, especially in the first summer, the apricot will grow in the form of a strong tree and will delight the owner with good harvests.
Graduated from the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University in 1981. Candidate of Chemical Sciences, Associate Professor.
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Previously, it was believed that the apricot, planting and caring for which are discussed in our article, can only be grown in warm regions. We will tell you which varieties are suitable for growing in central Russia and the Urals, and what conditions are necessary for an apricot to bear fruit abundantly.
Rhododendrons prefer places protected from wind and direct sunlight. The planting depth is strictly to the level of the root collar, sometimes 2-4 cm higher (taking into account the further settlement of the plant).
Common apricot (from Latin Prunus armeniaca) belongs to the genus Plum and the Pink family. Unofficially, sunny Armenia is considered the birthplace of the fruit.
With a long and warm autumn, apricot trees show intense shoot growth. In this case, even with a mild winter, there is a danger of freezing poorly ripened shoots, flower buds and wood. To avoid this, experienced gardeners recommend, starting in August, to water the trees with an ash solution, which will help stop the growth of shoots and their rapid ripening. Usually 5-10 buckets of ash solution help apricots to keep within our short summer and complete preparation of trees for cold weather by the time of leaf fall.
It is not recommended to apply a lot of nitrogen-containing fertilizers under young trees, especially in the second half of summer. As already noted, young apricot trees need special attention: they are less hardy than adults. However, the "old people" should be well looked after, especially in May-June, so that they develop a powerful, healthy canopy as soon as possible.
Then you can count on a decent harvest, and the trees will have time to prepare for winter and endure the frosts. Of all fruit trees, apricots, as early flowering, most often and strongly suffer from spring frosts. The best way to protect flowers is to cover tree crowns with two-layer agrotechnical fabric or any other fabric for the entire flowering period. Under such clothes, flowers are not afraid of frosts down to minus 4 ° C. In the corners, the covering material is tied to the branches, but so that pollinating insects can freely visit flowering trees.
First you need to choose a place that is isolated from drafts. It is desirable that the soil contains potassium trace elements. Spring is considered a favorable season for planting seedlings.
Before buying a tree, you need to decide which seedling is suitable for a given region, and how to care for it?
It is necessary to create drainage, for air to enter the soil, you should also periodically loosen the soil around the plant.
Preparation for planting an apricot begins in the fall, by creating a pit to plant in the spring. Drainage should be laid out at the bottom, then the soil is mixed with humus, salt containing potassium, lime and superphosphate.
Water the apricot in moderation. Excessive watering will lead to the death of the fruit plant. During the summer season - 4 times:
The apricot should be pruned annually. In early spring, branches frozen after winter are removed. Gardeners advise pruning the tree to stimulate the movement of sap, this helps to awaken dormant buds.
Summer pruning is required at the end of August. In the autumn, pruning of branches has a fruitful effect on the winter hardiness of the plant.
Fortified seedlings can withstand low temperatures. Before cold weather, wrap the trunk with sacking and sprinkle it around with soil. More attention should be paid to young seedlings. It is required to make a structure of wooden boards and stretch a film on them, sprinkle it with earth on top. Cover the crown with agrotextile in two layers.
Within five years after planting the tree, it is required to fertilize the near-trunk zone. Next, increase the area for fertilization. In the spring, add up to 4 kilograms of humus, combining them with 6 grams of nitrogen and 5 grams of phosphorus, 8 grams of potassium. The resulting mixture is intended for 1 square meter.
Important! To increase the yield of apricot, it is required to regularly make mineral supplements.
How to add a seedling for the winter period of time:
Apricot is a very capricious tree, but thanks to selection it can be grown in Central Russia. The needs of the plant should be taken into account and a future variety should be selected that is suitable for the climate of the region in which it will grow.