Apricot in the middle lane - cultivation features and the best varieties
Adults and children love fragrant apricots with delicate velvety peels and melting flesh in their mouths. They make wonderful jam, jam, marshmallow, dried fruits and juices. It is not surprising that apricot trees are grown in almost every garden in regions with a suitable climate. In this article we will tell you which apricot varieties are most suitable for central Russia. In addition, we will discuss how to correctly choose a place for a seedling and how to care for it so that the plant is properly formed and abundantly bears fruit.
A brief botanical description of the plant
Apricot in suitable conditions can grow up to 8 m. The longevity of the long-livers reaches 100 years, but the period of active fruiting lasts about 35-40 years and depends on the quality of care and the right place to plant.
The crown of the tree is sprawling, needs sanitary pruning and shaping. The bark is gray-brown in color and begins to crack with age. Apricot leaves - slightly elongated to the tip, sit on thin stalks, arranged alternately. Flowering timing varies by region. Mostly in the middle lane it begins in mid-April.
Fruits apricot in July-August. The weight of the fruit ranges from 15 to 80 grams. The shape of the fruit is round or slightly elongated with a pronounced longitudinal groove. Inside is a slightly flattened bone. Its core is sweetish or with pronounced bitterness.
The plant is considered thermophilic. She feels great in the warm, humid climate of Armenia, the Mediterranean coast, Asia, the Caucasus, and Crimea. Nevertheless, breeders have bred varieties that can tolerate frosts to -30 ... -35 ° C, withstand prolonged drought and withstand windy weather. Many varieties of apricot today are successfully grown in the Volga region, Moscow region, some parts of the Urals and Siberia.
The best varieties of apricot for the middle strip
Apricot varieties are traditionally divided by fruiting dates into early, middle and late.
To enjoy ripe fruits longer, it is worth planting in the garden 2-3 trees with different tastes of fruits and the time of their ripening.
The very first apricots in the middle lane ripen in July, later varieties bear fruit until the 20th of August. With such a spread, it is convenient to collect and process the crop.
The size and taste of fruits in terms of sweetness are inferior to the southern counterparts. But the sweetest apricot varieties, as a rule, do not withstand harsh winters, hot, dry summers and sudden changes in temperature in the spring.
Early apricot varieties are great for short, hot summers, but do not tolerate return spring frosts and winter frosts. Apricots of medium fruiting periods are more resistant to temperature fluctuations, and later varieties tolerate frosty winters well.
The following apricot varieties have won the trust and recognition of gardeners in the middle lane:
- Apricot "Red-cheeked" - the ripening period is extended to July and early August, winter hardiness is high, immunity to diseases and pests is average.
- Apricot Khabarovsk - Valuable for stable yield, edible kernel, compact crown.
- Apricot Apricot Guiani - refers to late-ripening varieties, high productivity, sweet core.
- "Pacer" - beautiful in appearance, medium-sized fruits, slightly pubescent, delicate yellow-pink, tree height of about 3 meters.
- Apricot "Saratov Ruby" - resistant to frost, drought, bark heating, stored for a long time, well tolerates transportation.
- Apricot Edelweiss - It has good immunity to typical stone diseases, the yield is average, it is well stored and transported.
Apricot varieties are also noteworthy: Alyosha, Khabarovsky, "Royal", "Lel". Winter hardy "Snowflake", "Honey", "Hardy". Do not require additional pollination "Royal", "Dessert", Triumph of the North.
All varieties of apricot ripening requires manual assembly. For transportation use slightly unripe fruits. For the preparation of preserves, compotes, jams, juices and pastils, fully ripened are taken.
A correctly selected variety and compliance with the rules of agricultural technology will allow you to grow a plentiful crop of aromatic apricots in the middle lane.
Which apricot seedling to choose?
Growing apricot from the seed does not make sense, you get a wild game. To maintain the necessary varietal qualities, the plant needs vaccination. Therefore, it is best to purchase plants in nurseries, at agricultural fairs or in garden centers immediately before planting.
When examining a young tree, you need to pay attention to the fact that the root system is well formed, with no signs of drying out. The pronounced site of vaccination indicates its quality and good regeneration. Part of the trunk from the roots to a height of half a meter should not have cuts, peeling of the bark and other flaws. Make sure the buds on the upper and main lateral branches of the apricot are alive.
Preference is best given to two-year-old apricot seedlings. Annuals in the middle lane often freeze in the first winter.
Rarely, but purchase and transplantation of three-year-old seedlings is allowed. But the older they are, the greater the likelihood of difficulties adapting to a new place.
Agricultural technology apricot in the middle lane
The life of the plant, the duration of the fruiting period, the taste and the number of ripened fruits depend on the correct choice of a place for planting and adherence to apricot growing technology.
It should be remembered that apricot does not like crowding. The root system is powerful, going deep into it. To make the tree feel good and have all the prerequisites for successful fruiting, he needs:
- slight elevation;
- low water table;
- good drainage;
- the absence of other trees closer than 5 meters;
- wind protection;
- soil saturation with microelements.
It is worth considering that nearby groundwater causes irreversible decay of apricot roots. In such conditions, the tree will live on the strength of 5-6 years, giving 2 crops and die.
When choosing a place for planting apricot, you need to avoid the lowlands and southwestern slopes.
If the apricot variety is self-fertile, then you can get by with 1 tree. But it is better to plant 2-3 seedlings of different periods of fruiting.
Apricot does not tolerate the neighborhood with most fruit trees. It should not be planted closer than 10 m from cherries, nuts, aronia, apple trees, cherries. He will favorably relate to growing nearby cherry plum, thorns, dogwood.
Between tall trees, an interval of at least 5 meters must be observed. Varieties with more compact crowns are allowed to be staggered.
For successful pollination, it is best to plant different varieties of apricot in one part of the site.
A hole for planting an apricot requires a large one, at least 0.8 m in length and width, depth - 2 times more than the root system.
The place is prepared 2 weeks before landing. Drainage is laid at the bottom, a combined mixture of fertilizers is introduced, consisting of 2–3 buckets of humus, 200 g of ash, 400 g of potassium sulphide and 700 g of superphosphate. Then lay a layer of garden soil, and the seat is left for shrinkage.
In Siberia and the Urals, apricots are usually planted in spring, in early May, with uniform heating of the soil. In the Volga region and Moscow region, it is preferable to plant apricot in early autumn. The tree will not be threatened by drought and sunburn, it will have time to take root and gain strength before wintering.
Apricot planting procedure:
- place the seedling in the hole;
- fill up with earth;
- water abundantly;
- tie to a support;
- mulch the near-stem circle with sawdust and peat.
With the root system closed, the seedling is placed in the hole along with a lump of earth. And if the roots are open, then before planting they are kept for several hours in a weak solution of mullein or in a clay mash.
Important: when planting an apricot, its root neck should rise 4-7 cm above the surface of the earth.
Apricot Care in the Garden
Apricot is unpretentious, it is often planted as part of urban landscaping in the Volgograd, Akhtuba, Samara regions. Nevertheless, some care rules must still be observed.
Watering apricot should be plentiful, but rare. Water must not be allowed to accumulate in the near-stem circle. In the spring, it is purposefully removed from the trunk, for which soil or sand is poured, and seedlings are planted on small elevations. An adult tree needs 3-4 watering per season.
When planting apricot fertilizers are laid in the planting pit. These fertilizers are usually enough for the tree for the first two years of life.
Starting from the third year, top dressing is carried out three times per season:
- nitrogen fertilizers are needed in spring. Urea, a solution of chicken droppings, nitrate are used;
- during the formation of apricot ovaries, it is good to use complex fertilizers for fruit trees, which are rich not only in macro- but also in microelements;
- in the fall, in order to prepare the trees for winter, they add potash and phosphorus fertilizers (without the nitrogen component).
Apricot quickly thickens the crown - its side small branches grow, interfering with the ripening of fruits. They can be safely cut off even in the summer.
Apricot branches often break under the weight of the fruit. Therefore, in the fall and spring it is necessary to carry out sanitary and forming pruning: remove broken, weak, diseased branches, as well as growing inward and too close to each other (thickening the crown).
The purpose of forming apricot pruning is to ensure that all branches of the tree receive enough light, then the formation of ovaries and, accordingly, the fruits will be maximum.
The wound surface is treated with var or special putty. You can buy it at any gardening store.
Read more about pruning in our material. Main mistakes when pruning fruit trees.
Apricot wintering in the middle lane
With prolonged frosty, snowless winters, apricot roots may freeze, especially in the early years. To prevent this, after harvesting the leaves in the fall, mulching of trunks is carried out with peat, sawdust, compost in half with sand. Too high a ball of mulch does not need to be created, 5-10 cm is enough to protect the protruding part of the roots.
Trunks and bases of large branches for the winter are whitewashed with garden lime to protect against pests wintering in cracks in the bark.
As an additional shelter for the winter, you can tie young trees with burlap to the first branches.
Diseases and pests of apricot
Unfortunately, apricot resistance to diseases and pests leaves much to be desired. There are many who want to feast on young leaves, shoots, ovaries and fruits, and in the wake of the pests, diseases are selected for the weakened plant.
Of the pests of apricot, the most common are:
- codling moth;
Control measures consist of timely spraying with insecticides. Effective use of drugs "Fufanon", Decis, Inta-Vir, "Entobacterin".
Diseases affect apricot leaves, young branches, bark and fruits. Most often it is cytosporosis, bacterial necrosis, moniliosis, brown spotting, kleasterosporiosis.
A successful fight against them begins with the correct diagnosis and the selection of an adequate fungicide for treatment. Most diseases cause fungal infections that multiply rapidly in conditions of high humidity.
Diseases and damage of apricot pests are easier to prevent than to treat. Read also our material 4 obligatory spring garden treatments for diseases and pests.