Table of contents:
- Plum planting
- Thinning plum fruits
- Supporting branches
- Pruning plum
- Pruning pyramidal plum
- Pruning a plum tree or tall bush
- Collection and storage of the harvest of plums
- Plum varieties
- Early-growing plum
- Pests and diseases
Video: Plum. Varieties. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases And Pests. Berry. A Photo
Plum is a fruit tree of the Rosaceae family. It does not occur in the wild; it has been known in culture for more than two thousand years. It came from the crossing of blackthorn and cherry plum. It is cultivated everywhere, since this cultivated plant is distinguished by its early maturity, high productivity and good adaptability to soil and climatic conditions.
© Konrad Lackerbeck
Plum (lat. Prúnus) is a genus of stone fruit plants, including such species as Plum home, Cherry, Peach, Apricot, Almond and others. Usually belong to the subfamily Plum (Lat.Punoideae) or Almond (Lat.Amygdaloideae) of the Pink family (Lat.Rosaceae). Several hundred species of plum are known, distributed mainly in the northern temperate regions of the globe.
Leaves are simple, lanceolate, serrated along the edge. The flowers are usually white or pink, with five petals and five sepals, solitary or in umbels with two to six inflorescences.
The fruit is a drupe with a relatively large bone.
Plums, in principle, can be planted both in autumn and spring. However, in the conditions of central Russia, during autumn planting, seedlings do not have time to take root well and get stronger, and in winter they often freeze out. Therefore, it is recommended to plant this crop in the spring.
Planting pits are prepared in autumn or early spring, 1-2 weeks before planting. They are dug up to a depth of 60 cm and a diameter of 60-70 cm. The soil taken out of the pit is mixed well with humus in a ratio of 2: 1 and this mixture is poured into the pit.
A wooden stake is driven into the center of the pit, to which a seedling is tied. It is placed on the northern side of the stake and buried so that the root collar (where the roots end and the trunk begins) is 5–7 cm above the soil surface. there were voids.
The planted tree is watered abundantly, then the soil surface around it is mulched with a layer of peat or compost. When planting plums, pay particular attention to the following three points.
Do not add strong fertilizers to the planting hole: at best, they will stimulate the growth of branches to the detriment of the fruit, at worst, they can burn the roots.
After planting, the root collar of the seedling should be 5-7 cm above the soil surface. Over time, when the soil settles, the root collar will be just at ground level.
Deeper planting is harmful to the plum, as it can lead to mating of the bark and oppression of the tree, which, ultimately, negatively affects growth and fruiting.
The more vigorous varieties of plums require stakes in the first two years after planting. The gap between the stake and the stem of the seedling should be about 15 cm. The seedling is tied to the stake with a soft twine at intervals of 30 cm. Do not use wire or other materials that can damage the bark of the tree. In the first two years, it is necessary to periodically check that the twine is not taut around the stem and does not cut into the bark as it thickens. Then the stakes can be removed.
For the first 2-3 years after planting, the trees use the nutrients introduced into the planting pit. In subsequent years, mineral and organic fertilizers are applied to the trunk circle. The trunk circle is periodically loosened and weeds are destroyed.
Plum is responsive to fertilizers. In the early spring period and after flowering, nitrogen fertilizers are applied, which contribute to the intensive growth of the tree. From the second half of the growing season, nitrogen-potassium and phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied, which are necessary for the accumulation of nutrients. In the fall, organic and phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied for digging the soil.
Caring for mature trees also includes fruit thinning and pruning.
An important measure of plum care is the regular removal of root shoots, which can appear in large numbers in a radius of up to 3 m around the bush and cause a lot of inconvenience in the garden. It should be removed 4-5 times per summer so that the root shoots do not weaken the mother plant and do not reduce its yield. For a more successful fight against root shoots, it is recommended to carefully excavate the topsoil to the point where the root shoot leaves the root system of the tree, and simply tear it off from the root. This will significantly slow down the formation of new root growth.
© Harald Hillemanns
Thinning plum fruits
Many plum varieties have one unpleasant property - the frequency of fruiting. You can try to even out variations in yield from season to season using such a simple agronomic technique as thinning the fruit. In years when there are especially many ovaries, it is recommended to thin out the fruit before they begin to pour. This will help ensure the best crop quality for the current season and preserve nutrients for the next harvest. A large number of fruits are also harmful for the reason that fruit branches can break off under their weight.
The fruit should be thinned in two steps: in early June, as soon as the ovaries have formed, and in mid-July, when the plums begin to pour. First of all, damaged and diseased fruit are removed. The rest are thinned out, leaving about 7 cm between the fruits, so that the plums can pour without touching each other.
If, despite thinning, the load on the tree remains large, the branches should be strengthened with props. Place a soft material where the support touches the branch. This will prevent the branch from rubbing against the support, which can damage the bark and cause the tree to become infected with plum diseases.
© Mark Stimson
When pruning plums, there are two main points to keep in mind: first, the desired growth shape you want to give the plum, and second, how to reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as white rot or gum decay.
In order not to expose the plant to the risk of white rot and gum flow, it is recommended to prune not in the fall, but in the spring a little earlier or after the leaves bloom, or even at the beginning of summer, when there are no significant night drops in temperature that negatively affect the wounds received by trees as a result of pruning … Cuts should be done with a sharp knife or saw as carefully as possible, being careful not to damage the wood. When cutting large branches, the places of cuts or cuts are treated with garden varnish. Sick and withered branches are burned.
Pruning techniques for plums depend on the shape you want to give the plant. The formation of a dwarf pyramidal plum is noticeably different from the pruning of bushy crowns or vigorous trees.
Pruning pyramidal plum
To reduce the risk of contracting plum diseases, it is recommended to carry out early summer pruning, during the period of active shoot growth. The top of the stem is cut off, leaving approximately 60 cm above soil level. The cut is made directly above the kidney. The bud located just below the upper bud of the shortened seedling is removed. At the same time, at least 3-4 more buds should remain on the stem below these two upper buds.
For plums that have entered the time of fruiting, light pruning is carried out, the main purpose of which is to maintain the desired tree size and the selected crown shape. It is recommended to shorten the young side shoots, leaving six leaves on them: this will stimulate fruiting on them for the next year. When the trunk extends to a height of about 2.5 m, it is shortened so that the top is at a distance of one meter from the uppermost branch.
When pruning, dried and broken branches are also removed, which are then burned.
Pruning a plum tree or tall bush
In order not to expose the plant to the risk of white rot and gum flow, it is recommended to prune the plant in June, during the period of active growth of shoots.
The techniques for pruning a tree-growing plum and a bush plum are basically the same except for pruning the center conductor. The formation of the crown depends on the height of the trunk trim.
An annual plant is pruned in June, leaving a 1 m high stem above the ground to form a bushy plum, 1.2 m high for a medium-sized tree and 1.9 m high for a tall tree. Subsequently, pruning of these three forms of plum growth is carried out according to the same rules.
The biennial plant is pruned again in May-June. At a young age, the plum grows strongly and branches abundantly at the base of the trunk. All growths are shortened to a length of 25 cm from the trunk. This strong pruning in the green state is very important, as the younger the plum, the less painful it is to remove branches.
In the third year, pruning of plums is again carried out in May-June. The shoots of the continuation of the skeletal branches and the central conductor are shortened to a length of 30 cm. The rest of the growth is shortened to a length of 15 cm. All shoots are cut directly above the healthy bud.
In the fourth and subsequent years of life, plants continue to carry out annual pruning to thin out weak and shaded branches inside the crown, remove diseased shoots and prevent too strong growth of the crown. Skeletal shoots are shortened by 1/3 of the length, and the remaining branches are cut to a length of 15 cm, forming a plum crown in the form of a vase. Dried and broken branches are removed and burned.
Plum is propagated, like all stone fruit crops: by grafting, root suckers, root and green cuttings. Some plum varieties, such as the Skoroplodnaya variety, give a relatively large percentage of cultivated plants when sown with seeds. To do this, the seeds are sown in the fall on well-prepared beds to a depth of 6-7 cm and before the onset of winter they are mulched with humus or compost. The thickness of the mulch layer should be 2-4 cm. Seedlings appear in spring.
When propagating by grafting, an important condition is the cultivation of a seedling as a rootstock from the seeds of the most winter-hardy varieties of plums, thorns or Ussuriyskaya plum varieties in the region. Grafting on such seedlings significantly increases the winter hardiness of the cultivated grafted variety. Reproduction by green cuttings is similar to propagation of cherries.
Collection and storage of the harvest of plums
Plum begins to bear fruit in the 4th-5th year after planting. On one tree, not all fruits ripen at the same time, but within about a month. Therefore, they are harvested several times as they ripen. Diseased fruits are removed immediately. To obtain good yields, it is recommended to plant at least three varieties of different ripening periods.
Plums are eaten fresh, and also processed into dried fruits (prunes), preserves, compotes, jams, marmalades, marmalades, marshmallows, etc. To keep them fresh longer, plums are removed a little unripe and stored in boxes, shifted paper in a cool dark place. Plum fruits keep well frozen.
When choosing varieties of plum, along with large-fruited and good taste, experienced amateur gardeners give primary importance to its complex winter hardiness: bark, wood, leaf and fruit buds. These qualities are most fully possessed by the common blackthorn and the large-fruited blackthorn.
It grows in the form of a spreading bush up to 2-3 m high. Its fruits are small, contain a lot of tannins, so their taste is very mediocre and somewhat improves after freezing by autumn frosts. Blackthorn is highly winter-hardy and is widely used by breeders when breeding winter-hardy varieties of plums. Amateur gardeners often use it as a rootstock-educator to increase the winter hardiness of grafted cultivars. The sloe has one undesirable quality: it forms a lot of root growth, which appears in large numbers in a radius of 2.5-3 m around the bush and causes a lot of inconvenience in the garden.
Medium-sized bush with a rounded crown. The fruits are relatively large (1 fruit weight 13-16 g), ripen late - at the end of September, contain tannins and are mainly used for processing (for compotes, jams). Productivity is high - up to 10-15 kg from 1 bush. Winter hardiness is high.
A promising variety for central Russia. It starts bearing fruit early - 2-3 years after vaccination. Early flowering. Fruits of medium size, round shape, red color, very juicy, pleasant sweet sour taste. Are consumed fresh. Ripen in mid-August. The variety is self-fertile. The best pollinating varieties: Ussuriyskaya plum, Zarya, Krasny ball, Sister Zarya, etc. High winter hardiness.
Early ripening red
A common early ripening variety. Bushes of medium height, 2-3 m high, with a rounded crown. Winter hardiness of wood and buds is above average. Fruits are small and medium-sized, oblong, violet-red in color. The pulp of the fruit is dense, sweet and sour, with a mediocre taste. The yield is high. The fruits ripen at different times. The variety is partially self-fertile, but when pollinated by pollinating varieties (Rakitovaya, Renklod collective farm, Vengerka, Moskovskaya), the yield increases.
Medium ripening variety. Bushes of medium height - 2.5-3 m tall, with a spreading crown. Winter hardiness is high. This variety blooms late, after the passage of spring frosts. Fruits of medium size, amber-yellow color, pleasant sweet-sour taste, ripen in 1-2 decades of August. The yield is high.
Winter-hardy, high-yielding variety, suitable for growing in Tatarstan, Bashkortstan and other regions with a harsh climate. The trees are medium-sized, with a spreading crown. Fruits are of medium size, rounded, orange-reddish, with a waxy coating, have a pleasant sour-sweet taste, ripen in mid-September. Suitable for fresh consumption and for processing. The variety is self-fertile. Pollinated by varieties: Skorospelka red, Eurasia21, thorns. The variety is resistant to pests and diseases.
Medium ripening variety. The bushes are medium-sized, with a wide crown. Winter hardiness and productivity are high. Fruits are small, oval round, dark blue in color. The taste of the fruit is pleasant, sweet and sour, slightly tart; fruits are suitable for fresh consumption and processing. Ripen at the end of August. The yield is high. This variety is liked by many amateur gardeners due to the fact that it forms few shoots. The variety is self-fertile; pollinating varieties: Early ripening red, thorny.
A high-yielding variety with a medium ripening period, it grows as a tree with a rounded crown. The variety is self-fertile. Pollinating varieties: July, Souvenir of the East and others, the flowering of which coincides in time. The fruits are large, dark red, juicy, and have a pleasant taste. Average winter hardiness.
© Fir0002 / Flagstaffotos
Pests and diseases
Plum moth - this pest eats plums, cherry plums and other fruit crops. The caterpillar takes root in the fruit, paving the way to the cuttings, affects the vascular system, disrupting the natural flow of nutrients. The growth of the fetus is significantly reduced, over time it loses its color and falls off. Caterpillars hibernate in dense cocoons in cracks in the bark, near a tree on the soil surface.
The method of struggle consists in digging up the soil in the garden area, applying burlap belts around the tree boles. After harvesting, the caterpillars are manually harvested and destroyed.
The yellow plum sawfly feeds on the fruits of the plum, less often on other fruits.
The way to deal with the sawfly is also to dig up the soil. Before flowering, sawflies are usually shaken off onto the litter, and the trees are also sprayed with karbofos, chlorophos, etc.
Plum-pollinated aphids often damage plums, cherries, apricots, peaches, etc. The pest mainly colonizes the underside of the leaves, thereby the leaves begin to discolor, the fruit tree weakens, the fruits do not ripen and rot.
The method of struggle consists in spraying in early spring with nitrophene, benzophosphate, karbofos, etc.
Noseworm - This polyphagous pest damages stone fruit trees. Caterpillars infect leaves, roll them up or hold them together in a lump. Leaf rollers often change places on the tree, damaging new leaves.
Methods of struggle In general, with a small lesion, it is necessary to collect butterflies when laying eggs, since during this period they do not fly, but crawl along the trunk. An effective pest control is spraying with nitrofen in early spring.
In addition to its excellent taste, plum has many medicinal and medicinal properties. Plum is very beneficial for the body due to its rich composition. Looking forward to your advice!