Growing Apricots In The Middle Lane. Winter Hardy Varieties. Care. Photo

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Growing Apricots In The Middle Lane. Winter Hardy Varieties. Care. Photo
Growing Apricots In The Middle Lane. Winter Hardy Varieties. Care. Photo

Video: Growing Apricots In The Middle Lane. Winter Hardy Varieties. Care. Photo

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Video: Growing Fruit in Cold Climates: Zones 3 and 4 2023, February
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Despite the southern origin of apricot (Central Asia, China, Iran, Transcaucasia, then Greece, Italy), the plant has great potential for frost resistance, because it grows on dry mountain slopes, where it has adapted to frost and even drought. In the middle of the 17th century, several apricot trees from Europe were brought to the Tsar's Izmailovsky Garden, where they were planted. And after a few decades, apricots could be found in the gardens of many boyars, as well as in the monastery gardens of the Moscow region. It turns out that everything is in order with the frost resistance of the apricot. It's just that things are not very good with winter hardiness.

Apricot tree
Apricot tree

The fact is that such unfavorable winter factors as thaws and sudden temperature drops have a negative impact on the winter hardiness of apricot. Flower buds especially suffer from these factors, because thaws provoke their development, and the frosts that follow then damage them or completely destroy the future harvest. Thus, partial or complete death of flower buds occurs precisely during the winter, which is one of the main reasons for the irregular fruiting of apricots.

Young plants are especially afraid of wintering in the first years of life. They are distinguished by strong and long growth and do not have time to prepare for winter before the onset of frost. As a result, non-lignified shoots freeze out. It is believed that the reason for the insufficient winter hardiness of apricot is the relatively cool and short summer, when the plants do not have time to gain the necessary supply of nutrients that help them withstand the unfavorable factors of winter. These biological features of the growth of apricots tell us about the need to choose the right place in the middle lane.

Content:

  • Choosing a place for apricot
  • Preparing apricot trees for wintering
  • Apricot varieties for the middle strip
  • Conclusions about growing apricots in the middle lane

Choosing a place for apricot

The place for planting apricots should not be low (where the cold air flows), but always warm, sunny and closed from cold winds (northern and eastern). Gardeners are not advised to plant apricots on the southern slopes, because in the hot weather the plants start growing earlier to the detriment of their winter hardiness, and flowering is more likely to coincide with residual spring frosts. Still, some gardeners recommend planting apricots on the south side of buildings, fences, or specially made shields painted in light colors to better reflect sunlight on trees (i.e., do something like a heat shield).

According to experienced gardeners, these measures will improve the illumination of trees and protect them from cold winds. And one more thing: the soil in the places where apricots are planted must have good air permeability, because the roots of the plant need a free flow of air throughout the growing season. Even short-term flooding with water or strong waterlogging of the root layer of the soil is unacceptable, from this the plant may die.

The composition of the soil should be chosen correctly. For example, one part of peat and one part of sand is added to clay for one part of it. On a sandy soil with poor moisture, apricot trees get burned in summer and age early. On non-irrigated chernozem, they begin to bear fruit late and give poor yields.

Experienced gardeners know that if old pears, oak, Norway maple, ash and other trees with a very deep root system grow on or near the site, then this is a sure sign that apricots will definitely take root here. It is recommended to plant trees according to a 6 × 4 m scheme (i.e. 6 m is left between rows and 4 in a row). The most favorable for apricot are sandy loam, loamy, light loamy soils, with a neutral and slightly acidic reaction (pH 6-7).

Rotten manure must be added to the soil, poor in humus, in an amount of at least 3 kg per sq. meter. Mineral fertilizers are applied depending on the content of nutrients in the soil. On clay soils, for example, more phosphorus fertilizers are required (at least 100-120 g per 1 sq. M). It is better to plant apricots in spring. The seedlings are placed in prepared soil, dug deep (up to 45 cm) with simultaneous fertilization. Planting pits 60-70 cm deep are made just before planting, adding 8-10 kg of humus and up to 1 kg of superphosphate.

Young apricot tree, grade "Murpark"
Young apricot tree, grade "Murpark"

Preparing apricot trees for wintering

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, watering 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 to complete the preparation of trees for the cold by the fall of leaves.

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, “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 the 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 agrotextile in two layers or any other fabric for the entire flowering period. Under such clothes, flowers are not afraid of frosts up 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.

Apricot fruits on a branch, "Muscat" variety
Apricot fruits on a branch, "Muscat" variety

Apricot varieties for the middle strip

First of all, it should be called the "Northern Triumph" variety. This variety is highly regarded by many gardeners. Apricot "Triumph North" is a fairly tall tree with a wide crown. He is not susceptible to attacks by pests or various diseases. He feels great in almost any weather, including severe frosts. Even its buds are not afraid of low temperatures, and therefore the apricot has a stable yield.

It is very important to note that "Triumph of the North" refers to self-pollinated plants. This means it can be planted alone without worrying about cross-pollination. Begins to bear fruit at about the age of three. An adult tree can bear over 60 kg of fruit. Apricots are large, juicy and sweet. Their ripening time ranges from mid-July to mid-August. It is not difficult to buy an apricot tree "Triumph Severny" today, since you can order a seedling in many online stores.

Of the other "Moscow region" varieties of apricot, the following can be recommended: Iceberg, Alyosha, Aquarius, Countess, Lel, Monastyrsky, Favorit, Tsarsky. They were obtained as a result of many years of work in the Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences and adapted to the conditions of the middle zone.

Apricot variety Iceberg is a tree up to 3 m high with a spreading crown. With abundant flowering, a little fruit is tied. Fruits weighing 20-25 g, round, pubescent, yellow-orange with a slight blush, tasty, tender, juicy. The bone is separated well. Fruit ripening in late July-early August.

Alyosha is a vigorous tree with a spreading crown of 4 meters in height. The flowers are large. Apricot fruits weighing 15-20 g are round, bright yellow with a blush, tasty, pubescence is small, therefore the fruits are shiny. Fruits ripen at the earliest: late July-early August.

Apricot variety Aquarius is a seedling from the Lel variety obtained with free pollination. A vigorous tree (4-5 m) with vigorous intensive growth. Very productive. Fruits are round, weight 25-30 g. Fruits are not as shiny as in the Lel variety, yellow with barely visible blush. The taste is sweet and sour, but harmonious. The bone is separated perfectly. The fruits ripen in the 2nd decade of August, they are not stored for a long time.

The Countess is a tall, up to 6 m, very vigorous tree. Fruits are round or oval, weight 25-30 g. The skin is pubescent, cream or yellowish color, with a blush. The pulp is bright orange, gristly, juicy, tasty. Ripening of apricot fruits in mid-August.

Apricot variety Lel is a tree with a compact crown and restrained growth up to 3 m. Fruits are medium-sized, weighing 15-20 g, beautiful, golden-orange, rarely with a faint blush. The pubescence is very slight, therefore the fruits are shiny. The taste is sweet and sour, harmonious, very pleasant, the stone separates well. Fruits ripen in early August.

Apricot variety Monastyrskiy is a powerful, vigorous tree up to 5 m high with a wide-spreading crown. Extraordinarily productive. Fruits weighing 25-30 g, oval, pubescent, yellow with a red blush. The bone is separated well. The fruits ripen in the middle and second half of August.

Favorite - medium-sized tree, up to 3 m high, moderate growth. Fruits of the Favorite variety are large, slightly irregular in shape, weight up to 30 g. Fruits are very beautiful yellow-orange with a large intense blush, pubescence is small, therefore the fruits are shiny. The fruits are very tasty and fleshy, because the bone is small. The bone is separated perfectly. The fruits ripen in the middle and second half of August.

The Tsarsky apricot variety is a medium-sized tree, up to 3 m tall. The flowers are the largest in comparison with other varieties - up to 4 cm in diameter. Fruits weighing 20-25 g, oval, beautiful yellow with a blush. Exceptionally tasty, very juicy, with a pronounced aroma. Fruits ripen in early August.

Blooming apricot tree
Blooming apricot tree

Conclusions about growing apricots in the middle lane

It is quite possible to grow apricots in the personal plots of the middle lane, only the following conditions should be observed, which are dictated by the biological characteristics of these plants, which we mentioned above:

  • choose the right planting site, taking care of the most favorable microclimate for apricots;
  • choose the right time for planting (best in spring) in well-structured soil, observing all generally accepted rules for planting trees;
  • strictly observe all the rules of agricultural technology and take into account the peculiarities of caring for apricots.

At the same time, we must not forget:

  1. about proper watering of trees, stopping it by the beginning of August;
  2. about collecting fallen leaves under the maidens in autumn and burning them to get rid of pests;
  3. in October-November, whitewash apricot trees, thus protecting them from sunburn in early spring and from the initiation of early biochemical processes in their branches and buds;
  4. pruning of trees in early spring, especially if it was not carried out in the fall;
  5. on the introduction of fertilizers: nitrogen - in early spring, phosphorus - in summer.

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