Honey apricot: description, nuances of cultivation, reviews
Apricot Honey is not included in the State Register of the Russian Federation, but it is interesting as one representative of a rare class of winter-hardy apricots. The variety was bred at the Research Institute of Chelyabinsk, which already gives reason to consider it suitable for cultivation in the South Urals and, more broadly, in the Middle Belt.
Apricot Honey: description
Apricot is not a new culture for Turkey, the southern regions of Ukraine, the North Caucasus, but for the Central belt or the Moscow region it is exotic. Unsurprisingly, there is very little information about some of the varieties distributed as winter-hardy. Apricot Honey also belongs to such varieties.
It was bred at the Yuzhnouralsk Research Institute of Fruit and Vegetable and Potato Growing (YUNIISK) in 1996. Breeding - K. K. Mullayanov, who is also the author or co-author of such apricot varieties as Kichiginsky, Prizer, Snezhinsky, Zolotaya Kostochka, Chelyabinsky early, Velvet.
Apricot Honey was obtained by free pollination of trees of the Kichiginsky variety, bred at the same research institute. Apricot Kichiginsky is a medium-sized tree that begins to bear fruit relatively late - in the 5th year, with yellow small fruits - 14 g, but at the same time with rather high tasting ratings - 4.5 points.
The direct ancestor of the Honey variety - apricot Kichiginsky
The Honey variety has slightly larger fruits - 15 g, also yellow, without blush, with a barely noticeable amount of red dots on top. The pulp is average in terms of juiciness and density, yellow in color, with a well-separated stone. The tasting score is slightly lower - 4.3 points, but the taste attracts with subtle honey nuances. The fruits are sweet, do not taste bitter, do not sour, like the ancestors of these varieties - Siberian and Manchurian apricots, which have fruits that are practically unsuitable for food. Despite the fact that the fruits of the Honey Apricot do not stand out much from the row, when compared with the varieties of this culture in general, they have a strong average level both in size and taste, and are very good, especially considering the high frost resistance of the tree. Suitable for fresh consumption, due to their density and size, they are good for homemade preparations.
The tree is able to withstand winter frosts down to -40 ° C, is not so susceptible to damping and does not suffer from spring return frosts as much as southern varieties. Trees of the Medovy variety grow quite tall - up to 4–5 m, the crown is spreading, about 4 m in diameter. Fertility begins in the 5th year, the harvest from one tree - 20-30 kg.
Minus - the variety is self-fertile, you need a pollinator. The Kichiginsky variety is well suited for this purpose.
Original photo of apricot Honey, made by breeders of YUNIISK
Landing: step by step instructions
There are general rules for planting fruit trees:
- The soil is prepared in advance.
- The seedling is placed in water before planting.
- Before planting, the roots are examined, damaged, diseased ones are removed, cut too long.
- The inoculation site should be 10 cm higher than the ground level.
- In the spring, they are planted only in warm, thawed ground.
- For warm crops: Spring planting is carried out after the threat of frost has passed.
Purchase and preparation of seedlings
You should buy honey apricot seedlings from the originator - in YUNIISK. When buying in other places, you need to be careful - dishonest traders often sell southern plants under different names. Such an apricot in the Middle Lane will die in the first year. The best option is to buy seedlings from well-known reliable practicing gardeners in your region, but this is far from always possible. Saplings are taken at the age of 1-2 years - the younger the plant, the more adaptive it is. The ideal option is to grow your own plant from the seed. Its adaptability to local conditions will be even better. Purchased seedlings must have a well-developed, healthy root system. Seedlings with an open root system are soaked in a growth stimulant solution (Kornevin, Epin, Heteroauxin) for 12-24 hours.
Apricot seedlings of the Chelyabinsk selection on a semi-dwarf rootstock, sold by NPO Sady Rossii. Root system - closed
Keep in mind that seedlings packed in a mixture of peat and sawdust and wrapped in a net are also considered open-root seedlings.
Step-by-step planting instructions
The Honey variety is planted in the same way as other varieties of apricots:
- It is better to plant in early spring. When calculating the distance between plants, it is taken into account that the root system of the tree is twice the crown (recall that the diameter of the honey apricot crown is 4 m). Standard distances for planting apricots are 3 m between trees, 5 m between rows.
- Pits for seedlings are prepared in advance, in the fall. The size of one pit - 80 cm3, a stake is driven into the center of the pit so that it rises 50 cm above ground level.
- Drainage is poured onto the bottom of the pit - a layer of crushed stone, large pebbles, broken brick. The thickness depends on the microclimate, usually 15–20 cm.
- The soil from the pit is mixed with peat, fertilizers (humus, ash, superphosphate), lime may be needed, and poured back into the pit. The type, quantity and proportions of additives depend on the original qualities of the soil. Try to bring it closer to the ideal: nutritious sandy loam or loam with a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction. Apricot is generally undemanding to soil fertility, pay attention to the mechanical properties of the soil - it should be light, breathable, and moisture permeable. In most cases, a 1: 1: 1 mixture of ordinary earth, peat and sand is sufficient.
- You can oranize an organo-mineral pillow - this is a more concentrated nutrient mixture, which is sprinkled on top with a layer of ordinary soil, and only then a seedling is planted - it is necessary that the roots do not touch the pillow.
Arrangement of a planting pit for apricot
- In the spring, they dig a hole of the required size, focusing on the length of the roots of the seedling, form a small hill from the soil, water and trample it, then the seedling is placed in the hole, spreading its roots along the hill. If the root system is closed, a clod of earth is simply freed from the protective film and placed in a hole without touching the roots.
- Sprinkle with earth so that the root collar rises slightly above ground level. You cannot deepen!
- A watering circle and boards are formed around the tree. This is necessary so that the water does not flood the stem, and at the same time does not spread around.
- The tree is watered abundantly and tied to a peg.
Several recommendations for site and soil preparation:
- It is better to choose not a flat place, but a small slope along which excess moisture will drain, protecting the tree from damping out.
- If there is no slope, make an artificial hill (diameter - 2 m, height - 0.5 m).
- If the soil is clayey, add more sand and small stones.
- Too acidic soil is lime.
- In insufficiently nutritious soil, it is necessary to add (per 1 planting pit): humus - 30–40 kg, superphosphate - 600 g, ash - 2 kg.
Features of growing and subtleties of care
In general, the plant is unpretentious, but young plants of the Medovy variety will require skillful care. And the point is not that this is a capricious variety, a problem in the culture as a whole, do not forget that even apricots zoned for Siberia and the Urals are still a novelty.
Watering and feeding
An adult apricot is drought tolerant, but a young plant loves regular and abundant watering - this is necessary for the formation of new roots. In dry summers, watering is required. Focus on your conditions - excessive watering is also undesirable, plant roots are sensitive to excess moisture. To retain moisture and get rid of weeds, the soil is loosened and mulched.
If the plant was planted in well-fertilized soil, the first 2 years of feeding will not be needed. Then you can start feeding:
- For the 3rd year, 100 g of complex mineral fertilizer is introduced into the trunk circle.
- You can divide this dose into two parts: add one in March, to a friend immediately after flowering (the period of ovary formation).
- Instead of a complex fertilizer, you can wear urea and ammonium nitrate (30 and 40 g per sq. M.)
- Keep an eye on the pH - it should be at 7.0 or slightly higher. To deoxidize the soil, dolomite flour is added once every 3-4 years (300-400 g per tree).
For a crop such as apricot, proper shaping is extremely important - the early maturity and yield depend on it, and how easy this crop will be to harvest. The culture is light-loving, actively growing, thickening of the crown and the lack of access to light to the lower branches will greatly reduce yields.
One of the possible pruning schemes for apricot by year
Immediately after planting, the plant is cut at a height of 70–80 cm from the ground. This stimulates the growth of skeletal branches. In one year, the branches of a young apricot will grow 70 cm. In the middle of summer, they are pinched to stimulate the formation of branches of the next order.
Sanitary obrzeku is carried out at its discretion - they cut out the extra crowns that grow inward, interfering with the branches. Be sure to remove branches growing to the trunk closer than 45-50 °. After pruning from one point of growth, an apricot often releases two shoots, one of these shoots should be removed, simply breaking out the weaker one.
After 2 years, the apricot acquires a lush crown. Spurs begin to appear on its skeletal branches - it is from them that the main crop is harvested. They are located on the branches of 2-3 years old. That is, in the future, pruning of old branches will be required, but such pruning will be required no more often than once every 4–6 years.
Apricot bears fruit on short branches - spurs, which are formed on skeletal branches
How to deal with damping
Damping out apricots is one of the main difficulties that gardeners face in the Urals, Siberia or the Moscow region. To prevent this problem, choose the right place: sunny, well protected from the wind, preferably on a hill. Lowlands, wet places, the proximity of groundwater, the shadow of taller trees or buildings - gross mistakes, most likely, the tree will die. Avoid places where the snow will melt for too long in spring. From the beginning of March, it is necessary to ensure that the tree trunk does not come into contact with snow, especially wet. In autumn, you should also try to protect the tree from excess moisture - the trees are spud so that the water flows down. At the beginning of November, the trunk is distanced from the snow: 4–6 pegs are driven in at a distance of several centimeters from the trunk and an insulating material (for example, polypropylene) is pulled. The top of the material is tied with twine. This ensures that the barrel remains dry.
Protection of young apricots from damping off in the Middle Lane. The trunk is completely insulated from contact with the snow
Warming, even though the Medovy tree is declared frost-resistant and suitable for growing in the Urals, is still necessary. Apricots completely adapted to frost do not exist today, young plants simply do not have time to prepare for winter, for example, because of the early, rainy and cold autumn. Honey apricots must be insulated until 3-4 years of age, then - as needed. Young apricots in the Urals or in Siberia are wrapped completely - they put a film on the tree, the ends of which are attached to stakes driven into the ground, sprinkle with soil on top. In the Middle Lane, a layer of mulch (straw, sawdust) with a height of 20 cm near the trunk circle is sufficient.
Apricot trunk mulching
But it should be understood for what reason the culture is afraid of frost. In general, apricot has a high frost resistance - growth buds can withstand up to -45 ° C, fruit buds - up to -35 ° C, flowers - up to -5 ° C (and this despite the fact that apple flowers freeze at -3 ° C), and the root system is the most frost-resistant of all fruit crops. The problem is in the mismatch of the set of conditions. Apricot blooms much earlier than apple trees, which means that it has a higher chance of encountering shock frosts for it. Apricots in nature grow on stony, dry, hygroscopic soils, they are sensitive to moisture stagnation and do not tolerate at all if this moisture is cold - neither the bark nor the roots are adapted to what the plants of Siberia and the Urals are adapted to: an abundance of moisture in spring, when the snow began to melt, thaws and subsequent return frosts, when the surface of the plant can be covered with an ice crust, sharp and frequent temperature changes, a short, poor summer in the sun and a long cold period - despite the fact that apricot flower buds are characterized by a very short dormancy period.
Scientifically speaking, apricot has high frost resistance, but low winter hardiness - that is, the ability to withstand the entire set of unfavorable winter factors. The plant will better tolerate a very cold but stable winter than a warm winter with periodic warming and frost. Special attention to the phase of a loose bud (the petals of the bud have just begun to diverge) - it is during this period that the apricot is most vulnerable. The apricot is in this stage in April. Frosts down to -6 ° С will be detrimental to the ovaries - you won't have to wait for a harvest in such a year. The Medovy variety, like all varieties of the Chelyabinsk selection, is distinguished by its increased resistance to return spring frosts.
Diseases and pests. The main types and solutions to the problem
Apricot among those practitioners who grow it in Siberia or the Urals, shows itself to be a disease-resistant crop, more resistant than, for example, plum. However, he can also be susceptible to specific diseases:
- Moniliosis or monilial burn. The causative agent is a fungus. It causes the ovaries to fall off, then the branches and leaves dry out. Gray fruit rot, which appears as spots on the fruit, is a type of moniliosis. The fight against this disease is ongoing. Prevention is very important: correct anti-aging pruning, bleaching with copper sulfate, spraying with fungicides (iron or copper sulfate, Bordeaux mixture). Spray during periods of greatest vulnerability: in winter with systemic fungicides (Skor, Strobe, Saprol, Horus), 3-4 days before flowering - with foundationol, 2-3 weeks after flowering - with Horus or Topaz. If signs of the disease are found on the fruits, they are simply removed and destroyed. An effective method is pruning according to the method of Professor PG Shitt, which allows you to postpone flowering for 7-10 days, which reduces the likelihood of frost and the vulnerability of the plant to the fungus.
Apricot leaves, shrunken due to the defeat of moniliosis
- Hole spotting (clasterosporium disease). One of the most common stone fruit diseases. Specks appear on the leaves, buds, flowers, fruits, which grow over time. The spots are brown with a characteristic crimson border. Holes form in place of the spots, severely affected leaves fall off. Treatment is similar to that of moniliosis.
Apricot leaves and fruits affected by perforated spot
- Brown spot (gnomoniosis). The causative agent is also a fungus. It affects mainly the leaves, slightly less - the fruits. In May, small yellow spots appear on the leaves, which grow and turn brown, capturing more and more significant areas, the center of the spots dries up, the edges become bright yellow, folded, with breaks. Affected leaves may fall off. Spots appear on the fruits, more ripe fruits are deformed.
Brown spots caused by the fungus Gnomonia erythrostoma on apricot leaves
- Cytosporosis. This fungus attacks the bark. The affected parts of the bark dry, crack, bumps appear on them (pathogens develop in them), flowers and leaves dry out without falling off the tree for a long time, in advanced cases the disease is accompanied by gum flow.They treat the disease at the initial stage by removing the affected areas of the bark and treating the wounds with garden varnish.
Damage to the bark by the causative agents of cytosporosis - the fungus Cytospora carphosperma Fr
- Bacterial necrosis (black or common cancer, burn). Cancer is similar to cytosporosis, although they are completely different diseases caused by different pathogens. With black cancer, not separate tubercles appear on the bark, but concentric circles, the bark is darker and begins to exfoliate, which does not happen with cytosporosis. With the latter disease, the bark remains in place, but becomes spongy. To prevent the disease, you also need to carefully monitor the integrity of the bark, handle physical damage in time.
Black cancer on the trunk of a fruit tree
- Gum removal (gommosis) is not a separate disease, but a reaction to tissue damage. Unfortunately, these tree tears do not contain phytoncides, like, for example, coniferous resin, but they do contain polysaccharides that are attractive to microorganisms. Therefore, the expiration of the gum must be treated until the causative agent of the disease penetrates through it and the tree becomes even worse. All the gum is removed with a sharp knife, cleaned to clean wood, carefully observing that there are no diseased cells, then the wound is treated with copper sulfate 1%.
Apricot gum flow
- Aphid. It settles on the underside of the leaves. The leaves themselves become sticky, curl into tubes, and fall off. Both ovaries and fruits are damaged. Heat and nearby anthills contribute to the appearance of insects. The best way to combat is the timely removal of the affected leaves, this will not use insecticides. As a preventive measure, herbs are grown nearby. Biological enemies of aphids are ladybugs, tits, sparrows.
Leaves infested with aphids
- A leafworm is a small moth whose larvae eat leaves and wrap themselves in them like a blanket. Pest control - inspection of the plant and timely removal of leaves with insects. The larvae are quite nimble, run away briskly, you need to collect carefully. In order to preserve the green mass, only the larvae are collected from the young Honey Apricot without plucking the leaves. Tall trees are treated with insecticides.
- Peach or plum moth. Many are familiar with the apple moth, these are the same caterpillars that can be found in worm apples. Peach and plum are not much different. They actively eat young apricot leaves and fruits. They hibernate in the bark, so the main method of prevention is the removal of the old bark, treatment of the trunk. And also: digging row spacings and near-trunk circles, loosening, pheromone traps, trapping belts for trunks, correct pruning, timely insecticide treatments - even before the caterpillars began to damage the fruits, collecting fallen damaged fruits - until the gorged caterpillars left them and buried in the bark or soil (and they do it pretty quickly, on the same day the fruit fell).
Plum moth butterfly
- Rodents. Do the most damage. Hares, mice and rats are capable of completely destroying a tree. To protect against rodents, mainly mechanical barriers are used, for example, wrapping tree trunks with thick paper. It helps whitewashing, coating with a mixture of clay, mullein and carbolic acid, laying out the Storm wax briquettes near the trunk.
Reviews about the cultivation of apricots in the Middle lane
I planted the grafted apricots annually for 6 years, they also disappeared regularly. Six years ago, my mother sowed seeds, and we have been with apricots for the third year. AND I DO NOT DO ANYTHING WITH THEM! They grow by themselves (pah-pah-pah). Bones - to everyone ...
The Honey variety is still very poorly tested in practice, the originator received the first seedlings from seeds only in 1991, and the first fruits were removed from Honey apricots only in 1996. Today the variety is just over 10 years old - this is a very short period for an experimental culture. Very few people dare to grow apricots in the Middle Lane and in the Urals. Therefore, it is still very difficult to say how much Honey Apricot is more interesting than other winter-hardy varieties, but the prospects, judging by the reviews about the varieties of the Siberian and Ural selection in general, are good.
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Honey apricot: description of the variety, type of tree, reviews and correct planting
In warm regions, such a fruit tree as an apricot grows in every yard and even on the streets without any additional care. But for the Moscow region, apricot is a real decoration of the garden, which requires a special approach. Correct planting, pruning, and protection from diseases and pests are important here. Today there are apricot varieties that are specially bred by breeders for the conditions of the Moscow region. Judging by the gardeners' reviews, the type of tree with the most delicious fruits is honey apricot. For those who want to decorate their garden with it, you need to familiarize yourself with the description, rules for planting and growing honey apricot.