Plum - selection of varieties and features of cultivation
Every fruit has a place in the garden. It will always be found for plums. Its tantalizing aroma and piquant taste will not leave anyone indifferent. The unsurpassed beauty of plum trees during flowering and fruiting. Autumn plum resembles a spruce decorated for the holiday, with yellow, blue, pink, purple, wine-red flowers hanging on the branches. For its elegance and beauty during flowering and fruiting, plum is valued by designers and is often used in landscape design.
Characteristics of varietal groups of home plum
Out of 2,000 varieties of home plum, each gardener can select a favorite and plant this precious gift from the 4th century BC in the garden.
Modern varieties of plums, depending on the external structure, color and quality indicators of the fruits, are divided into 4 groups.
- HungariansAs a rule, they have dark-colored fruits of medium size, elongated shape. Differ in high sugar content of fruits. The pulp is elastic, with a delicate dessert flavor. Most varieties are self-fertile, do not require pollinating satellites. Varieties tolerate the winter cold of the southern regions, but are susceptible to freezing during long frosty periods.
- Greenbacks - a group of varieties with green fruits of different shades with a round shape of a juicy fruit. The pulp is sweet and so juicy that the fruits are not used for drying, unlike Hungarians. Basically, greenhouse varieties are used fresh and for the preparation of compotes and juices. When breeding plums of this variety, be careful. They are self-infertile and need pollinators. Differ in low winter hardiness. In the middle zone of the European part of Russia, they are rarely grown due to weather conditions.
- Egg plums with a typical egg-like fruit. The fruit color is yellow in different shades, covered with a thick waxy coating. Recently, varieties with a blue color of fruits, other shades have appeared. The fruit pulp is moderately juicy, tender. Varieties are winter hardy, self-fertile. Varieties are usually tall, which makes it difficult to care, and unstable to disease.
- Mirabeli - a group of varieties characterized by comparative small-fruity (similar to cherry plum). The taste of fruits is sour and sweet and sour. Private gardening is less common. Sour varieties are used in winter preparations instead of vinegar.
Starting from the 20th century, breeders, creating new varieties, use interspecific crossbreeding (for example: plum with apricot, etc.), which allows to obtain low-growing hybrid crops with increased frost resistance, resistance to summer droughts and high temperatures, with good quality and presentation of fruits . The cultivation of varieties with new qualities allowed us to promote the culture not only in the middle zone of Russia, but also in the northern regions.
Rules for the selection of plum varieties for giving
When buying plum seedlings for a summer residence, you must immediately learn from the seller the main indicators of the variety. They should be in the accompanying advertising note or in separate catalogs on the counter. You can familiarize yourself with the varieties through the Internet in advance and then buy a pre-selected one. In order not to be deceived, you can not buy planting material on the side of highways or in the market. It is best to buy in agricultural firms where seedlings are grown for sale.
When buying a seedling in a cover note should indicate:
- name of the variety or hybrid,
- the need for pollinators,
- ripening group (early, middle, late),
- year of fruiting beginning,
- frost resistance
- resistance to diseases and pests (which ones),
- keeping quality
- separation of pulp from the bone.
In the country, it is enough to have one tree of different ripening groups in order to be provided with these fruits for fresh consumption all summer and preparations for the winter.
Early plum varieties
The ripening period of early varieties covers the last decade of July - the first decade of August. They differ in the formation of high yields. Of the newer early varieties can be recommended Morning, Opal, Collective farm greenhouse. Delicious yielding varieties Cooperative, Early early, Red ball, Record, Early other.
Medium plum varieties
Medium varieties are replacing. Their ripening period begins from the second decade of August to the first half of September. The fruits of mid-ripening varieties are the most fragrant with high taste. In winter preparations, they are used mainly for the preparation of preserves and tinctures. High tastes and productivity are characterized by new varieties bred in recent years: Blue gift, Entertaining, Sukhanovskaya. Well-established varieties with good quality Masha, memory of Vavilov, Romain, Souvenir of the East other.
Late plum varieties
The late ripening period begins in late August and lasts until the third decade of September. Varieties are characterized by increased frost resistance and are used mainly for conservation. Of the new varieties can be recommended Greenclod Tambov, memory of Timiryazev. It should be noted the widespread use of plum varieties in private gardens Bogatyrskaya, Lada, Svetlana, The president other.
Of course, in the article it is impossible to list all varieties (there are more than 2000) and give their characteristics. It is most advisable to get acquainted with the catalog with zoned varieties of different ripening dates, their characteristics and pick a favorite variety. It should be noted that on one sink you can successfully plant several varieties in skeletal branches and get a whole garden on one tree. The following composition and useful properties of plum fruits will confirm the need to grow this culture in the cottage garden.
Zoned plum varieties are most prevalent in the European zone. The peculiarity of the plum is a long dormancy period, which allows the culture to tolerate temperature changes from warming to return frosts without damage. The cool European summer, sometimes with heavy rains, does not interfere with the culture to form high-quality high yields of delicious fruits. At the same time, planting and care of plum seedlings has peculiarities, non-observance of which leads to early death of the tree and the formation of tasteless fruits.
Plum seedlings are best planted in spring. The root system of plums consists of skeletal branches of 1-2 orders of magnitude, which play mainly the role of conductors and fibrous, fouling of the main roots. They perform a suction function and are located in the upper 40 cm soil layer. Plum seedlings, planted in April, during a long warm period manage to develop the root system and adapt to the conditions of the growing area. During autumn planting, they often freeze or dry out and do not bloom in spring.
Choosing a place to drain
Plum can not be planted in low places with a close occurrence of groundwater. If the water layer is at a damage of 1.4-1.5 m from the soil surface, the plum will die in the early stages, although in one place it can bear fruit for more than 20-25 years.
If the site is low, the subsoil water is close, and there is no other place, then you can prepare a loose hill for plum. Braid with willow rods an area with a diameter of up to 3 m and a height of up to 1.0 m. From a pebble and crushed stone pour a 10-15 cm layer of drainage to drain excess water and fill it with a mixture of local typical soils of neutral acidity. Soils should be water- and breathable, light in composition. Heavy must be mixed with a lot of humus, peat and other ingredients.
On a flat or elevated surface, if the soil is clay, heavy, it is necessary to fill the landing pit with a mixture of light soil. Adding leafy soil, humus, peat, sandy loam soil and a sufficient amount of fertilizer. Such a soil pit should have a diameter of at least 1.0 x 1.0 x 1.0. The bottom and sides of the pit should separate the plum seedling from heavy soil. Over time, the tree will miraculously take root and will grow and bear fruit for a long time. Otherwise, the plum will look oppressed all its life, and the fruits will lose their presentation.
To remove soil acidification, they must be produced. The rate of lime is:
- on sod-podzolic soils 500-800 g square. m
- on light soils, for a long time receiving only mineral nutrition (mineral tuks acidify the soil after many years of application), 300-400 g square. m
- on heavy soils (clay and loamy) from 0.8 to 1.0 kg / sq. m square.
Planting Plum Seedlings
Landing pits, especially in low places or on an artificial hill, are prepared in the fall (see description above). If the place is selected according to the culture requirements for the location, then when the snow melts, they dig out the pits at a distance of 2.5-3.0 m. The depth and diameter of the pit should correspond to the root system of the seedling. The excavated soil (sometimes only the top layer) is mixed with 1-2 buckets of organics, 300-400 g of nitrophoska are added, and mixed well. A support stake is driven into the center of the pit, to which a plum seedling is then tied. Part of the mixture is covered with a knoll in the landing pit. The roots are spread out on top of the hill and covered with the remainder of the soil mixture. Pour 0.5 buckets of water, add soil to the edge of the landing pit, compact. It is important that the root neck is 3-5 cm above the soil level. A roller is formed around the perimeter of the planting hole and another 0.5-0.7 buckets of water are poured. After leaving the water, the soil surface is mulched with peat or any organic matter, except for needles or sawdust. Plum sapling is tied through the figure eight to the support.
Plum seedlings begin to feed after 3 years. Before the fruiting begins, a humus or nitrophosphate in the form of a solution is introduced in a year - 25-35 g / tree during the budding period. With the beginning of fruiting, the plum is fed twice during the growing season. In the spring, at the end of April - beginning of May, a groove is dug along the edge of the crown where nitrogen fertilizers of 30-40 g are introduced. The fertilizer is closed by loosening the soil and watered. Watering must be mulched. The second top dressing is carried out in September-October. They dig 1-2 grooves through 10-20 cm in diameter of the crown or several pits where 0.3-0.5 buckets of humus are added (depending on the age of the tree) mixed with superphosphate and potassium or with a nitrophos. Close up by loosening. Pour water and mulch.
The stone fruits of garden crops are watered no more than 3-4 times during the growing season, but always with a sufficient norm of water. Frequent, but shallow watering will prevent the tree from forming a decent crop.
For draining, the first watering is carried out before budding, if the weather is dry and hot. If there is enough moisture, watering should be noted. Excess moisture adversely affects the culture.
The second watering is carried out in the phase of the beginning of the growth of the ovaries. Plum need high humidity to preserve the ovaries. In dry weather there is a massive fall of the ovaries.
The third watering is carried out 2-3 weeks before the harvest, not earlier. Fruits must be ripe, ready for harvest. During ripening, you can not water. The fruits will retain a sour taste.
The last watering is performed when preparing the trees for wintering. It is carried out along with autumn fertilizing.
Plum crown formation
For each novice gardener, the formation of the crown of a fruit tree or the overhead mass of a bush is a complex, but quite feasible job. You must be careful and follow the recommendations. Pruning to form the crown of a plum tree should be started immediately from the first year, but take your time and be careful.
When planting, we do not trim the seedling until March next year.
1 year - we carry out spring and summer pruning.
We perform spring pruning during the period of awakening of the kidneys (they begin to swell). From the soil level we measure the height of the future stem at 40-45 cm and on this segment we cut off all side shoots into a ring. The central conductor is shortened at a height of 1.3-1.5 m to a well-developed kidney. If the side branches are long, shorten them by 1/3.
At the end of July, we perform summer prune pruning. We trim all the side branches growing from the central shoot for 20-25 cm in length. If a branch of the second order appeared on the side branch, we trim it 15 cm in length. The kidney should be pointing down. We do not touch the central conductor in July pruning.
In year 2, we also carry out spring and summer trimming.
With spring awakening of the kidneys, we cut off the overgrown central conductor by 2/3 of the total length. To keep the central trunk straight, we cut the central stem to a kidney located on the opposite side from last year’s pruning. Until the summer, the plum tree continues to grow.
At the end of July, we begin to form lateral branches. This year’s growth is again cut to 20 cm. The total length of the branch growing from the central trunk should be no more than 40-45 cm. These are first-order branches. There are second-order branches on them, which last year were left with a length of 15 cm. This July, cut their growth again by 15 cm. That is, second-order branches will have a total length of 30 cm. The extreme kidney should be oriented downward. The lower lateral branches of the first order can be neatly tied in the middle with twine, bent down and tied to the lower part of the stem. Do not forget to clean the stump from the side shoots.
At year 3, we still carry out two trimmings.
In the spring, at the beginning of the swelling of the buds, we cut off the central shoot by 1/2 the length of last year’s growth and continue pruning it in subsequent years until the total height of the tree reaches 2.5 m in height.
In July, we cut off the side shoots, again leaving 20 and 15 cm growth of the previous year, respectively. We shorten the appeared branches of the third order by 13 cm, carefully examine the crown and remove all the branches growing inwardly in whole or in part on the external bud.
In subsequent years, we focus on the central plum shoot. By completely trimming the growth of the previous year, we stop the growth of the tree in height. We cut out all branches that thicken the crown (curves growing inward, rubbing against each other, too bare, etc.). In July, we cut off the lateral growths so that a broad base remains, and the branches are shortened to the top, forming a pyramidal shape as a whole. If the upper branches are not greatly shortened, the shape of the crown will resemble a rounded cupped. Do not forget to cut the crown by removing old bare branches and internal thickening.
About the beneficial properties of plums
Due to their chemical composition, plums have a beneficial effect on the human body. They are rich in macro- and microelements, including more than 200 mg of potassium, 80 mg of copper, 10 to 20 mg of calcium, sodium, phosphorus, etc. per 100 g of dry weight. There are a lot of vitamins in the pulp, including E, C "," A "and others.
Plums contain a lot of malic, oxalic, citric, succinic, and other organic acids, which, together with vitamins and microelements, are involved in the development of the cardiovascular and nervous system when carrying an unborn baby. Phytocoumarins, expanding blood vessels, prevent the formation of thrombophlebitis, and doctors consider anti-cyanine to be a means of preventing the appearance of cancer cells. For prevention, 5-6 dried fruits per day are sufficient.
Substances contained in plum fruits strengthen immunity, prevent atherosclerosis, regulate digestion, normalize heart function, stimulate the formation of red blood cells and promote the removal of radioactive substances from the body. However, plum fruits have a number of contraindications.It is necessary to limit, and sometimes refuse, the use of plums in food for gout, rheumatism, and diabetes mellitus.