How to make an old garden young
What associations does the old garden have in us? First of all, these are old, abandoned gardens, sung with sadness in the works of Russian writers and poets, in Russian romances; our ideas about how much the old garden has seen in his lifetime and how many secrets he keeps in the shadow of his overgrown trees. Or maybe thoughts of how many secrets were told in him and tears were shed. The cozy corners of the garden were hidden from prying eyes and gave joyful moments of solitude. And also, if this is your old garden, it can give childhood memories and recall important events in your life. Now that you have grown up, matured, you want a change. A garden needs updating.
It also happens that people do not deal with the garden of their childhood, but they just got it from the beginning in the old form, then it will not be so pitiful to reconstruct it, although the best in the old garden should still be preserved. Gardeners consider it advisable to resort to rejuvenation of the garden, when trees reach 18-20 years of age and olderwhen the yield is significantly reduced and the quality of the fruit is deteriorating, and annual growths are only 10-12 cm.
In order to properly orient readers, we will first give the opinions of famous gardeners and designers on this issue.
Uprooting trees and shrubs
First of all, it is necessary to remember that the old garden needs periodic reconstruction. In an adult fruiting garden, thinning should be carried out systematically: This is uprooting of old and selective significant pruning of individual trees and shrubs. Sometimes, although rarely, it happens that a tree has to be uprooted after severe damage by mice, hares, other pests or diseases. It happens that part of the crown collapses under the weight of the crop and wind. Here we need to think about what is best to do: whether to restore it (although this is usually difficult to do), or completely remove this part.
A positive factor in the uprooting of dead, old, sick, not winter-hardy fruit trees is that a considerable area of it is immediately released in the garden, which can be used for planting other crops, depending on their exactingness for light.
It leads, first of all, to improving the illumination of the garden. It is carried out, for example, as follows: on the southern side of the site, a frost-resistant tree is selected, its entire crown is cut and re-instill new one or more varieties. An adult garden usually gives a sufficient crop, so it is quite possible to apply a strong pruning of one of the sides of the crown of one or more trees. To do this, the perennial skeletal branches are almost removed at the base of the saw or transferred to a side branch. Sometimes a strong cut of one side of the crown of a tall tree is necessary, which obscures the shorter, but more valuable.
It happens like this: the gardener sees that one of the paths in the garden is well lit by the sun, and decides to use it for planting any light-loving crops, naturally adding enough nutrient soil to this place. He paves a new path under the crowns of mature trees, cutting off individual branches that are under shading and do not produce a good quality crop.
It is necessary to remove part of the crown or the whole tree not in the early spring and not in the late autumn, when the plants stand without leaves, but in the period when they give the greatest shadow. Usually do it in the fall, after harvesting.
An amateur gardener should also remember the need for periodic changes in the cultivation of berry bushes. So, through 10-12 years old blackcurrant bushes and after thoroughly fertilizing the soil, new plants are planted in between the old planting. Old raspberry plantings are also being replaced with new ones, but new places are being allocated for them. At one place raspberries can be grown no more than 12 years.
These were the advice of the well-known gardener B. A. Popov.
There is another remarkable person, a scientist with extensive experience in gardening, known to many gardeners, a researcher at the breeding department of the All-Russian Institute for Horticulture and Nursery of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences - Anatoly Mikheev, whose recommendations in the rejuvenation of gardens should be heeded.
So, an experienced scientist does not advise immediately to get rid of everything unnecessary in the old garden. It is necessary to carefully observe the life of the garden and only then proceed with its reconstruction. First of all, you should carefully examine each tree. The reasons why the trees need to be uprooted are as follows: if they have hollows in them, the bark dies, cracks and lags badly, annual growths are weak (no more than 10 cm). It is easiest to cut a single tree at a level of 40-50 cm from the ground. If it is surrounded by other trees, shrubs, then you should first cut down the skeletal branches (starting from the bottom), and then the remaining bare trunk, but not at the surface of the earth, but at a height of about 1.5 m: so it will be easier to swing during uprooting.
It is recommended to use such a simplified method of uprooting trees using ammonium nitrate: cut the tree as low as possible, hollow a hole in the stump (it is better to drill several holes with a drill), pour two handfuls of ammonium nitrate into it, cover it with a plastic bag and tie it with twine. In a month, nitrate will corrode the wood and turn it into dust. In the vacant place, if it is not obscured by other trees, you can plant a new plant. In this case, it is important to remember the cultivation and self-fertility of varieties (these are varieties that can set fruits without the presence of nearby pollinating varieties):
- you can not plant an apple after an apple tree, a pear after a pear, and plum after a plum;
- instead of an uprooted apple tree, cherry, plum, pear should grow - and the same with other trees.
If 20–25 year old apple and pear trunks and main branches are healthy, they can grow and produce crops for a long time, although the fruits will become small over time. Such trees require anti-aging pruning. In the first year, the crown must be subjected to severe thinning - remove perennial branches. This will give an impetus to the awakening of sleeping buds on the trunk and at the base of skeletal branches. From them grow long vertical shoots, the so-called spinning tops.
Next year, the tops, thickening the crown, are cut into a ring, and the remaining ones are shortened, leaving two or three side kidneys. Pruning to the ring is to ensure that no stumps remain during pruning, and the saw cut itself is even and without breaking the surrounding bark. From the growing shoots and form a crown. In two or three years, it will be possible to collect large fruits.
In the old garden, you can grow promising varieties by re-grafting part of the skeletal branches on the old tree. The tops are also suitable for this. True, vaccinations will have to be done very much so that new varieties make up a significant part of the crop. The benefits of grafting are obvious: due to the mutual pollination of several varieties, the fruits are better tied and their quality is improved.
If in your old garden grow irga, chokeberry (chokeberry), wild hawthorn and Rowan, you should not get rid of them. You can plant grades of pear on these plants (Veles, Chizhovskaya, Thumbelina, Vidnaya). They will not be as durable as those grafted onto a wild pear - they will live 15–20 years, but by the third year they will give a good harvest.
In case of landing only single cherry or plum tree it is recommended to choose a self-fertile variety that does not require pollination (cherries - "Molodezhnaya", "Bulatnikovskaya", "Rastorguevskaya", "Pamyat Enikeeva", "Rusinka"; plums - "Morning", "Egg Blue", "Blue Gift", " Alexy "). Or, in the crown of a self-infertile variety, say “Skoroplodny”, plant a pollinator variety - for example, “Red Ball” or some of the cherry plum varieties (“Kuban Comet”, “Traveler”, “Cleopatra”, “Golden Fleece” are recommended for Moscow )
It must be remembered that all cherries are self-infertile, and for a single tree to bear fruit, two or three other varieties must be planted on it. At the same time, the tree will look very beautiful if for grafting it is possible to select varieties with different fruit colors, for example, dark red (Fatezh), pink (Bryanskaya pink) or yellow (Chermashnaya). Note that cuttings or seedlings of the above varieties can be bought without problems in nurseries or in stores.
Berry bushes in the old garden also require rejuvenation. This work is best done in the fall. For example, currant and gooseberry can grow and bear fruit in one place for 10-12 years. With age, annual growths weaken, yield and quality of berries decrease. It is recommended that bushes older than 12-15 years uproot and burn. In the vacant places, it is best to plant other crops - raspberries, vegetables, ornamental shrubs.
But you can do it in another way: remove the entire aerial part of the berry shrubs, and form a new young crown from the growing branches, shortening 1-2-year-old growths by 4-8 buds. Or so: cut old 5-7-year-old branches to the base, shorten 3-4-year-old branches to a side branch and thin out bushes, removing weak and thickening branches. After anti-aging pruning, currants and gooseberries will yield another 5-6 years.
We wish you successful rejuvenation of your old garden!