The garden begins with an apple tree


Apple tree is the most common fruit crop. It can be found in the southern regions and in the North. This is due to the extraordinary variety of its varieties, adapted to a variety of conditions. But still, the apple tree, like any plant, truly reveals its potential capabilities only in places where climatic conditions correspond to its needs.

What kind of garden without an apple tree? I think that on six acres you can place three of its trees. Only carefully approach the choice of variety. Of course, the variety is first of all chosen to taste, but it must necessarily be winter hardy sufficient for your area, resistant to the main fungal disease - scab. Pay attention to the time of the first harvest, the regularity of fruiting, the size of the tree.

Apple tree

A special issue is the ripening period. Summer variety is especially necessary for families with children. Only this does not require a whole tree. After all, apples of summer varieties are not stored, and it is unlikely that one family can cope with the harvest of a whole tree in a short time (two to three weeks). Repeat half the apple tree of one summer variety with other summer varieties that differ in ripening time. And you can re-graft half the tree of the summer variety with autumn varieties.

Think about whether you need the so-called winter varieties intended for long-term storage. It seems to me that it is more rational to grow more autumn varieties in the family garden, then the family will be provided with apples directly from the tree until late autumn at their "green point".

The number of trees can be increased by planting them grafted onto dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks. Use to increase the variety of varieties, and at the same time to decorate the garden, the apple tree shaped culture: cordons and palmettes.

Apple Golden Ranet

The first apples of the season

One of the conditions for year-round consumption of fresh apples is the presence of early ripe varieties in the garden. The fruits of such varieties acquire consumer ripeness even on a tree; therefore, they are almost not stored and not transportable. Because of this, summer apples are recommended to be removed a little earlier than they ripen.

Summer varieties are few. The bulk ripens in the second half of August. Varieties open apple season Summer striped, Red early, Arcade yellow, Chinese early gold, Cypress, July Petrova, Grushovka early, July Chernenkoabout a week later ripen Grushovka Moscow, Mantet, Papiroka, Korobovka, Solntsedar, Ottawa and even later - Lomonosovskoe, Beauty of the garden, Pink superb, Suislepskoe, Medunitsa, Melba, Anniversary. Successfully fills the "empty" period from the end of summer to the appearance of autumn varieties Budagovsky Dessert (matures 10-12 days later Melba).

The apples

Varieties of long-term storage

Prolonged keeping quality combined with high palatability are famous for southern sorts of apples. It is not easy to create similar varieties for central Russia for a number of circumstances. That is why in previous years mainly three winter varieties were distributed in Russian gardens: Grandmother, Skryzhapel and Antonovka vulgaris. The first two varieties have almost left our orchards, while the apples of the famous Antonovka vulgaris are stored only until early January.

Through the efforts of domestic breeders, as well as thanks to the appearance in our country of foreign varieties, the number of varieties with long-term storage of fruits has increased significantly. Varieties appeared with keeping apples until the end of February and the beginning of April. Among them Lobo, Mekanis, Orlik, Asterisk, Beforet, Memory of Michurin, Renet Chernenko (Renet Kichunova), Wellsie, Calville golden, Student, Polinka, Noris, Berkutovskoye, Spartan, Athlete, Kulikovskoye, Mekintosh, Victory Chernenko, Imrus, Strunotovskoe, Imrus, Bolus, Imrus, Str. Celandine, new varieties from Belarus Imant, Nadzeyny, Memory of Kovalenko, Haste. Among the record holders for the keeping quality of fruits Moscow later, Moscow winter, Russian, Northern Sinap, Oryol synap, Belarusian Sinap, Palm, Winter beauty, Freshness - their fruits are stored until May and later.

Apple tree

But almost all of these varieties are more suitable in terms of winter hardiness for areas south of Moscow, and to the north they are more reliable to grow on skeleton formers. In this case, one must take into account whether there is enough summer heat to ripen the fruit.

Sweet apples

About tastes, as they say, do not argue. Some like sour apples, others prefer sweet ones. Sweet apples are especially important for people for whom the consumption of regular, sour apples is contraindicated. The taste of apples depends primarily on the content of sugar and acids. Compared to southern acids, Central Russian varieties contain more, and sugar, on the contrary, has less.

But the taste of the fruit is determined not so much by the content of sugar and acid separately as by the ratio of sugar to acid, called the sugar-acid coefficient. In varieties with fruits of high palatability, it is usually equal to 20-34, in sweet-fruit varieties - higher.

Among the sweet varieties stand out Bessemyanka Michurinsky, Knight, Candy, Medok, Melba, Pepin Saffron, Pink excellent, Renet Chernenko. The need for sweet apples has existed for a long time and continues to remain.

They are not afraid of frost

For successful wintering, in addition to the frost resistance level specific to the variety, the "quality" of preparing the trees for dormancy and the conditions for the passage of the so-called quenching are also important. Hardening begins in the fall, when the trees stop growing, other processes of their life are slowed down, and the leaves fall off. Therefore, in the years preceding winter, a long rainy season, due to a delay in the end of growth and leaf fall, trees may not be able to pass the proper hardening and are unprepared for wintering.

Apple trees

Frost resistance can be reduced due to insufficient care of the garden or due to too long the consumption of nutrients for untimely fruits from the tree. That is why watering, feeding, pest and disease control, aimed at creating powerful healthy foliage, provide not only a high yield of the current year, but also a successful wintering.

To some extent, the effect of negative winter temperatures can be mitigated. For this purpose, frost-resistant strain-forming agents are used, which allow to remove valuable-grade branches from the most frost-hazardous snowy zone, and hilling of boles and forks of branches with snow (in some cases, just whitewashing), and growing the apple tree in a creeping form with winter protection with snow or some kind of covering material .

Not afraid scabs

Scab - a common disease of apple and pear, truly the scourge of these plants. It affects leaves, fruits, reduces tree yields, worsens their condition, winter hardiness. From just one such sheet, 2 to 3 million spores can be thrown out. But this requires rain, and so that the infected leaves get wet through. Therefore, scab often affects apple trees in rainy springs. Then even timely cleaning of leaves in the autumn does not help much, the only way out is chemical protective measures. And to avoid this, plant more resistant to scab varieties. Of them I recommend Bessemyanka Michurinsky, Autumn Joy, Cinnamon New, Renet Chernenko, Winner, Dessert Isaev, Welsey, Young Naturalist.

Intensive type varieties

These varieties are distinguished by an early onset of fruiting, a quick increase in yields, their abundance and regularity. In full, all these properties are found only in some varieties. For example, while most varieties enter fruiting in the fourth to sixth year, some National, Winner, Student, Melba, Lobo, Welsey, Dessert Isaeva, Mekanis, Young Naturalist, Orlik, Zhigulevskoye, Northern Synap, varieties of the Institute of Horticulture, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Antei, Darunak, Imant, Memory of Kovalenko, Haste - begin to bear fruit already in the first three years after planting. In this case, it is important not only the early start of fruiting, but also the rapid increase in yields.

Apple tree

Varieties differ and the ability to bear fruit regularly. Some produce crops annually, others bear fruit in a year. The main reason for the frequency of fruiting is excessive yields. In this case, the trees are not able at the same time to "feed" a huge mass of fruits, and to provide nutrition for the laying of flower buds for next year's harvest. That is why varieties with a sufficiently high but at the same time regular fruiting, for example Folk, Autumn joy, Zhigulevskoye, Northern synap, Russian woman, Pepin Saffron, Antey. Trees of such varieties are characterized by moderate flowering, while in periodically fruiting trees they are completely covered with flowers. Since the frequency of fruiting is related to the size of the crop, it is clear that in young trees it appears to a lesser extent, and increases with age with increasing yields.

Intensive cultivar also includes restrained growth, which determines the small size of the tree. This allows for a denser planting, which means it increases productivity per unit area and facilitates tree care, which is especially valuable for family gardens. Comparatively small tree size stands out varieties National, Lingonberry, Young naturalist, Zhigulevskoe, Student, which can be attributed to the intensive type and taking into account other indicators.

But still, really special are the special, so-called spur varieties. Their main difference is shortened internodes, due to which the tree turns out to be stunted and literally completely covered with fruiting points (ringworms). Most of them come from American varieties grown in our south, - Delicious, Golden Delicious, Mackintosh. Therefore, spurian varieties, as a rule, are common in southern Russia. They are cultivated on a trellis or in the form of a so-called meadow garden.

The apples

Of course, there is a whole arsenal of agrotechnical techniques that individually enable you to strengthen any of the properties that determine the intensity of the variety. Fruiting can be accelerated by tilting branches, moderation in pruning of young trees, sometimes ringing and furrowing of the trunk and branches. The fruiting frequency is mitigated by combining pruning with manual removal of some of the flowers and young fruit. Systematic pruning also supports tree growth.

In the complex, all these properties can also be obtained by cultivating varieties on dwarf rootstocks. In this case, varieties that are themselves approaching an intensive type, usually well work out, that is, in this case, their potentialities are realized. That is why the concept of “intensive type cultivar” also includes the suitability of its cultivation on dwarf rootstocks, on which not all varieties work out equally well. At the same time, varieties of the intensive type, like any varieties on dwarf rootstocks, require especially careful care, and their cultivation should be carried out with strict observance of the basic rules - feed, water and cut.

Paradise apples

The people have long loved not only large, but, on the contrary, small-fruited varieties of apple trees such as whales, often called paradise apples. They were appreciated for the high winter hardiness of trees that did not fail with the harvest even after severe winters, and most importantly for the fact that they made unique jam from them.

Most varieties are created by folk selection. It is not necessary to plant them with whole trees, but it is quite enough to cultivate them in the form of vaccinations. The Chinese are very diverse. They differ in the size of the fruits, their color, shape, suitability for processing.

Materials used:

  • Isaeva Irina Sergeevna - Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, hereditary gardener, reputable scientist. Leading garden headings in the most popular central and regional newspapers and. magazines. A practicing gardener who maintains close ties with amateur gardeners across the country. Member of the Academic Council of the Moscow Institute of Horticulture (VSTISiP), member of the editorial board of the journal Garden and Vegetable Garden.