Plum - well, who doesn’t know her ?! She is loved by many gardeners. And all because it has an impressive list of varieties, it surprises with excellent yields, it pleases with its variety in terms of ripening and a huge selection of color, shape and taste of fruits. Yes, somewhere it feels better, somewhere it is worse, but practically not a summer resident refuses to grow it on its site. And for this, the plum endlessly thanks us: today it can be found not only in the south, in the middle lane, but also in the Urals, in Siberia. And the difficulties? Difficulties can arise with any culture. But if you know about them in advance, then quite easily they can be overcome.Details about the plum. Growing, beneficial properties and variety selection
Botanical description of plum
Plum (Prunus) - genus from the family Rosaceae (Rosaceae) It includes about 250 species.
A tree up to 12 m tall or a tall shrub up to 3-6 m high. It has toothed leaves on the edge, serrated, downy, alternate, elliptical or ovate leaves on the underside, 4 to 10 cm long, 2-5 cm wide Single or bundled, white or slightly greenish, regular-shaped flowers, with a diameter of up to 2.5 cm.
Plum blossom occurs in April-May, before the leaves bloom, lasts about 10 days. To ensure cross-pollination, several (at least three) plum varieties are planted in the garden at once.
The fruits of plum are more often oval, ovoid, less often spherical fleshy drupes, covered with a waxy coating, inside contain a flat elliptic bone. They vary greatly in size, can reach 7 cm in length, and 2-6 cm in diameter. They have different external colors: from greenish to blue-violet and red-black. Different color of pulp: yellow, greenish, red of various intensities. Tasty, more often sweet. Keep up with the friendship.
In terms of ripening, the plum boasts a long period. Some varieties can be harvested as early as July, others in September.
Plum is a long-lived, lives more than 50 years. However, the most productive age of a tree is 25-30 years, therefore, when this planting period is reached, they usually change.
Useful properties of plums
The chemical composition of plum fruits is ambiguous and varies depending on the variety, the degree of maturity, the growing conditions of the tree, and even the agricultural technology used. However, in general, the value of plums lies in the content of sugars, carotene, tannins and pectin, a rich vitamin composition.
Plum is primarily valued for its delicious fruits. But her color and leaves, and seeds, and even fresh bark are useful.
Plum fruit relieve heartburn, stimulate appetite, stimulate intestinal motility. They contribute to the restoration of the capillary system, liver, excretion of salt, radionuclides, excess moisture from the body. Valued for anti-sclerotic effect. They are recommended for hypertension, gout.
The composition of plum fruits includes malic and citric acid. Important vitamins such as C, E, PP, a number of B vitamins - B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 (folic acid), beta-carotene. A wide range of macronutrients and microelements important for the body, such as molybdenum, iodine, zinc, copper, iron, silicon, chromium, copper, manganese, etc.
Plum leaves They are valued for the content of phytoncides, coumarins, carotene, and vitamin C. They have found their use in folk medicine - to restore metabolism, to treat tonsillitis, to heal wounds, to treat stomatitis, and for inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, with the support of patients with sugar diabetes.
With a cold, diarrhea, erysipelas, the skin is brewed fresh plum bark. Decoctions plum color used for nausea, colic, constipation, belching, dermatitis, neuralgia. Core plum seed rich in fatty oil content (42%) which is used not only in food, but also used in soap making, in the manufacture of perfumes.
I would like to note the honey productivity of plums - 20-40 kg per 1 hectare. This is an early honey plant, contributing to the spring development of bee colonies.
The use of plum fruits
Plums are consumed fresh, dried, dried, pickled, processed for preserves, jams, marshmallows, juices, fruit drinks, sauces.
The most useful option is consuming fresh fruits and prunes. Any variety is suitable for fresh consumption, but for drying, the best are "Hungarian", Azhanskaya, Ugorka, Burton and some others. Before drying, the fruits are blanched (immersed in boiling water for 1-2 minutes), then dried in the sun or in a dryer. Store in cloth bags.
The plum fruits harvested unripe are not ripened, for this reason it is better to collect them at the time of full ripening.
It is established that prunes have high antibacterial properties, which contributes to the improvement of the oral cavity and intestines. Being a source of potassium, strengthens the nervous system and restores the circulatory system, supports the water-salt balance of the body.
Characterized by a high content of antioxidants (there are more antioxidants in prunes than in raisins, figs, dates), it increases the protective functions of the body. Prunes are used externally - in the form of applications on corns.The most useful option is consuming fresh fruits and prunes.
Features of growing plums
When choosing a place for a sink, you need to remember - this culture loves the sun. For this reason, it is necessary to plant it on the site without shading, providing a distance between trees from 2 to 4 m, depending on the growth potential of the purchased seedling (2-2.5 m for medium-sized plants, 3-4 m for tall) .
Plum prefers fertile, light in soil composition. It does not tolerate close occurrence of groundwater (no closer than 1.5 m). It reacts poorly to lack of moisture.
If it is possible to choose the timing of plum planting, then for the southern regions it is autumn, since local conditions allow plants to take root well for the next season, and the heat that sets in early in spring worsens their survival. For the middle zone and the north - spring, which allows the seedlings to become stronger before the onset of the winter period.
In any case, a pit for planting a young plant is prepared in advance: potash and phosphorus fertilizers are added (to the bottom), manure, if necessary, is deoxidized (plum does not like acidic soils), sand is added to the soil.
When choosing a seedling, they prefer one-year-olds whose buds have not yet had time to wake up (if it's spring), or after foliage has flown from them (during autumn planting). Why yearlings? Because the plum grows rapidly and the second year seedlings often have severe damage to the root system, which provokes their worst survival rate.
When planting a plum, the roots of the tree are covered with soil without fertilizer. The vaccination site is left at ground level. Spend abundant watering. Further, the soil moisture around new plantings is constantly monitored until the plants take root.
The drainage crown does not need to be shaped, only industrial plantings stop growth at an altitude of 3-3.5 m, with a transfer to the lateral branch. At home, plum is enough sanitary and anti-aging pruning.
Plum is demanding on moisture. It reacts to drought by chopping the fruits, withering of individual branches, and often the death of the plant. The most demanding period for watering is 2-3 weeks after flowering at the time of formation of the seed.
However, excess humidity is unacceptable for plums - during the ripening period, it provokes cracking and decay of the fruit. It is better when the moisture is uniform from the beginning of the growing season to the start of ripening.
Of great importance for the plum is the temperature. On a cloudy summer, fruits accumulate less sugar and taste more acidic. In hot summers, the fruits are more sugary, but with a thick skin. At very high temperatures and lack of moisture, they can dry out and become pitted, and burns can appear on the bark of a tree.
The issue of low temperatures is also very important for this culture. If in the conditions of the south the main varieties do not freeze, then starting from the central part they are susceptible to freezing of annual growth, adult branches, and also to aging. However, the winter hardiness of plums largely depends not only on the variety, which is important, but also on the complex of conditions created for it. There are also techniques for the prevention of root cervical heating.When choosing a place for a sink, you need to remember - this culture loves the sun.
Most often, we buy plums as a ready-made seedling in a nursery or in a market. But you can propagate it yourself. The easiest way to propagate especially valuable varieties - layering. However, many varieties repeat well varietal characteristics when sowing seeds, propagating by shoots. And, of course, plum is propagated by vaccination.
To propagate the plum, a branch located lower to the ground is selected by layering. Leaves and lateral shoots are removed from the parts that are dug into the soil, leaving a leafy tip 10-15 cm long. Dig a trench 10-15 cm deep under a tree, put a prepared twig in it, and sprinkle with earth. Water and during the summer support the soil in the area of rooting in the wet state.
In autumn, the shoot is cut from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place. If the root system has developed poorly, the plum layers are left in the same place for another year.
Agricultural technology of plums in Siberia
In the northern regions, plum agricultural technology should be focused on the timely ripening of the shoots, so that the plant survived the winter safely, and protection against heating. For this reason, caution is required here, both with the place of planting and with the timing of planting, the introduction of nitrogen fertilizers under them, and late summer watering.
As already mentioned, the best time for planting a plum in these climatic conditions is spring, or rather, the end of April-early May, when the seedlings have not yet left their dormant state, but the soil has already managed to warm up. The best place is the most quickly warmed up in the spring (southern slopes and southwest).
The plain and lowland areas in these climatic conditions are not suitable for this culture, since there is a greater accumulation of cold air and a greater snow depth. This provokes not only winter freezing of plants, but also warming up, and also increases the risk of spring freezing of flowers.
To ensure the safety of the plum, it is better not to place it near buildings and fences, where more snow accumulates, but to find the most snow-less, sheltered from the wind section.
In addition, with a high risk of freezing, an in-depth planting of seedlings is recommended, to a depth of 10-15 cm in order to provoke the transition of plants to "their roots". In this case, when frost damage the aerial part of the plum, the shoots grow not shoots, but varieties, allowing replacement of the old plant.
In the southern steppe regions, the plum tree suffers from summer drought, for this reason the root neck of the plum tree is also buried by 5-20 cm when planting - it is believed that the tree is less affected by heat.
In places where the snow cover exceeds 80 cm in winter, there are tricks to planting plums - this is planting on hills, which are embankments about 2 m wide and 40-60 cm high. Such "platforms" are prepared from the ground, and periphery (for the fortress of hillsides), and at the base (for drainage) a mixture of sand with gravel, introducing organic matter and mineral fertilizers into the base in advance.
On such embankments, snow is swept away by the wind at the beginning of winter, the roots and the base of the trunk freeze faster. In general, the height of the snow cover during the winter is less, which protects the plant from heating. The same method is an outlet for places with marshy, clay soils and soils with rocky subsoil.
After harvesting, plums in Siberia are no longer watered, allowing the shoots of the current year to mature.Mummified plum fruit.
Diseases and pests of plums
Plum, like other stone fruits, is damaged by a number of diseases and pests. The most common of them are clusterosporiosis, brown spotting, fruit rot, tserkosporoznaya spotting, rust. Of the pests, plums are often attacked: aphid plum, weevil plum and cherry, rosette leaflet, goldfish.
Clusterosporiosis, or Hole Spotting - fungal disease. It appears on plum leaves in the form of numerous small spots of reddish color, which gradually brighten in the center and only the canvas remains dark. Then the center of the spot falls out and the leaf becomes full of holes. On the fruits of the affected trees, sores with an influx of gum are observed, reddish tufts with scales appear. The fruits become ugly, dry out. Foliage crumbles ahead of time. With severe damage, the death of young shoots is observed.
Brown spotting - fungal disease. It appears on the leaves with spots of ocher color with a dark border. Black dots are observed on the affected tissue - the fruiting bodies of the fungus. The affected part of the leaf plate cracks and falls out. Leaves turn yellow and fall off early.
Fruit rot - fungal disease. Massively manifested in the second half of the summer period, especially when a combination of high temperatures and high humidity. First of all, it affects fruits with mechanical damage. The source of re-infection are mummified fruits.
The defeat of the fetus begins with a small brownish speck, which spreads over the entire tissue within 10 days, which is covered with concentric circles of gray-white pads containing fungal spores.
Mummified plum fruits affected by fruit rot can remain on the tree for up to two years, remaining a source of infection.
Cercosporosis, or cercosporous spotting - fungal disease. It appears on the leaves of plum in the form of small brown spots with a dark border, the tissue of which cracks and falls out over time. On the underside of the leaf with cercosporosis, you can see the dark pads of the fruit bodies of the fungus. Diseased leaves turn yellow and fly around.
Rust - fungal disease. It appears on the leaves closer to mid-summer in the form of rust spots, on which ugly convex (in the form of spikes) growths are observed on the lower side of the leaf plate. Mushroom lives on anemone, overwinters on it and goes through all stages of development.
In the fight against fungal diseases, not only timely treatment with chemicals is important, but also preventive agricultural practices - removing diseased leaves, weeds, removing mummified fruits, and clearing trees of shrunken branches.A sprig dried up with a severe aphid damage. Damage to plums by leaf-beetle bugs.
Plum Aphid - a sucking pest of a pale green color, covered with a white-bluish fluff. The greatest harm is done in the first two months of summer. If it is damaged, the leaves on the tree are twisted, stunted and dry.
Plum Weevil - a small (3.5 - 4.5 mm) reddish-copper bug densely covered with hairs with an elongated nose. In the spring it feeds on buds, then on young foliage. The female lays the larva under the skin of the ovary and gnaws the stem, as a result of which the fruit falls off. In autumn, a new generation of weevils emerges from the soil and damages leaves to the very frosts.
Cherry Weevil - a little more than plum - 6-9 mm. Violet color with a bright copper tint. It has a head extended into the proboscis. It damages the kidneys before they dissolve, as a result of which they dry out. It feeds on flowers and foliage. In May, it lays eggs in the fruit bone, as a result of which their growth stops and the deformation of the form occurs, and then the unripe fruits fall off.
Rose leaflet - at the stage of the caterpillar damages both leaves and fruits. To determine its presence on a tree can be pulled into a lump of cobweb leaves.
Goldfish - settles mainly on young plums. In the larval stage, it destroys the roots and the root neck, resulting in the death of the plant. Adult beetles gnaw through leaf petioles, eat up the bark of young shoots and gnaw buds.
The female goldfish lays eggs in the area of the root neck in the folds of the cortex and in the ground around the stem. The larva develops for two years - it gnaws wide passages filled with brownish flour under the bark of more or less thick roots. Eats cambium and wood, which destroys plants.Plum ordinary, grade "Anna Shpet". Plum ordinary, grade "Memory of Timiryazev". Hybrid plum, grade "Gem".
Regional features of the choice of plum varieties
In order for the plum to give a stable crop, it is necessary to be responsible in choosing the variety for your site. It should be zoned, productive, winter-hardy, resistant to disease and, preferably, self-fertile.
If the variety is self-fertile, it is necessary to plant a pollinator. To extend the consumption of plum fruits, it is better to plant several varieties with different ripening periods, then it will be possible to collect fruits from July to October.
For the southern regions, the choice of plum varieties is huge. But mainly varieties belonging to the group of plums home (ordinary) are grown here - "Hungarian Italian", "Chachak best", "Anna Shpet", Blue fries, Golden Drop, "Gilbert", "Comet" and many others.
The fruits of "Italian Hungarian" are excellent for the production of prunes. Fresh, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Frozen - up to 6 months.
For the middle band, plums are suitable: "Memory of Timiryazev", "Skoroplodnaya", "The early red", "Hungarian Moscow", "Amusing", Smolinka, "Opal", Blue Gift, "Greenclod Tambovsky", "Alexy" and etc.
The northern regions are cultivated mainly by three traditional groups - Ussuri plum, American plum and plum-cherry hybrids: "Yellow Hopty", "Baikal Amber", "Red-cheeked", "Pride of the Urals", Oyuna, Zaryanka, "Sister Marvelous", "Stranger", "Baby", "Vaneta's Seedling", Pembina, "Bee", "Opata", "Gem", "New", "Competitor" and etc.