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Looking at the State Register, you can find many varieties of cherries, but not all are suitable for growing in central Russia. How to choose a cherry tree that can produce a good harvest, withstand temperature extremes and resist adverse conditions?
Criteria for the selection of varieties
When choosing a crop variety for these regions, it is necessary to focus on the main criteria: yield, resistance to low temperatures, ripening time, propensity to diseases and pests.
The most stringent requirements for this quality should be presented when selecting cherries for cultivation in the northern regions of the middle lane. In the southern regions, winters are not so severe.
Cherry is sensitive to temperature extremes, but thanks to selection, it was possible to obtain varieties that are able to withstand late spring and return frosts in June, due to which buds, flowers, leaves and shoots can die.
For such a climate, you should not choose varieties that bloom too early, even the most frost-resistant trees can lose their flowers in case of sudden frosts. You can delay the flowering process with the help of a near-trunk shelter, for this, light material or hay is used.
All crops are divided into three types, depending on when their fruits ripen:
- early ripening - the fruits ripen by the end of the first summer month;
- medium - ripe berries can be removed after July 15-20;
- late - ripening occurs at the end of July and August.
In the northern regions of the middle lane, planting early varieties of fruit trees and bushes is associated with a number of risks - they can bloom when the air temperature temporarily drops - at night or in the morning. But late ripening species are also problematic - they do not always have enough short summer for their fruits to ripen.
Most often, cherry trees begin to bear fruit in the 5-6th year after planting. There are early-growing varieties and hybrid species that can yield a harvest as early as 2-4 years. Bush cherries, for example, felt cherries, are more rapid-growing than standard varieties. In early-growing crops, the yield increases more intensively, and this positive quality is highly valued in the conditions of risky gardening in the middle lane.
There is a sure way to speed up the onset of fruiting cherries by 2-3 years - grafting.
Cherry varieties for central Russia
Breeders have bred more than a dozen varieties and hybrids of cherries with various characteristics, including yield and adaptive properties. It is worth considering the most popular species suitable for mid-latitude planting.
The fruits ripen at the beginning of summer, the culture is highly resistant to low temperatures. Berries of a burgundy hue, with a sour taste, small in size, with a juicy, dense pulp. On average, one tree gives 15-17 kg of berries, the height of the plant reaches 2.5 m. The fruiting process occurs at the end of June.
An early ripening variety that does not require cross-pollination. Shpanki berries are sweet-sour, juicy, small in size, flattened.
The crop is distinguished by an increased yield - 50-60 kg of berries from one tree per season. The height of the tree often reaches 5.5-6 m.
The height of the tree with a spreading, but sparse crown does not exceed 2.5 m. The cherry bears fruit with juicy berries, which are excellent for various desserts. They are cordate and medium in size. The culture is moderately resistant to disease.
A popular late ripening cherry variety that thrives in temperate continental climates. Fruits in small, rounded, dark red berries with a sweet and sour aftertaste.
The harvest at Robinovka is abundant, reaching 0.5 centners from one tree, which ripens on average at the beginning of the last summer month. The culture requires "neighbors" acting as pollinators, that is, it is necessary to plant cherries such as Shubinka, Black Consumer Goods, Lyubskoy nearby.
When choosing large-fruited self-fertile crops for your personal plot, you should pay attention to Volochaevka - a winter-hardy cherry that can withstand frosts down to -30 degrees. But if the temperature drops below this mark, then her kidneys can be seriously damaged. Cherry of this variety grows in the form of a medium-sized tree with a not too dense crown.
The first time it bears fruit in the 4th year after planting, 10-14 kg of berries can be harvested from one tree, which is considered a high yield.
Many cherry bushes and trees require pollinators, but self-fertile varieties should be chosen if the size of the plot does not allow for multiple crops.
As a rule, bush crops enter the fruiting process faster, they also produce more berries than trees. Most experienced gardeners prefer low-growing cherry varieties for good reason. They are more suitable for growing in windy areas, they are not so dangerous to wash away with groundwater, since their root system does not go deep.
Cherry is not the most whimsical fruit plant, however, when planting a crop in a certain region and subsequent care, it is worth considering some features, including climatic ones.
Planting a seedling
There are two periods suitable for planting seedlings - in the spring this can be done before the buds open, and in the fall - no later than mid-October. The middle of spring is considered the best time, but in the fall a larger assortment of varieties is provided, there is plenty to choose from. If the seedlings were purchased at the end of autumn, they can be dug on the site into an open groove in the ground and covered, and in the spring they can be moved to a permanent place.
In the middle lane in different regions, the soil can differ significantly - this applies not only to the composition, but also to the level of acidity and fertility. You can find both highly fertile areas with sod land, and poor, podzolic soil, where the acidity is greatly increased.
In heavy, acidic soil, crops grow poorly, develop slowly and later bear fruit. Therefore, before planting seedlings, it should be deoxidized with ash, lime or dolomite powder. A bucket of sand and a kilogram of ash are added to the ground from one hole. The amount of other additives is determined based on the acidity of the soil.
Ground water should not be higher than one and a half meter depth, if it is high, then the sprouts should be planted in an elevated area. The size of the planting pit for cherries is as follows: depth - 0.5 m with a width of 0.6 m. Plants of bushy varieties should be placed at a distance of at least 2 meters from each other, the minimum gap between tall trees is 3 meters.
Cherry tolerates dry periods well. In the middle lane, it is watered during flowering and ripening of fruits, if there is no precipitation, at the rate of 5 buckets of water for one plant. The last watering occurs in October, when the foliage falls off.
In autumn, the soil for cherries is fed with fertilizers with phosphorus and calcium. In the spring, experienced gardeners advise to fertilize the earth with nitrogenous fertilizing - bird droppings, azofoskoy. A solution with a weak concentration is prepared from them.
It is necessary to take care of the crown regularly - remove dried branches and shorten shoots, the length of which exceeds 40 cm.In autumn, it is better to do this in October, until frosts come, and in spring, in March, until the juices begin to move. Branches that are frozen are pruned after bud break.
Cherry trees and bushes are often affected by fungal diseases, and even the most highly resistant ones can suffer, if unfavorable weather conditions occur. To reduce the risks, it is recommended to clear the soil under the tree from fallen leaves and burn it in the fall.
For prevention, it is useful to spray the plant with compositions containing copper - a solution of copper sulfate or oxychloride, a mixture of copper sulfate and lime. It is advisable to carry out the procedure before the flowering of the crop and after the harvest. At the first manifestations of fungal infection, it is recommended to use the drug "Horus".
Today there are many cherry crops and hybrids that thrive in the climatic conditions of central Russia. And if not so long ago trees were grown here that give fruits with medium and low taste, then modern gardeners have the opportunity to get a harvest of juicy, large, sweet berries. The main thing is to choose the right variety and competently care for the ward.