Not so long ago, apricots were considered exclusively southern fruits. In the suburbs they were brought from afar, so the fruits were expensive. Own apricots in these latitudes were rare. As a rule, these thermophilic fruits did not have time to ripen here. However, almost sixty years of work by domestic breeders yielded results in the form of a number of apricot varieties that abundantly bear fruit in the suburbs. One of the best among them was the "Favorite" variety.
Description of the variety and its nutritional value
"Favorite" refers to late-ripening varieties of the northern group of apricots of domestic selection. It matures in late August. The variety was bred in 2000, in 2004 it was listed in the State Register. The trees are medium-sized - up to 4 meters tall. They bear fruit already in the 4th year after vaccination. Productivity is average. The variety is characterized by good winter hardiness. In the second half of spring, the trees are shrouded in a snow-white color with a pleasant, delicate aroma.
The fruits of the "Favorite" are large, weighing up to 30 g, are marginally pubescent, bright orange with rosy barrels. Their pulp is very tasty, juicy, dense (about 17% solids). Sweet apricots (10.4% sugar), rich in potassium - 300 mg per 100 g of fruit. The stone in them is small, easily detachable. High-quality compotes and preserves are made from these sweet fruits. From them a delicious and very healthy treat is obtained - dried apricots. Apricots are stored well, transportable.
Late fruit ripening is the main disadvantage of the variety. Under adverse weather conditions (late spring, not warm and sunny enough) apricots remain unripe on the trees.
The best time for planting apricots in the suburbs is October or April. During the procedure, it is important to consider a number of factors:
- Apricots do not like harsh northern winds, therefore it is better to plant trees on the south side of houses, close to fences, arbors, etc. Also, large whitewashed shields are used to protect plants. They provide better reflection of sunlight, additional illumination and heating of plants.
- The best place to plant an apricot tree is the southern slope of a small hill, where groundwater lies at a depth of at least 4-5 meters.
- The advantages of the apricot planting area are the proximity to old pears, oaks, maples, ash trees, that is, trees with a developed root system. The presence of a large number of earthworms is also a favorable sign, because they well enrich and process the soil.
- Preparation for landing is carried out in advance, it is better for a year. Organic residues are added to the selected site — vines, foliage, straws, etc. Under this condition, pre-planting soil preparation will not be needed. Otherwise, the soil in the planting pit is mixed with nutrients: 2 buckets of humus and 0.5 kg of superphosphate and potassium sulfate.
How to plant an apricot
- When planting on the stem, annual growths are cut off and the seedling is gently lowered into a pit with a depth of at least 60 cm in well-loosened soil so as not to damage the roots.
- The distance between the trees should be 5 x 5 meters.
- During planting, the root neck should slightly rise above the ground (2 cm), because after irrigation the loose soil will settle, and the neck sagging below the soil level will preheat. This leads to fungal diseases of the tree.
- The hole with the seedling should be well watered, this contributes to the subsidence of the soil and better fixation of the seedling. In a circle at a distance of 30 cm from the tree, it is necessary to form an earthen roller. Water is poured into the resulting circle, trying not to expose the roots of the plant.
- A trunk circle to protect the soil from drying out is mulched with foliage, straw.
Features of growing apricot "Favorite" in the suburbs
The basic agrotechnical rules for the care of apricot trees are as follows:
- For the formation of new roots, it is important to provide plants with regular watering. Begin to spend it in May. By the end of summer, irrigation measures are being reduced, and in September they are completely finished.
- In mid-October, trees need to be whitewashed. This is necessary to protect them from sunburn, which are dangerous in early spring. Such damage occurs due to the temperature difference: during the day, the wood heats up in the sun, and cools very much at night. Whitewash talker is made of copper sulfate, clay, lime and fresh mullein. Not only the trunk is whitened, but also all the main branches.
- Trees are saved from hares by wrapping trunks with spruce branches. The needles should look down.
- At the beginning of spring, trees are pruned. If this deadline is missed, then cut apricots in late autumn. Long shoots are shortened, vertical ones are cleaned, the tree should also be rid of weak and diseased branches. Slices are covered with oil paint.
- In the spring, under apricots, they make nitrogen fertilizers, and in the summer - phosphorus fertilizers.
- In the fall, they always rake the fallen leaves and burn it, since in cold weather it will become a wonderful shelter for garden pests.
- You can protect flowering trees from spring frost by covering the crown with two-layer acrylic or other fabric. The material is tied to branches so that it does not interfere with insects pollinating trees.
- You can attract pollinating insects to apricot by spraying the flowers with a weak solution of honey (1 spoon per liter of warm water).
- If the trees are affected by moniliosis (drying of flowers and shoots) or kleasterosporiosis (dark spots on the leaves), then they are sprayed with special preparations - copper chloroxide, Topaz, Topsin-M, Strobi. A little soap is added to the working solutions. From aphids and moths help tools such as "Spark", "Decis", "Inta-vir." It is also better to add a little soap to the solutions of these drugs.
We also offer you to learn about the features of growing apricots in Belarus.
Although the Favorit cultivar is characterized by high resistance to frost, in difficult conditions of winters near Moscow, sometimes, according to gardeners, they freeze. Summer crown molding may help in solving this problem. Perform it like this:
- the young tip of the shoot is bent southward into a ring and fixed with twine for the whole winter;
- between bent shoots there must be a distance of not less than half a meter;
- in the spring, the branches are straightened and pruned for a couple of centimeters.
This procedure promotes better maturation of the apical kidney, accelerates the appearance of fruit buds, and slows the growth of the tree.
In addition, intertwined branches and shoots inside the crown are cut. This achieves better illumination of the branches.
How to prune apricot
Growing apricot trees of the Favorit variety in the Moscow Region requires careful observance of agricultural technology. Only under this condition can one get from each adult tree up to two hundred kilograms of beautiful, juicy, sweet and fragrant fruits. It’s a pleasure to eat them in the summer! And if you make delicious jams and compotes from apricots, the summer will continue even in the icy winter.