Peach - growing and care
Peach is an ancient culture, the birthplace of which is considered northern China. The main plantations of peach are concentrated in the subtropics and warm regions of the Caucasus, European and Asian states. In the south and some middle regions peach culture stepped into the second half of the last century. Currently, there is a real peach boom. Many gardeners prefer peaches to apricots. Peaches are more hardy in spring return frosts. The advantages of peach can also include the possibility of obtaining a full crop with inheritance of maternal traits (large-fruited, taste of pulp, aroma, etc.) when propagated by seeds.
About the benefits of peach
Sweet and sour, honey-sweet flesh of peach, tender and aromatic, is not only tasty, but also healing. These fruits are high in vitamins, sugars, pectin and organic acids, including quinic, tartaric, citric, and malic. Pectins and antioxidants protect the body from aging. The high content of B vitamins, A, PP, K, C, E, a fairly large list of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, sodium, zinc, fluorine, manganese, selenium, silicon, chlorine, phosphorus, aluminum, sulfur, contribute to resisting various diseases, including anemia. Doctors prescribe peach juice for anemia and cardiac arrhythmias, gastrointestinal diseases, neurodermatitis, asthma, flu and many other diseases. The iodine contained in peach fruits helps to normalize the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the body's immune system. Peach oil is obtained from the seeds, which is used in the manufacture of cosmetics and medicines.
Briefly about the botanical features of peach
At the dachas, garden or cultivated peach varieties are mainly grown, which are descended from common peach (Persica vulgaris). These are tree or shrub forms of perennial fruit crops. Usually 3 - 4 meters high, but individual varieties can grow up to 8-9 m. The peach root system does not penetrate more than 60-70 cm into the soil and therefore the crop needs watering in dry, hot weather.
The skeletal branches of the peach crown have a large angle of deviation from the main trunk, which contributes to the formation of a wide spreading crown. This feature must be considered when planting plants. Peaches do not like thickening.
Peach belongs to the group of cross-pollinated plants, needs a partner. To obtain high-grade crops in the country, you need to plant several different varieties. Fruiting begins on the 2nd - 3rd year and lasts up to 20 years with proper care.
The fruits of individual varieties of peach reach a mass of 150-200 g of different color pulp (from white to yellow and yellow-orange) and the fruit's color gamut - from white, pink, yellow with painted red cheeks to red carmine. When planting different varieties of peach (early, medium, late), fresh fruits can be obtained from July to the end of September. The shelf life of the fruit is determined by the biological properties of the variety, but does not differ in duration.
By biological characteristics, peaches are divided into 2 varieties.
- Real peaches, which are distinguished by softly pubescent fruits. The hallmark may be an easy separation of the bone from the pulp. (In some varieties, the bone does not separate from the pulp).
- Nectarines, the main difference of which is the naked fruit (like a plum) and the ability to separate or not separate the pulp from the bone is preserved.
Planting peach seedlings by region
Peach cultivation under country conditions is somewhat different from cultivation in industrial quantities, mainly in terms of protection against diseases and pests.
Peach is a southern plant, it belongs to warm and sun-loving crops. The crown and root system are frozen in frosts of -15 ..- 20 ° С. With spring return frosts, last year's growth freezes, but quickly recovers. Peach grows best and bears fruit in the regions with a warm climate and a large number of sunny days per year.
In the southern regions, it is more expedient to plant peach seedlings in the fall in September-October. Weather conditions allow the seedling to adapt to a new planting place before the onset of cold weather, grow with young roots, and prepare for an active life when spring comes.
If you plant peach seedlings in the south in the spring, they most often fall under the hot May-June sun. Dry air and sun rays dry the kidneys, the cortex and subcortical layers coarsen and dry. To save the spring planting (and at this time there are quite a lot of other works in the garden and in the garden), you need to protect the peach seedling from sunlight with any breathable shelter, spray it with water (not cold), and keep the soil constantly moist, that is, irrigate 2 once a week. Over time, the shelter is removed, watering is transferred to a one-time weekly and the young leaves are sprayed with cineb or 1% Bordeaux liquid. During the autumn planting, the blossoming peach leaves are also sprayed with this composition. This technique prevents the appearance of curly leaves.
Regions of the middle and northern strip
In the middle lane, peach seedlings can be planted in autumn and spring, focusing on the weather. When the onset of early cold weather with long rains, seedlings are best prikupat and plant in the spring, as soon as spring frosts pass. The soil should warm up to + 12 .. + 15 ° С in the upper layer.
To the north, frost-resistant varieties of peaches normally take root only during spring plantings. Moreover, there is no need to rush to plant young trees early. The soil and air should be warm enough. Having strengthened during the spring-summer period, peaches more easily tolerate the winter cold in the middle regions and the northern regions adjacent to them. When grown in cold areas, peaches are sheltered for the winter.
Purchase and preparation of peach seedlings for planting
A high percentage of survival is provided by 1 - 2 year old peach seedlings. Their height ranges from 1.0 to 1.5 meters, the trunk in a circle is 1.5-2.0 cm. On the trunk and lateral shoots, the bark should be smooth, uniform, without gum points, which in 1-2 years can completely hit the plant with gum disease.
If peach seedlings are planted in the spring in a permanent place, then already on the market the seller can cut the root system and shorten the trunk to 80-90 cm, and side shoots by 1/3. At night, the seedling is placed in a container with root (you can use another available stimulant) and planted on the second day.
During autumn planting, peaches shorten the root system and do not touch the aerial part. The crown in this case is cut off in the spring of next year. If purchased 2 - 4-year-old peach seedlings with normally developed leaves, it is advisable to cut them off. Reception is necessary so as not to drain the main trunk and side shoots until the root system of the planted seedling is working.
Soil preparation and peach planting rules
Planting pits for planting peach seedlings are prepared in 4-6 months, placing them through 3-4-5 m, depending on the variety type. Thickened plantings form a crop of poor quality in taste and often get sick. Dig a pit 40x40x40 or other sizes. Finally, the volume of the planting pit is prepared according to the size of the root system of the purchased seedling.
Peaches can grow on any type of soil except saline and acidified. In heavy soils add 1-2 buckets of humus or 0.5-1.0 a bucket of mature compost and up to 100 g of nitrophoska or other complex mineral fertilizer with a low nitrogen content. Introduced humus will increase the air and water permeability of clay soils. If the soil is light, you can use up to 1 bucket of humus or only mineral fertilizers.
A 1.0-1.5 meter wooden stake or better a flat support 1-2 cm wide is driven into the middle of the prepared hole. When planting, the peach seedling must be positioned relative to the support so that it obscures the young plant during the day from sunlight. At the bottom of the pit, drainage is formed from crushed stone, sand and other small materials up to 10-15 cm high so that water does not stagnate, and a hill of prepared soil is poured. The roots of the seedling are spread on the knoll, covered with up to 2/3 of the soil, slightly squeezed and poured a bucket of settled water. After soaking, the pit is completely filled up. When planting, the root neck should be 3-4 cm above the ground. Some gardeners recommend deepening the root neck to this depth. When freezing from the shoots of the scion, you can form a new crown or switch to a bush-like form of cultivation. Around a planted seedling form a 5-6 cm shaft and pour another 1-2 buckets of water. After absorbing water, the soil is mulched without covering the boles. During the spring planting of peach, the buds swell for a month, the leaves unfold. Sometimes a peach seedling does not “wake up”, but the stem remains resilient, the bark does not change color. In this state, the sapling can "oversleep" until next spring, and then begin normal development.
Watering and feeding
Post-planting care requires increased attention in the first 2-3 years. Watering without stagnation of water should be carried out 2 times a month, top dressing - 2 times during the growing season. The first feeding of peaches is carried out before flowering in the budding phase with full mineral fertilizer. Use nitrofoska, nitroammophoska, urea, kemir and other fat from the calculation of 30-40 g under a tree; the second top dressing - after July 15-20, a phosphorus-potassium mixture of 50 and 25 g, respectively, under the tree of superphosphate and potassium sulfate. You can repeat the introduction of Kemira, nitrophosphate.
With the onset of fruiting, the amount of peach top dressing is increased to three. The rate of solid fertilizers is gradually increased to 150-200 g each under a tree. Fertilizers are scattered along the edge of the crown for digging or introduced into the dug grooves, holes, followed by closing, watering and mulching. One of the top dressings is usually carried out by spraying the crown of a tree with micronutrients or by adding wood ash under watering. Spend it at the beginning of the growth of the fruit, shifting the introduction of phosphorus-potassium fat to the beginning of ripening. Humus, compost, chicken droppings (in solution) are applied in the fall or spring once every 3-4 years for 1-2 buckets. In the year of introducing organics, nitrogen fertilizers are not used for top dressing.
Fruiting peaches are annually sprayed with a 2- to 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid before buds open and after falling leaves. It can be used to spray kineb or other preparations containing copper or zinc. It is useful to spray peaches during the growing season with boric acid or an ash extract (glass / bucket of water). To boric acid, you can add potassium permanganate and a few drops of iodine.
Peach crown shaping and annual pruning
Forming pruning of peach begins the next year after planting. When forming a cupped wide crown, pruning is carried out in March. On the central stem of the peach, cut all side shoots to a height of 40-50 cm. A tree stem is formed. 3-6 shoots are left above the stem - these are future first-order skeletal branches. Above these branches, the central trunk is removed. Next year, second-order shoots will form on them. The remaining shoots, especially those growing inward and thickening, are cut into a ring. Shoots of the 1st and 2nd orders are cut off by 50-60 cm. Young shoots grow on the remaining part of the skeletal branches of peach of any order during the warm season, forming the crop for the next year. These shoots are called fruiting shoots. Fruiting shoots leave after 15-20 cm, the rest are cut into a ring. If you leave a denser arrangement, the crop will turn out to be small-fruited.
There is another scheme for the formation of a peach tree. It is called "formation according to the principle of the fruit link." Use this method of crown formation more often in cold areas. The formed link can be tilted to the ground and sheltered for the winter. Planting scheme is called "meadow garden". The landing pattern is thickened. The distance between the rows is 2 m, in the row 0.5 m. Each peach tree forms up to 15 fruits.
In the formation of the fruit link, the crown, as such, is absent. In the first year after planting, the peach is not pruned. It grows freely, forms a large number of shoots. Saplings feed and water in a timely manner, mulch.
In the second year in April, peach seedlings are cut at a height of 10 cm from the soil, leaving 2 of the most developed stems located closer to the ground. One will be the main fruiting, and the second spare. In summer, thinning of lateral shoots densely located on these 2 branches is carried out, you can shorten them. In this case, the lower 2 do not touch. In autumn, after leaf fall, a peach shoot, left as a spare, is cut to 2 lower branches, and the second is left for fruiting. The following year, in the fall, the fertilized shoot is removed, and on the reserve, the 2 lowest shoots are left and the rest of the growth is removed. That is, each year they form a fruit link.
Recently, more and more gardeners are inclined to grow peaches in the form of a bush. This form is most convenient in cold regions. Peach is easy to hide from winter frosts. An aerial mass is formed from 4-5 to 10 of the most developed shoots. The rest is cut out. On each shoot, shoots of this year are left, which will form a harvest next year. Old branches that practically do not form a crop are periodically removed.
Peach propagation in the country
Peaches in the country are propagated by grafted seedlings, purchased in the respective companies, and seeds.
Moreover, the second is the most common technique that does not require complex manipulations during planting and growing seedlings. Peach seed propagation is advantageous in that the trees grow more resistant to the vagaries of weather and disease. With seed propagation, not all planted seeds can form a culture with maternal traits. The ovary in peaches is formed as a result of cross-pollination, and part of the seeds may carry signs of stock. To reduce the selection error, you need to sow a large number of seeds. When the first leaves appear on seedlings, those with a wider leaf blade should be selected. Of course, this is not 100% reliable, but there is still the possibility of selection. When sowing in pots, not one peach seed is also sown, but 3-4 and after seedlings they leave the 1 strongest seedling, and the rest are cut off at the surface of the soil.
Peach seeds in open ground in the southern regions are sown in the period from October 15 to November 10-15. Previously, the bones are scarified or soaked for 2-3 days in warm water, which is changed daily. For planting seeds, zoned varieties of peaches are chosen, which is especially important in the middle lane. Seeds of such varieties will guarantee a crop that forms a crop and is resistant to climatic conditions. Under cover, the plants will freeze less. Imported varieties that are not adapted to our climate may turn out to be empty flowers or freeze in the very first winter. In order for peaches to successfully develop and form a quality crop, it is necessary to comply with the requirements of agricultural technology and cover the culture for the period of cold weather.
For the school, they choose a sunny place, fertilize the soil with humus or mature compost. Peach seeds are placed in holes to a depth of 6-8 cm. The holes are located at a distance of 7-10 cm. During the winter, the seed undergoes a natural stratification, and shoots appear in spring. Peach seedlings grow quickly, but require careful care. The soil should be loose, without weeds, constantly moist (not wet). During the summer season, 3-4 dressings are carried out, it is better with kemir or crystal at the rate of 30-40 g / sq. m
When growing peach seedlings at home after sowing seeds, the containers are placed in a warm place, which is equipped according to the principle of a mini-greenhouse. Before germination, the temperature in the room is maintained at +10 .. + 15 ° С, and after germination, gradually rise to +18 .. + 20 ° С. The soil must be constantly moist. When seedlings appear, containers with seedlings must be placed in well-lit places. Landing of peach seedlings in open or closed ground is carried out in spring by transshipment at a soil temperature in the root-inhabited layer not lower than +12 .. + 14 ° С with constant high air temperature.
Peach varieties for different regions
Like other crops, peaches are subdivided according to the rate of ripening of the crop into early, middle and late. In the south, crops are formed according to the biological maturity of all three cultivar groups, in the middle lane and, especially in the cold belt, even when grown in heated greenhouses and greenhouses, limited to growing early and much less often - medium and medium-early varieties.
The following early and middle-early peach varieties are most acceptable in the southern regions and the regions of the middle zone close to them: Kiev early, Redhaven, Collins, Succulent, Favorit, Maysky flower, Early Sycheva, Rossoshanskaya early maturing, Reliable, Fluffy early and others.
From middle-ripe in the southern region, high-quality crops of good quality form the peach variety Cardinal, the fruits of which reach a mass of 140-150 g.
In the middle lane, the mid-season variety of peaches Kremlin is quite winter-hardy. Large-fruited. Fruits reach a mass of more than 200 g. Of the other varieties, Veteran, Fairy Tale, Sunset, Smolensky are in demand.
It is possible to recommend winter-hardy varieties of peaches of American and Canadian selection (nectarines, peaches with fig-shaped fruits) for growing on their own plots - Harbinger, Harnas, Inca, Harko, Suncrest and others. Naturally, the listed varieties are given as examples. The market annually offers new, more advanced varieties for winter hardiness and resistance to diseases and pests. Before you purchase a new peach variety, you must carefully familiarize yourself with its characteristics, so as not to get into trouble after a few years, when it turns out that the variety is unsuitable for the region.
Peach protection against diseases and pests
The most common peach diseases are curly leaves, moniliosis, powdery mildew, fruit rot, and gum disease. Diseases are caused by pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Of the pests, the greatest damage to the crop and the state of the crop is caused by aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and moths. According to the method of nutrition, they relate to gnawing and sucking pests.
In summer cottages and adjoining areas, it is not recommended to use chemicals to kill diseases and pests. An ecologically clean crop can be obtained by applying biological products developed on the basis of soil Effective Microorganisms (EM or biological products) to protect against diseases and pests. They are harmless to humans and animals. They can be used almost until the harvest. However, with the use of certain preparations, the garden cannot be cleaned of diseases and pests, because their adult forms, eggs successfully winter in weeds and under plant garden and garden residues, in fallen fruits and leaves.
Pest and disease control must begin with preventive measures. After harvesting, it is necessary to remove all fruit and leaf litter from under the crown of the fruit-bearing crop. Sanitary pruning of trees (late autumn or early spring), removing diseased, cracked shoots, covered with points of beginning gum-cutting. Take it out of the site and burn it.
From diseases to bud blooming in spring and leaf falling in autumn, peaches need to be sprayed with 2–3% Bordeaux liquid. And after the leaves bloom, switch to treatment with tank mixtures of biofungicides and bioinsecticides. Bioinsecticides lepidocide, phytoverm, bitoxibacillin can be combined with biofungicides mycosan, phytosporin, gamair, alirin. Each of the biological products has its own boundaries of effective action on plants. Therefore, before proceeding with the preparation of solutions, it is necessary to study the instructions and check the biological products for compatibility. Tank mixtures or individual biologics begin processing plants from the budding phase of the buds and finish a few days before harvesting. Adhesives are necessarily added to the prepared solution so that the drug does not slip and does not wash off from the leaves. After the rains, the spraying of the plants is repeated. Processing is carried out after 7-10 days by fine spraying. Proper preparation and use of biological products qualitatively protects the culture from pests and diseases.