Care and growing almonds at home
Almonds are one of the most popular and expensive among many other varieties of nuts. Strictly speaking, the plant itself is a stone fruit tree, akin to plum and peach. It also grows in the form of a bush. The core of the fetal bone is eaten, calling it an almond nut. Taste, as well as the original aroma of which will not leave anyone indifferent. Walnut contains many vitamins and minerals, and also has a high energy value. Among compatriots having land plots, the question often arises whether it is possible to grow a fruiting almond tree in mid-latitude conditions.
Landing in the suburbs
According to historical data, almonds come from warm countries (the oldest samples were found by archaeologists in Egypt and Rome, later migrated to Western Asia). Therefore, it is traditionally believed that naturally almonds grow in the southern regions. However, in the middle lane, the plant can also be successfully cultivated and even get a rich harvest. To do this, you need to know and observe some of the subtleties of agricultural technology.
The most common types of almonds for planting in mid-latitudes are “Three-bladed Almonds” (decorative) and “Bobovnik” (Steppe Almonds). Delete the photo of the varieties below. In their gardens, Russians prefer to grow these varieties because of their special frost resistance.
Did you know? The ancient Romans sprinkled almond nuts on the heads of the newlyweds during the marriage ceremony.
To plant an almond tree / bush in the open ground, you must choose a place well lit by the sun. Light shading is acceptable. However, one should not root a plant near large buildings or tall trees.Almonds feel better on higher ground and do not like the close occurrence of groundwater. Soils are preferred loamy or sandy loam. The plant is not afraid of wind, but develops better in conditions of its absence. The best neighbors for the almond tree are beans and lentils.
Important! If the soil on the plot is acidic, dolomite flour or lime must be added to it. Almonds do not like acidic soils. The optimal pH level is 4.5-7.5 units.
Before planting, it is necessary to separately prepare the soil, which will fill the planting hole with the plant. For this, it is necessary to mix 12 kg of earth, 6 kg of manure that has rotted, 3 kg of sand, 600 g of superphosphate. Such a composition will ensure the availability of the necessary vitamins and minerals, which will allow the seedling to quickly take root and develop fully.
A planting hole for almonds must be dug up two weeks before embarking on rooting a seedling. The width of the hole should be 50 x 70 cm, the depth is 60 cm. A drainage layer of 20 cm (crushed stone, broken brick) is laid on the bottom of the pit. In the center of the landing pit, a beam should be installed with a height of at least one meter. After planting, it is necessary to tie an almond seedling to it for better stability.
Video: Planting Almond Seedlings
If several almond trees are intended to be planted, the distance between the planting holes should be at least 3 m, and the distance between the rows should be at least 5 m. Such gaps are made so that the seedlings will grow and should not overlap sunlight.
Subtleties of care and ripening
Almonds are not a particularly capricious plant, but it’s worth following the basic recommendations for looking after the species. This will allow the plant to have strong immunity and resistance to diseases, pests and weather and climate conditions.
Immediately after planting, a young plant must be abundantly watered (10 liters of water). Next, a young seedling of the first year of growth must be watered throughout the season with an interval of approximately every two weeks, 1 bucket for each plant. Starting from the age of two, almonds in the warm season are watered with an interval of three weeks.
Weather conditions should be considered. If it rains and the soil is wet - watering should be postponed. To determine the time of irrigation, it is necessary to dig up the soil in the trunk circle to the length of the shovel blade. If a lump of earth crumbles in your hand, then it's time to water. After each watering, loosen the soil to a depth of 10 cm and remove weeds.
Important! Almond seedlings, rooted in late autumn, take root better than those planted in spring.
Fertilizer selection and top dressing
For better growth and obtaining a plentiful harvest, it is necessary to timely feed and fertilize:
- The first fertilizer is produced directly during the planting of the seedling, when the planting hole is covered with a prepared soil mixture.
- In the second year of tree growth, in the second half of November, superphosphate (20 g), potassium sulphide (25 g) and humus (1 kg) are scattered and dug on the ground.
- In the spring, before the start of the growing season, the plant is fertilized with urea (20 g per 10 l of water) or ammonium nitrate (10 g per 10 l of water). These top dressings contain nitrogen in the composition and contribute to a good increase in shoots and greenery.
Mulching is a technique of agricultural technology, which involves the introduction of mulch on the surface of the soil in order to improve its properties, as well as protect it from harmful factors. As a mulch, both natural and artificial ground materials can be used.
The mulching of the trunk circle is carried out in order to preserve soil moisture, as well as protection against the penetration of pests. Immediately after planting the plant, the soil should be compacted, watered and sprinkled with peat or healthy foliage with a layer of 3 cm. The mulch should not come into contact with the stem of the plant and cover the root neck. As a fertilizer, the pericarp circle is mulched with humus or barn (before making ammonium nitrate) or urea).
Almonds can withstand frosts of -25 ° C. In mid-latitude gardens, an adult plant does not require warming. However, at lower temperatures freezing and death of the plant is possible. In preparation for winter in conditions of severe frosts, it is necessary to collect branches in a bundle and wrap it in two layers of agrofiber.
Young seedlings are sprinkled with dry foliage or straw to a height of 15 cm from the ground. Spring, when the first thaw occurs in nature, it is necessary to remove all insulation so that the root neck does not protrude.
Collection and storage of fruits
The almond plant gives the first fruits at 4-5 years of life. Good yields can be obtained no longer than 12 years, then the fruit becomes less and less every year. The ripening of almonds largely depends on weather conditions and plant varieties.
On average, almonds ripen from July to September:
- "Milas" and "Yalta" - early ripe varieties, yield at the end of July;
- "Nikitinsky 62" - a variety with an average ripening period. Fruits from it can be harvested in mid-August;
- "Seaside" and "Dessert" - late varieties, the crop on which ripens only by mid-September.
It’s easy to determine the time of harvest. Before the final ripening of the fruit, the almond discards the foliage. This happens in order to save resources and nutrients. If the amniotic membrane has darkened and opened - the nut has ripened and it's time to harvest. The ripened almond kernel has a brown peel and a white core.
The collected almond fruits are cleaned of the amniotic membrane and shell using a special unit. This must be done immediately after the harvest, as uncleaned kernels rancid.After cleaning, the kernels must be dried so that they do not spill. The peeled dried almond kernels are stored in sealed containers at a temperature not exceeding + 20 ° C in the dark.
Pests and diseases
The main diseases of almonds:
If damaged areas of the plant are found, they must be removed and burned. Treat the diseased plant with fungicides ("Topaz"; "Champion"; "Oksikhom"). If the plant is severely affected, it should be uprooted and also burned.
Pests affecting almonds:
- spider mite.
When parasites appear, the almonds should be treated with insecticides, such as: Tagore, Fufanon, Fitoverm. In order to avoid defeat by diseases and pests, it is worthwhile to carry out preventive spraying with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid in the spring before the growing season and in the fall after falling of leaves .
Did you know? Almonds first came from Asia to Europe in 812 AD. He was brought by ambassadors to France, about which a written note was made by the king himself.
Almonds are a fairly unpretentious plant. Knowing the characteristics of varieties and agricultural technology, grow it under the power of every gardener. Given that this nut is very widely in demand in cooking, the presence of its own rich harvest will make it possible to please loved ones with delicious dishes and at the same time not incur material costs.