• Apricot

    General information: history of apricot has more than one century. The Romans also knew him, although they called it the Armenian apple. This name is preserved for apricot in botany - Armeniaca vulgaris. Some experts believe that Western countries got acquainted with apricot due to Armenian merchants, while others call Transcaucasia the birthplace of apricot.

    European apricots are called zherdelyami. Their northern border runs roughly along the line Kharkov-Volgograd. They were smaller and smaller than the southern apricots. But their color is bright orange, the aroma is outstanding, and the stone easily separates from the pulp, so they are indispensable for compotes and jams. And in China and Japan, small apricots are salted, like olives.

    In Russia, apricot is widely distributed in the gardens of the North Caucasus. It is characterized by extremely intensive growth and longevity - it lives hundreds of years, abundantly fructifies up to 30-40 years. But the trees in the gardens are changed earlier, since it is difficult to harvest the crops from tall trees.

    Requirements: is a photophilous plant, early flowering. In spring, even light frosts destroy flowers and buds. The tree can withstand a short-term temperature drop down to -30 ° C.Apricot is quite drought-resistant, but it grows well on drained areas with loose soil. Being demanding of the composition of the soil, it does not tolerate compacted areas.

    Ingredients: in fruits contain sugars, organic acids, carotene, vitamin C, pectic substances. Apricots are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, have high taste qualities, characteristic "apricot" flavor, they have high biologically active properties.

    Apricot rootstocks: seedlings of local winter hardy small-fruited apricots, or zerdels are considered as the best stock.

    Planting: plant apricots better in the middle of the southern, south-western slopes and on level ground. For planting use annual grafted seedlings. The best stock is seedlings of winter-hardy small-fruited apricots. The planting scheme is 5 x 3-4 m. The apricot is planted with grafting.

    The most suitable for growing in the middle strip is frost-resistant Hardy, Golden summer, Almond, Honored worker, Rossoshanskiy handsome and Son Krasnoshchego.

    Care: One of the main ways to care for apricots is the cultivation of soil for planting. The mechanical composition of the soil should be approximated to the loose by introducing sand, compost, organic fertilizers. Apricot is rich in fruit, which causes nutritional deficiencies. In connection with this, tree fertilizing is recommended in the most intensive periods of its development: in the period of flowering and the formation of fruits. Apricot is a drought-resistant crop, however, in arid periods irrigation is necessary to form full-fledged fruits without compromising their taste qualities. One of the important moments in the care of apricots is the need to thin the ovaries, since the number of fruits on the tree often exceeds the tree's ability to ensure their normal development. Fruits ripen small and largely lose their flavor and taste. In addition, the expenditure of energy on the development of all fruits leads to the depletion of the tree, a decrease in its winter hardiness and poor tying of fruit in the future. Thinning of fruits produces after the natural fall of excess ovaries. During thinning it is necessary to establish the optimal ratio between the number of fruits and leaves on the tree, which in apricot is 1: 20. This seriously affects the ripening of fruits and their quality. The degree of thinning depends on the state of the tree - on weakened trees, thinning should be more intense.

    Pruning: crown apricot is formed by a sparse-tiered system of 5-6 skeletal branches, usually within the first 2-3 years after planting. Given the fragility of the apricot tree, the skeletal branches formed at the crown are deflected at a large angle to the trunk and ensure that they do not grow from one trunk location, but are 15-25 cm apart( the best option).After planting, a deep pruning of the skeletal branches and trunk is carried out. For better fruiting of the branches, it is recommended in the first years after planting to pinch the main shoots at a time when they developed 12-15 leaves( in early June).Fruiting overgrown branches, in length exceeding 50 cm, are shortened in the spring by half and more, so that the remaining part retains flower buds. After the end of the re-trimming, the crown is thinned to provide sufficient light, it is better to do this during the vegetation period( August-September) or in the spring. In summer, after a plentiful harvest, you can rejuvenate the pruning, but keep in mind that apricots do not tolerate the deep rejuvenation of old trees. Pests and diseases of apricot and methods for controlling them are described in the section Pests and diseases of fruit and berry crops.

    Harvesting: fruits are harvested as they mature, depending on the variety, from July to September. They are unsuitable for long-term storage and long-distance transport. Fruits for drying and consumption on site are harvested in full maturity, and for transportation - at the time of the transition of the green color into a light yellow or straw-yellow color. Pre-cooling fruits in the refrigerator increases their safety during transportation. For canning, apricots are harvested when the flesh is still hard. Collect fruits in dry weather, after evaporation of dew. Fruits collected in cold weather or with dew drop are poorly stored, dry up, and their quality deteriorates. You can not harvest fruits in hot hours, when the breathing processes that reduce the duration of storage are activated. Start the collection of fruits immediately, in order to avoid them knocking down. The fruits of the apricot are rather tender, you should treat them with care.

    Usage: substances that are part of apricots, promote health, prevent certain diseases, are useful in diseases of the cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys. The fruits of apricots are consumed fresh, dried and canned. Of these, juices, compotes, jam, jams and candied fruit are prepared. Some varieties have sweet seeds, which are used in the confectionery industry instead of almonds. From bitter seeds, technical oil is made, which is used in the preparation of medicinal ointments.

    Dry apricot eating is an ancient and reasonable tradition: the fruits retain a lot of carotene, which in the body turns into vitamin A, and the salts of potassium, so necessary to maintain acid-base balance and stimulate the work of the heart muscle. Dry apricot with a bone is an apricot, without a stone - kaysa. Divided into halves, it is called dried apricots.