Features of cultivation and care of the Viking apricot variety
Apricot is a popular fruit crop among gardeners. However, the plant is demanding on growing conditions and does not tolerate cold. That is why the breeders carried out tremendous work on the cultivation of frost-resistant and disease-resistant varieties. One of the best is the Viking apricot. What are its main advantages, and what are the features of cultivation - later in the article.
General characteristics of the variety
Apricot Viking is the result of breeding work of the All-Russian Research Institute of Genetics and selection of fruit plants named after Michurina. The authors of the variety were scientists An. V. Kruzhkov and Al. V. Kruzhkov, who, through many years of research, were able to create a new variety of culture that is highly resistant to frost and strong immunity.
Did you know? It is still not known exactly where the apricots came from. Some argue that their homeland is Armenia, others - one of the provinces of China. It is known for sure that the first mention of the fruits was made 4000 years BC. e.
Growing Regions and Ripening Period
Apricot Viking is specially created for cultivation in the central and middle regions of the Russian Federation, in particular in the suburbs. It belongs to the category of plants of late ripening, in which the crop begins to be harvested in the second decade of August. Flowering of the crop starts in the first weeks of May, while small white flowers with a pleasant, pronounced aroma are formed on the tree.
Biological description of a tree
Viking lives up to its name. The tree is tall, sprawling, grows up to 5-6 m, is characterized by good growth intensity, has a powerful round-shaped crown. The green mass of the plant is represented by numerous elongated-oval shapes, with a slight peaking at the end, with leaves of a traditional green color.
Characterization of fruits and their purpose
After flowering, which occurs in the first decade of May, large, one-dimensional, aesthetically attractive fruits are formed on the apricot. At the ripening stage, apricots have a bright yellow color and weight within 30–34 g. The peel of the fruit is dense, smooth with a characteristic rough surface.
Important! When overripe, Viking apricots are prone to shedding, which is why harvesting should be done in a timely manner.
Viking fruits have a pleasant, delicate, sweet taste with a slight acidity. The pulp is dense, fleshy, high in juice. Fruits are characterized by high nutritional value. Their composition per 100 g includes 7.5% sugars, 14.5 g vitamin C and 13.3% solids. According to the tasting assessment of experts, Viking apricots deserve 4.2 points out of a possible 5.
Due to its high palatability and rich chemical composition, the fruits of the described variety are suitable for fresh consumption, for the preparation of jams, sauces, preserves, marmalade, marshmallows, marshmallows, as well as for preparations for the winter.
Pollinators and productivity
The Viking variety is characterized by high productivity. Under favorable climatic conditions and proper care, from 1 ha of planting, you can collect 12-13 tons of fruits. In this case, the first fruiting of the crop occurs 4 years after planting a seedling. The plant belongs to the category of self-pollinating, which do not require pollinating neighbors for fruiting.
However, in order to achieve abundant yield indicators, gardeners prefer to plant pollen donor plants on the site, which must meet the following characteristics:
- correspond in terms of ripening and flowering time;
- treat the plants of standard and promising assortments adapted for growing in specific climatic and soil conditions;
- have excellent pollination rates.
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Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- Apricot Viking is gaining more and more popularity among gardeners, as it has a wide range of positive qualities:
- high frost resistance and drought tolerance, which makes it possible to cultivate the plant in the middle lane;
- excellent yield indicators;
- high taste and marketability of the fruit;
- earlier fruiting;
- large fruit size.
- Those involved in the cultivation of the variety, note its disadvantages:
- shedding of fruits when they overripe;
- large tree size, which requires regular pruning;
- low immunity to cancer, spotting and vertically withering;
- exactingness to lighting.
In order to achieve early and stable fruiting of the apricot, as well as provide it with good health, some rules must be taken into account when planting a seedling.
The Viking variety is among the fruit crops that are not recommended for autumn planting, since it is better to take root under warmer climatic conditions.
Specialists advise spring planting in the northern latitudes of the state in the second half of April, when the earth warms up a bit, and the likelihood of night frosts returning disappears. In warm, southern regions, seedlings are allowed to be planted a little earlier, starting in the last weeks of March.
Learn how to grow an apricot tree from seed at home.
Location and layout
Viking is a light-loving culture that prefers to grow in sunny, well-lit areas, reliably protected from drafts and cold winds. It is better to choose a place on a hill, with a groundwater table of at least 2.5 m, otherwise, the root system may suffer from excess moisture.
Apricot responds well to sod-podzolic, loamy soils and chernozem, while it does not like acidic soils, which are recommended to be liming before planting.
Apricot planting technology is traditional and consists of several stages:
- Dig a foundation pit of the required size.
- The soil removed from the pit is mixed with humus or peat in a ratio of 2: 1, 2 kg of wood ash and 0.5 kg of superphosphate are added.
- At the bottom of the pit lay a drainage layer of crushed stone or expanded clay.
- A layer of the nutrient mixture is lined on top of the drainage layer and a small slide is made of it.
- A wooden peg is driven into the middle of the slide, which will serve as a support for the seedling.
- A tree is placed on an earthen lump, root processes are carefully distributed.
- The seedling is covered with soil in such a way that the root neck 3-4 cm remains on the surface.
- The soil around the plant is compacted, a small ditch is made around the perimeter, into which water is poured. One plant will need about 2-3 buckets of water.
- The soil of the trunk circle after watering is mulched by means of peat or humus.
- The seedling is tied to a peg using elastic threads or soft material.
Important! It is important to carry out the garter of the seedling to the support, since in the first year of the plant's life it will serve as reliable protection from strong winds and heavy rains.
Proper care of the apricot guarantees its good survival, decent fruiting, high resistance to pests and ailments. Crop care agricultural technology includes a number of traditional activities: watering, fertilizing, pruning and processing from parasites.
In the first year of growth, the seedling needs enough moisture. Regular, abundant hydration promotes the growth of the root system and better survival of the culture. Irrigation measures should be carried out 1-2 times a week, focusing on drying the topsoil. Starting in August, the number of irrigations should be reduced and reduced to zero in order to prepare the plant for the upcoming wintering.
It is especially important to provide the culture with moisture during flowering and fruit formation, as well as after harvesting. It is recommended that before irrigation, the soil of the trunk circle is cleaned of weeds and loosened to a depth of 8 cm.
Since the Viking variety is characterized by a high growth rate, it needs regular pruning, which is advised to be carried out in spring and autumn. When the seedling grows a little, it is necessary to carry out forming pruning. During the procedure, you should get rid of branches on which orange fruits do not grow.
Read more: Apricot pruning in the fall for beginners.
In the second year of plant growth, it is necessary to shorten all shoots by 1/3 of their length, while the central conductor should be 30 cm higher than the nearest skeletal branches. Gardeners do not recommend leaving several shoots on the tree, the growth of which begins from one point.
In autumn, it is necessary to carry out sanitary pruning of branches, during which dry, damaged, broken, rotted or too weak shoots are removed. All places of cuts after the event should be carefully treated with garden varieties in order to avoid infection of the culture with various ailments.
Apricot care necessarily includes the procedure for feeding it. Fertilizers must be applied annually using mineral or organic products. In the spring, a few weeks after planting the seedling, the soil should be enriched with nitrogen-containing preparations, for example, urea, whose action is aimed at promoting the growth of green mass.
To feed an older plant, you can sprinkle soil near the trunk with a solution of ammonium nitrate and a nitrogen agent. Once every 3-4 years, organic matter should be added to the ground using humus, manure, bird droppings or compost.
Specialists recommend using the second portion of nutritional components after the beginning of fruiting. During this period, a mixture of ammonium nitrate, potassium salt and superphosphate mixed in a ratio of 4: 3: 1 has high efficiency.
Important! When cultivating apricot on soils with high acidity, the earth is periodically treated with calcium or lime.
Despite the fact that the Viking variety belongs to the category of frost-resistant and is able to tolerate low temperature indicators, up to –37 ° C, care must be taken to protect the tree for the winter. To do this, first you need to produce whitewash in the fall, which will protect the culture from parasites and fungal ailments.
A few weeks before the expected frosts, it is recommended:
- dig the soil of the trunk;
- mulch the earth around the tree with hay, sawdust or straw;
- wrap the barrel with burlap or any other breathable material or special insulation.
When growing apricot in the southern regions, you can not wrap the plant in such a thorough manner.
Read more about warming apricot trees for the winter.
Diseases and Pests
Apricot Viking has good immunity to diseases and parasites, however, under adverse climatic conditions and a violation of the basic agrotechnical methods of caring for it, it may be exposed to:
- Bacterial cancer. The disease affects all areas of the culture - fruits, bark, leaves. Stains form in the form of burns on the tissues, which gradually turn into ulcers. When the first signs of the disease appear, all affected areas must be removed, and the sections treated with a solution of copper sulfate. To prevent cancer, the tree should be sprayed with Bordeaux fluid throughout the season.
- Moniliosis (fruit rot). Signs of damage are darkening and gradual drying of leaves and young shoots, as well as the formation of characteristic dark spots on the fruits. Preventive measures from an ailment is to treat the plant with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid. If the disease has already appeared, it is necessary to spray the shoots and leaves with fungicide solutions, for example, “Topaz”, “Strobe”.
- Leaf spotting . The main symptoms of the disease are the formation of brown spots on the foliage, which over time lead to drying and complete decay of the leaves. To protect the culture from the disease, you should spray it with Bordeaux liquid before the period of budding.
Among the pests, the greatest danger to apricot is:
- aphid - parasitizes on the lower side of the foliage, sucks out the juice from it, as a result of which the foliage turns yellow and dries out;
- codling moth - eats apricot fruits;
- leaflet - caterpillars feed on buds and leaves.
In the fight against pests, modern broad-spectrum insecticides have high efficiency, for example, Chlorofos, Fitoverm, Aktara, Inta-Vir.
Simple prevention rules will help prevent pests and the development of ailments:
- soil moisture control;
- compliance with feeding schemes;
- regular weeding and loosening of the soil;
- preventive wood treatment against parasites and diseases.
Did you know? Fresh apricot is characterized by low calorie content, which per 100 g of pulp is only 41 kcal. Surprisingly, after drying the fruits, their caloric content increases by almost 6 times and amounts to 240 kcal.
Harvesting and storage of crops
Viking apricot ripening begins in the second half of August, and it is at this time that experts advise taking fruits. Overripe apricots quickly lose their presentation and crumble. Harvesting must be done by hand, since the fruits are fragile and delicate.
Torn apricots should be placed in plastic boxes, then they need to be sorted out, discarded spoiled or damaged. Hard fruits without signs of damage and rot should be wrapped in thin paper and placed in containers, preferably in one layer. Apricots, like all representatives of stone fruits, do not lend themselves well to long-term storage due to rapid loss of moisture.
However, it is possible to achieve fruit storage for 1-1.5 months if the crop is stored under certain conditions:
- optimal temperature values are about 0 ° C;
- relative humidity of 90–95%;
- cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
Storage of apricots in the refrigerator is allowed. At a temperature of about 0 ° C, they can be stored in the chamber for 4 weeks without loss of taste and marketability. With longer storage, the fruits become loose, soft and begin to rot.
Also read how and what you can plant apricot on.
Apricot Viking is a winter-hardy variety that is suitable for cultivation in central Russia. The culture has a number of key advantages, among which gardeners note high productivity, unpretentiousness to climate conditions and excellent quality of fruits. Apricots have an excellent taste and are suitable both for fresh consumption and for the preparation of preservation.