Features of the cultivation and care of the apple "Baby"
Many gardeners, from saving space in the garden or lovers of spectacular experiments, plant bush apple varieties on their site. The article will introduce a variety of Krokh apple trees, which is such a variety, as well as tell the rules of agricultural technology during cultivation.
Botanical description and characteristics of the apple tree
The apple-tree variety of summer-autumn ripening received the touching name Kroha for small growth. But according to other indicators (yield, size of fruits) it may well compete with tall crops. The Kroha bush variety is one of the best disease-resistant varieties for central Russia: in the cold zones of Siberia and the Urals, the Kruha apple bush bush form is ideal for growing if you follow the rules of agricultural technology and provide the tree with full care.
Check out such summer varieties of apple trees as:
But it should be remembered that for the effective development of the tree, the soil must be warmed up to + 5 ° C by the beginning of the growing season. Otherwise, the tree will weaken from year to year due to poor development of primary roots and may even die.
Tree and root characteristics
It is difficult to call the Krokh apple-tree a full-fledged tree, since it is a bush growing up to 60–80 cm, sometimes up to 1 m, well-branched and spreading. Lateral branches tend to bend to the ground and take root. The leaves are dark green, leathery, with a slight venation.
Important! Rooted branches retain all the properties of the mother plant and are able to produce new varietal seedlings.
Kroha is characterized by an open center of a compact crown and a short bole. The root system of a varietal plant is fibrous, with white subordinate roots and an unexpressed main root, whereas in tall apple trees, the root system is the core.
Baby can be grown in:
- creeping form.
Rootstocks use appropriate for grafting, that is:
Characterization and description of the fruit
The apples are small, weighing 80–100 g, in the first years of fruiting, they can be 120 g each. But compared to the size of the plant, the fruits are quite large. The color of apples is light green. The shape is round, slightly ribbed at the base. Pulp - coarse white, sour taste with sweet notes. Fruit juices are directly related to watering.
Did you know? The apple tree is considered a friendly plant, and many crops (pears, cherries, plums) feel good about it. But the apple tree itself does not tolerate the neighborhood of cherries, lilacs and viburnum.
Pros and cons of the variety
- Grade advantages:
- aesthetics and small bush size;
- early maturity and regular fruiting;
- comfortable fruit picking and tree care;
- does not depend on the level of groundwater;
- saving on fertilizer compositions and processing means;
- resistance to scab;
- universality of consumption (fresh, preservation, drying).
- short tree life;
- surface arrangement of roots requires protection against erosion;
- sensitivity of the root system to freezing soil;
- necessary support for the trunk and branches;
- exactingness to soil quality.
Key pollinators and flowering times
The variety belongs to self-fertile cultures, therefore it does not depend on the neighborhood of other pollinating plants and is pollinated by its own pollen. It blooms for 10-12 days in early May with pale pink flowers.
Productivity and Transportability
Despite their small size, gardeners consider Krokhu a high-yielding variety of apple trees.After the beginning of fruiting (from three years), you can collect up to 10 kg of apples from the bush. After entering the adult phase of development, after 5 years, bears fruit in full force and gives yields of up to 27 kg per plant.
Timing and fruiting of a tree
The apple tree enters the active period of fruiting for 3 years. By the age of 5, it is considered an adult tree and begins to bring full-fledged annual crops. The fruiting frequency is not violated with proper agricultural practices.
Important! Experts believe that life expectancy can be increased to 40 years if you use medium-sized stock.
The early growth of the apple tree affects the life of the tree - starting to bear fruit early, it quickly ages. The life cycle of the Krokha fruit plant is 15–20 years, but during this period it can produce the same yield as a “full-fledged” tree for 40 years. The short life span of the tree enables gardeners to renew and change varieties every decade.
Features of planting and care for the apple tree
Caring for bush apples differs from traditional care. Small growth, superficial root system require the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to grow such plants. This will help the correct agricultural technology.
You can buy apple seedlings at numerous trading floors, in nurseries and in online stores, you should only get recommendations and reviews, as well as be able to determine in appearance a healthy and viable specimen.
Shrub seedlings differ from ordinary tall seedlings with a fibrous root system with developed white absorbent roots. Other seedlings have a rooted root system.
Signs by which a full seedling is selected:
- developed large buds on branches;
- noticeable grafting site above the root neck:
- sections of healthy roots are white, the presence of brown sections indicates frostbite or drying out;
- the roots should be moist;
- bush varieties have branches (in contrast to the columnar ones);
- the seedling is provided with a tag indicating the variety and type of stock;
- try to get zoned varieties.
The apple tree grows well and bears fruit on chernozems, loamy and loamy soils. The place should be protected from the winds, well lit by the sun, but permissible for a short shade during the day. It should not be planted in low-lying places where rainwater accumulates and stagnates. It is better to plant seedlings on the site in the spring, so that during the summer-autumn period they have time to take root and grow stronger.
Important! To ensure water and air permeability, a husk of sunflower or buckwheat can be added to the soil to fill the pits.
It is advisable to spend autumn planting before the second half of October, so that the roots can take root, take care of additional warming for the winter. On the eve of landing, prepare a landing pit. For bush varieties, a depth of 50 cm and a diameter of 70–80 cm is sufficient. The variety does not depend on the occurrence of groundwater, but it is desirable to form a drainage layer of pebbles or broken bricks in the pit. At the bottom of the pit, a mixture of turf soil, mature humus and complex mineral fertilizers is placed in a slide.Planting a dwarf apple tree Dig a peg for future support. Set a seedling in the center and sprinkle it first with the upper layer of dug up earth, and then with the lower one and compact it. Abundantly watered and mulch the trunk circle. The root neck should be 5–10 cm above the ground, and the vaccination site should be oriented south. Planting scheme for Bush crumb apple trees: 1–1.5 × 3 m, which is sufficient for active development, fruiting and care.
Watering and feeding
The surface location and shallow occurrence of the root system of the apple tree, small growth with high productivity requires regular fertilizing, but in small portions and to a shallow depth.Such varieties of apple trees need to be fed three times per season, using complex mineral fertilizers (30-40 grams of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen). The introduction is carried out by digging and loosening the trunks of circles, thereby getting rid of weeds.
Did you know? Every second fruit tree in the world is an apple tree, and apple orchards occupy an area of 5 million hectares, which roughly corresponds to the area of Georgia.
Autumn fertilization contributes to the growth and development of primary roots, which is necessary for bush crops. For these purposes, the apple tree is watered with a solution of ammonium nitrate (40 g per bucket of water). With the age of apple trees, the dose is increased by 30 g annually. Autumn application of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers in the winter increases immunity and makes it possible to survive the cold period of the apple tree. Watering is carried out as the top layer of the soil dries up. In hot periods in the absence of rain once a week. It is advisable to defend water and warm it in the sun. It is good if the site has collected rainwater, which is best suited for irrigation. Irrigation volumes depend on weather conditions and soil composition. Mulching the trunks circles reduces the volume and frequency of irrigation.
Usually, an apple tree should be watered 3-5 times per season, distributing watering for the flowering period, the formation of the ovaries and before the fruit ripens. The latter, winter watering, is carried out in the autumn to better adapt the roots to the cold before sheltering the apple tree for the winter.
Frequency and cropping methods
The formation of the crown of the apple tree Krokha is necessary as well as tall varieties. Timely and correctly-made pruning allows you to give the tree a dwarf, bush or even creeping shape. Trimming should be started immediately after planting in order to balance the volume of the upper part of the tree and the root system, shortening the growth of branches by a third. In the future, such shoots will form fruit branches.
Before the tree grows, for 5 years, every year, in the early spring before buds open, the length of each annual growth is shortened by 20%, thereby forming uniform bush growth and distribution of branches throughout the crown. Correctly performed pruning will help to avoid exposed areas in the crown, increase the growth of healthy fruit-bearing branches, improve light and breathability, which is especially important during wet periods to avoid fungal infections.The rules of forming pruning of dwarf apple trees are the same as when forming the crown of tall-growing apple trees, but it is carried out in a shorter time. A sparse crown will provide insects with access to flowers for pollination. On adult apple trees, only broken, dry, problem branches and shoots at the base of the trunk are removed during fruiting. Autumn sanitary pruning is done to remove diseased and damaged branches in order to avoid foci of infection.
Important! The pruning procedure is carried out in the spring before the buds open and the sap flow begins.
In autumn, you can remove the vertically-growing long branches, which are called "tops". As a rule, they do not form fruit buds, thicken the crown and take away nutrients from the tree. But if some “tops” are given a horizontal direction, bent to the ground, then they can turn into fruitful branches. Each pruning should be accompanied by restoring top dressing.
Tree insulation before winter
Cold frosty and long winters can cause irreparable damage to the apple tree. Therefore, protecting the tree for the winter is one of the most important measures. Many sellers Kroha apple tree is positioned as a frost-resistant variety. But some amateur gardeners complain about the freezing and death of seedlings, not even in the coldest winters. To deal with this, it is necessary to study the cause of such problems and take advantage of the recommendations of gardeners, in whom such apple trees have been growing for over 7 years.The main reason for freezing lies in the structure of the root system, which is located almost on the surface of the soil. Therefore, you should especially carefully take care of shelter for the near-trunk soil for the winter. If the earth freezes, then the roots will not survive. Shelter of the root system from frost and the formation of an ice crust will help shelter mulch 10 cm or more.
For these purposes, leaves, straw, peat, spruce branches, sawdust are suitable, after a snowfall form a thick layer of snow. The small height of the apple tree allows you to completely "throw" it with snow in snowy winters. In more severe conditions, for the plant, it is necessary to make frames with thermal shelter or to grow a variety in a greenhouse. The apple-tree Kroha lends itself well to giving it a stoneware appearance, in which it is much easier to provide winter shelter.
Here is the gardener's advice:
- It has been preparing for winter since August, after harvesting;
- young, not yet woody branches, gradually bend to the ground, using pegs or wire loops;
- after the first snow cover the apple tree with cardboard;
- the next layer of snow will lie on top of the cardboard and will serve as an additional and reliable shelter until spring.
Another tip gardeners:
- preparation begins in October - early November at the first frost;
- tie the load to the branches to tilt to the ground (you can bottle with water);
- under the skeletal branches put props or arcs to protect from damage under the weight of the snow;
- cover the whole tree with agrofibre from above, and subsequently good with a layer of snow;
- in spring, open the apple tree before flowering, remove the load from the branches and allow the apple tree to straighten itself for a couple of weeks;
- then tie the branches to the supports and distribute so that they do not interfere with each other, inside the crown there was enough sun and air, and the formed fruits did not beat against each other with gusts of wind.
No less than frost should be wary of winter garden pests - small rodents (mice, voles), hares, wild rabbits that gnaw at the bark and leave the trunk bare. In the future, this leads to the death of the apple tree, as the tree loses its natural defense, the ability to eat and breathe, and sap flow. To scare off rodents in the winter, it is necessary to whitewash an apple tree in autumn special mixtures of Bordeaux fluid, copper sulfate, water emulsion.To protect against mice, voles and hares, rigid or elastic synthetic nets with which the trunks are wound have proven themselves well. You can use synthetic tights or synthetic winterizer, plastic bottles or other non-woven material. Such shelters will provide thermal insulation and will be inedible for rodents. From above, you can cover with coniferous spruce branches (needles down) and wrap it with twine to fix it on the trunk.
Important! The level of shelter should be higher than the snow infusion.
In such a package, you can put herbs that are unpleasant for winter pests - mint, elderberry, ledum. It should be remembered that ventilation is necessary near the trunk and the root neck, so that in case of thaws, the roots do not need to be warmed up, and in the spring they remove the shelter in time. The site should be dug up to destroy possible mouse holes.The means of repelling can serve as plastic bags rustling in the wind, fixed on the lower branches of the apple tree.
Diseases and Pests
Kroha apple tree resists scab disease well, but in wet periods and in violation of agricultural technology, lesions are possible. Therefore, twice a season, spraying the crown and trunks with drugs against pathogenic infections is recommended.In case of damage, treat with directed chemical agents, according to the instructions for the preparations. Any disease and pest damage is easier to prevent than to treat.
For this, preventive measures should be used:
- regular inspection of the apple tree, removal of problem branches and leaves, stripping of the bark;
- whitewashing with lime solutions and early spring spraying with bordeaux mixtures, biological products and folk remedies;
- removal of weeds, young shoots and plant debris from the territory;
- sowing plants nearby that can repel pests (chives, mullein, clover, mint, garlic, marigolds, fennel, etc.);
- installation of trapping belts and traps.
Harvesting and storage
Apples ripen in mid or late August. Ripening comes together. The collection is very convenient to carry out, since due to the stunted plants, additional devices are not required. You can store apples for up to 2-3 weeks at room temperature or for up to a month, in the refrigerator.
Fruits of universal consumption: fresh, for preservation and drying. It is quite possible to grow an amazing Baby on your site if you follow all the rules of planting and care, and in regions with cold winters - use the recommended methods of protection against frost.