Rules for planting cherry seedlings in spring
Cherry can be planted on the site both in spring and in autumn, and the choice of specific dates depends more on the climatic features of a particular region. Of course, each of the options has its advantages and disadvantages, but in our article we will talk about the features of the most common spring planting of culture.
Advantages and disadvantages of spring planting
When growing fruit trees in the middle lane and southern regions of the Russian Federation, more and more summer residents prefer spring planting of seedlings.
- However, this is not surprising when you consider all the advantages of such a solution:
- there is more time to adapt and strengthen the root system of a young plant, up to six months;
- during the warm season, it is much easier for the gardener to monitor the state and development of the cherry tree, responding in time to any changes in the state of the seedling, which are often associated with pest activity or disease damage;
- you can prepare a landing hole in the fall, so that the soil in it relaxes well during the winter. This will greatly simplify the landing task, avoiding excessive deepening of the root neck.
- At the same time, along with the advantages of spring planting, there are certain disadvantages of this decision:
- in the warm season, vegetation processes are not inhibited, which means that, in addition to rooting forces, a seedling will need energy to build up green mass in the aerial part;
- there are more works in the garden in the spring, so there is not always enough time for the mass planting of fruit trees;
- after spring planting, the seedling is more likely to get sick or suffer from pests, which differ at this time by increased activity.
True, in the latter case, this is an indirect drawback, since with the right landing site and all the requirements for the implementation of the process itself, such problems can be avoided.
Did you know? To choose the sweetest and ripe sweet cherry berries, always look at their stalks: in suitable specimens they are dark green in color with a dark red color of the berry itself (the darker the skin, the sweeter the flesh).
The optimal timing for planting cherries in spring
Sweet cherry is a thermophilic plant, therefore it is not surprising that for its planting both soil and air should warm up enough. For the southern regions, this time falls around the end of March or the beginning of April, and for the northern territories it is better to choose one of the days in late April or early May.Of course, in any case, weather conditions will also have to be taken into account, since the optimum temperature for sweet cherries is considered stable + 5 ° C, without precipitation and high humidity.
How to plant sweet cherry in spring: a step-by-step guide
Planting cherries in the garden begins with the selection of the most suitable place, the organization of the planting hole and the preparation of the seedling itself. Each of these processes has its own characteristic features, not to mention the technical nuances of the landing itself.
Choosing the Right Primer
For most representatives of different cherry varieties, the optimal site for planting will be sunny and well-sheltered places with fertile, loose and moisture-permeable soil. It can be loamy or sandy loamy soil, but not peaty, clay or deep sandy soil.
Important! With increased acidity in the area, it is better to limy the soil, introducing 400 g of lime per 1 m² of territory since autumn — the substance is simply embedded in the ground when digging.
When forced landing in a sandy substrate, it is worth laying the bottom of the hole first with clay, and then with a layer of sand, which will further contribute to the development of a strong and strong root system of the tree (as soon as it reaches the soil layer).
The ideal planting material in this case would be young plants grafted with cuttings of one or two years of age, with a well-developed root system and the absence of any signs of disease or pest damage. Older seedlings, 3-4 years old, bear fruit later, so if early fruiting is important, then it is better not to buy them. If, for some reason, planting material was purchased in the fall, it will have to be covered for the period of winter colds, after digging a trench at least 35 cm deep in advance.
Saplings are laid in them at a slight angle of 30–40 °, turning the crown to the south. After placing the planting material, it must be covered with soil up to the level of the side shoots, after which the soil should be compacted and well watered. To protect the crown, it can be overlaid with spruce branches, which not only protect against freezing, but also prevent damage by rodents.
With the advent of spring, a few days before the proposed planting, young cherries need to be dug up and carefully inspected again, paying particular attention to the root system. All roots should be resilient and healthy, and if there are rotten places, it is better to cut them off immediately, treating the cut points with a root stimulator - for example, “Kornevin”. If you want to soak the entire rhizome in the preparation, then it should be kept in it for at least 2-3 hours.Preparing a seedling for planting: - 1, 2 - normal length; 3, 4 - shortened. (The dashed line shows the cut line).
Preparing pits for planting cherries
During spring planting, the preparation of holes for cherries begins in the fall, digging holes 80 cm deep and 100 cm wide. A distance of 3-5 m must be maintained between adjacent holes, taking into account the dimensions of the planted varieties themselves.
Prepared planting holes 1/3 fall asleep with a prepared substrate, consisting of 2 buckets of fertile soil and 10 kg of humus. In areas with high humidity, before filling the ground, it is worth laying a drainage layer of broken brick or expanded clay with a height of no more than 15 cm.
Important! In one area, it is desirable to grow varietal cherries with approximately the same ripening dates so that the flowering of crops coincides: they will act as pollinators for each other.
With the advent of spring, the fertile soil in the pit is mixed once more, and then 60 g of potassium sulfate and 100-120 g of superphosphate are added, which must be evenly distributed in the thickness of the soil. To fix the planted cherries, a one and a half meter wooden stake is driven into the central part of the hole, deviating from the central point of the poured soil hill at least 10-15 cm. Later, a sapling is tied to it with a string.
Planting cherry seedlings involves several sequential steps:
- According to the size of the rhizome of the culture, make a small deepening in the prepared soil and moisten the entire substrate with plenty of water, pouring no less than a bucket.
- While the liquid is absorbed, take a pruner and remove all the spoiled ends of the roots and shoots, removing damaged tissue up to a healthy material.
- Place the young plant in the center of the recess so that the trunk is not far from the support stake, and the root neck rises above the soil line by at least 4 cm.
- Sprinkle the rhizome with earth, periodically shaking the seedling and filling with a substrate all the voids between the individual roots.
- Seal the topsoil and tie the main center of the planted plant to the support using soft twine.The node is made in the form of an eight, placing a small piece of roofing material under the intersection of two parts, which will prevent friction and damage to the seedling bark.
- Fill a roller from the ground around the perimeter of the covered planting pit and arrange a shallow hole nearby for future irrigation. Immediately it is worth pouring about two buckets of water, and as soon as it is completely absorbed, the root neck will be at ground level.
- On the second day after planting the seedling, a little more soil should be poured under it (the soil has time to settle a little already) and the moss zone should be mulched.
Plant Care Rules
After planting a cherry seedling, a long stage of care for the young plant begins, providing for regular moistening of the substrate, timely top dressing, pruning of the crown and the prevention of diseases and pests.
Three sweet irrigations per season will suffice for adult cherries, provided there is moderate rainfall and no long summer drought. Young, recently transplanted seedlings moisturize more often: approximately once every 1.5–2 weeks, spending up to two buckets of water per plant. Adult trees after the age of five can consume up to 40 liters of fluid at a time, sometimes more.
Important! It is useful to plant mustard and phacelia in the aisles between cherries, since they are excellent honey plants and will contribute to better pollination of plants. Good pollination of trees will guarantee a rich harvest of berries.
After irrigation, loosening the soil and removing weeds will be appropriate, which is especially dangerous for young and immature seedlings. In the second year of growing cherries, the diameter of the trunk circle can reach 1 m, and over the next three years it will expand by another 30-50 cm, not forgetting to mulch the soil regularly.
Sweet cherry responds positively to organic dressing, the role of which is suitable for slurry: rotted cow manure is bred in water in a ratio of 1: 8. In addition, complex fertilizer for fruit trees (in the proportion of 100 g per 1 bucket of water) or water ash infusion (1:10) is also suitable for fertilizing.
At the same time, it is necessary to pour the diluted fertilizers into the near-stem circle only after it has been cleaned of weeds, having departed from the stem part of the trees by at least 20 cm - the trunk roots are not able to fully absorb useful substances from the fertilizers.Most often, organic matter is introduced in the fall, although such substances can also be used in the spring, but before the period of berry formation. In the second or third year of growing a seedling, 60–80 g of urea is additionally added under each tree.
Cropping pattern and crown shaping
In the first days after transplanting to a site, a young plant is cut off the central one - at a height of 80 cm, and side shoots - 50 cm from the ground level. Already the next season, late fruit-bearing branches will begin to form from sleeping buds, so in the autumn period only 3-4 well-placed skeletal specimens should be left on the tree, shortening them by 1/3 of the original length.
The longest vertical shoot (central conductor) should be cut at a height of 80–100 cm from the first, lower tier, which will lay the second. With further cultivation, 2-3 well-developed branches are left on it, the rest are cut out, and the central conductor is again shortened at a height of 80-100 cm from the branches of the previous tier. After another year, you can lay the third and last tier, which consists of one or two branches.Sanitary pruning of cherries is performed every year in the spring, before the swelling of the kidneys.All broken and dried branches are subject to removal, and the places of cuts are covered with garden var or other special means for treating wounds on trees. Trunks of plants are bleached twice a year: in early spring and late autumn, protecting the culture from cracking, sunburn and pests.
Protection against diseases and pests
Prevention of diseases and pests is another important component of caring for cherries, and the first stage of preventive measures is to observe crop rotation, especially when it comes to areas where fruit trees have already been grown and have ailments characteristic of sweet cherry. Planting in such places should be avoided, and first of all, to prevent damage to plants by fungal ailments.
As an additional prevention in early spring, before the appearance of high solar activity, tree trunks are whitened with a solution of lime (1 kg) and copper sulfate (200 g), diluted in 8 l of water. It not only protects against cracks and burns on the bark, but also prevents the infection of plants by pathogens, which become especially active with the arrival of heat.Replace lime mortar can special acrylic paint for fruit trees. Despite the fact that its use is a more expensive solution, it will stay relatively longer on the surface and rainfall is not terrible for her. In subsequent years, to enhance the protective effect, you can spray the crown and trunk surface with copper sulfate or other drugs that can prevent the spread of pests.
Did you know? With gout, rheumatism and arthritis, a serving of 0.5 kg of cherries helps to cope with pain, improving overall well-being.
Spring preventive treatment of cherries can include three main stages of the procedure:
- before the formation of fruiting kidneys;
- while laying buds;
- immediately after flowering trees.
Processing of the crown on each of them involves the use of one of the following fungicidal preparations - Kuprozan, Skor, Polykhom, Tsineb. In the prevention and control of aphids, weevils, sapwood, hawthorn and cherry flies will help such means as "Decis", "Actellik", "Corsair".Treatments for diseases and pests can be combined by mixing different drugs in one sprayer, but only if this is indicated on the packaging. Instructions for the preparation of the working composition and its use are indicated there.
Recommendations from experienced gardeners
Knowing when and how to plant sweet cherry, you can lay the foundation for good growth and development of the fruit tree, however, further care for the seedling is no less relevant, in which the opinion of experienced gardeners is also worth considering.
The main recommendations regarding this process include the following tips:
- With a close occurrence of groundwater, it is advisable to plant trees on a small hill or southern slope, where the plants will be much better heated, not only in the summer, but also in winter.
- Always follow the planting scheme for a specific variety of cherries: if these are dwarf varieties, try to deviate from neighboring copies at least 3-4 m, and if we are talking about dimensional representatives of fruit crops, then this free distance can increase up to 5-6 m.
- Plant on the site not just one, but several varieties at once, thereby ensuring cross pollination and increasing the yield of each of them.
- Do not ignore the requirements of sanitary pruning, but do not get carried away with this process, since cherries and cherries do not cope well with the consequences of inept actions.
- Allow the shoots to mature well by stopping adding nitrogen compounds in the second half of May.
- Always control watering. Stagnant moisture in the root system of trees will lead to decay of the root system and a general decrease in productivity.