What just do not invent breeders to surprise people with their achievements. For example, we are accustomed to the standard yellow apricots, but it turns out that this is not their only color variation.
Therefore, we bring to your attention the characteristic of apricot "Black velvet", a description of which will surely surprise you.
- Black Velvet: variety description
- Conditions for growing black apricot
- Where is best to plant "Black Velvet", lighting
- Black Apricot Soil
- Basic rules of landing "Black velvet"
- Important nuances in preparing the landing pit
- How to plant a seedling "Black Velvet"
- What you need to know about the care of outlandish apricot
- Watering frequency
- Plant nutrition
- How to trim black apricot
- Reproduction of "Black velvet"
- "Black velvet": merits and demerits of the variety
Black Velvet: variety description
Unusual apricot varieties "Black velvet" was born thanks to the efforts of the Crimean breeders, who crossed the variety "American black" with ordinary cherry plum. As a result, it was possible to get a medium-growth tree, which begins to actively bear fruit in the third or fourth year after planting. The crown is flat, has a rounded shape and is distinguished by medium thickening.
Unusual dark purple fruits have a mass of 30 g. Apricot pulp "Black velvet" is two-colored: yellow in the center and pinkish closer to the skin, which is also one of the main distinguishing characteristics in describing the variety. The fruit is sweet-sour, very juicy and fragrant. Stone - medium in size and well separated from the pulp. Apricots ripen at the end of July, and after harvesting, they can be consumed fresh or canned. It should also be noted good transportable qualities varieties: you can safely transport the fruit in boxes over long distances without fear for their appearance.
Having chosen the Black Velvet variety for growing in your garden, you should also be aware of its partial self-fertility. This means that in order to get a good harvest, it is better to plant other apricot varieties alongside. As for endurance when creating unfavorable conditions, black apricot rather well (compared to other varieties) copes with winter frosts, has an average level of drought tolerance and is able to withstand many diseases.
Conditions for growing black apricot
As with the cultivation of any other apricot varieties, in order to properly plant Black Velvet, you first need to understand its preferences in terms of light and soil composition.
Where is best to plant "Black Velvet", lighting
Representatives of the described variety, as well as other apricots, will be able to actively grow and bear fruit only in well-lit places. That is, before landing, you will have to determine the warmest and sunniest place of the site. Failure to comply with this requirement will lead to a decrease in the sugar content of fruits and a decrease in the total amount of the crop.
At the same time, apricot cannot be called a frost-resistant crop, therefore Do not forget to protect the place from the north and east winds. In order for the Black Velvet apricot to grow and develop well, it is better to plant it near the house or other buildings on your site (for example, near a barn, a bathhouse, or between a house and a fence).
Also, when choosing a place, remember that apricot basically does not like stagnant water in the soil, so if there is a high probability of flooding in your area, then you should drain or plant a tree on a hill if possible. Otherwise, the plant will develop poorly or soon die. The groundwater level should be at least 1.5-2 meters to the soil surface.
Black Apricot Soil
The second, no less important issue when choosing a place to grow apricot varieties "Black velvet" is the composition of the soil at the landing site, which will also determine the characteristics of planting and further tree care. Best of all, apricot feels on light loamy or sandy soil, while heavy clay or sandy lands are not likely to be able to ensure proper development of the tree.
If you do not have much choice and the soil on the site can not be called too suitable for apricot "Black Velvet", then make sure that the soil in the pits is heterogeneous in composition. To achieve the proper effect, clay is mixed with peat and sand in equal proportions, and the acidity of the finished substrate should be close to neutral: not higher than pH 7.0-7.5.Values above this norm are more likely to result in the penetration of the tree, and the fruit will begin to crack the stone. Normalization of the acidity level can be achieved by introducing dolomite flour or other alkalizing substances into the soil.
Basic rules of landing "Black velvet"
The process of planting "Black Velvet" can be divided into two main stages: preparation of the pit and direct placement of an apricot seedling in it. In this and in another case, there are specific features that cannot be ignored for the production of high-yield apricot.
Important nuances in preparing the landing pit
For planting sredneroslyh varieties, which include "Black Velvet", you need to dig a hole in the size 60 x 60 x 70, then put a drainage layer (for example, from gravel) on the bottom and put the fertilizer (horse humus humus in combination with potassium chloride - 20 g and superphosphate - 30-40 g).
How to plant a seedling "Black Velvet"
Planting seedlings of apricot varieties "Black velvet" should be carried out only with the arrival of spring (for bare root seedlings) and in the period from spring to October (when planting container plants). After placing the seedling in the pit and straightening its roots (you can immediately tie it to the peg with soft twine), begin sprinkling them with soil mixture, but just note that the root neck should be 5-7 cm above the soil level. However, the whole procedure of planting apricot variety is no different from the landing of any other. Having filled a pit with a sapling with a prepared substrate, it remains only to water the plant.
What you need to know about the care of outlandish apricot
Like the usual yellow apricot, its black variety needs proper and timely care. That is, you are required to regular watering with the use of a sufficient amount of water, plant nutrition and compliance with the rules of pruning. It is also important to know how the apricot tree is pollinated, since Partial self-fertility of the Black Velvet variety may require manual pollination.
All fruit crops need a large amount of moisture in the period of active growth of shoots, and, of course, apricot in this regard is no exception. Therefore, in the first half of summer, it is necessary to irrigate Black Velvet 4-5 times a month at the rate of 1-2 buckets of water per adult tree. It is also very important to have sufficient watering in the period before and during the flowering of the plant, that is, from May to June and a few weeks before the fruits are collected. In the second half of July, watering is completely stopped, otherwise the growth of the shoots may be delayed, which will adversely affect the winter hardiness of the plant.
With the advent of spring, the black velvet apricot circle is applied with fertilizers that contain nitrogen. Quite popular dressing is considered urea - 40 grams of it are applied to the soil in several stages: before the tree blossoms, after it blossoms and when the ovaries are mass dropped. With the arrival of autumn, in September, 150 g of superphosphate and 100 g of 40% potassium salt should be poured into the tree circle. Later, in late autumn and early spring, the earth is fertilized with organic fertilizers. Autumn feeding should be done with nitrogen free formulations.
How to trim black apricot
Black velvet apricot is prone to the formation of basal shoots, which requires its regular pruning (the extra processes are cut from the ground itself, since they consume a large amount of nutrients, and the harvest is almost always very low). As for the branches, when buying a young sapling, they are cut off by almost a third, which contributes to a quick crown setting.
It is worth remembering that apricot often grows faster than the rest of the trees in the garden, which means that in normal development it will have to be pruned more than the rest, which is especially true for late age.
With a reduced growth, the branch is pruned to older wood (2-3 years).
It is important to perform the pruning procedure every year in early spring (before bud break). Late autumn pruning branches is highly undesirable.
If the branch is completely trimmed, the cut must be carried out at the very base (the so-called "cut to the ring"), without leaving any stumps.
In the case when the Black Velvet apricot grows too intensively, at the end of summer pruning of young strong shoots is carried out (about 10-15 cm is cut off). This helps the branches begin preparing for winter (they thicken).
Reproduction of "Black velvet"
Black apricot is often propagated by grafting on cherry plum, another apricot, stock clones, or by cutting with green or woody cuttings. Some gardeners also use the seed breeding method,but in this case it is inappropriate, since all the varietal characteristics of black apricot are almost completely lost, and the reproduction process itself is not very simple.
"Black velvet": merits and demerits of the variety
Apricot "Black Velvet", despite its exotic and unusual appearance, has not yet achieved universal love and recognition of gardeners. However, in fact, this variety has a number of advantages that distinguish it from other varietal varieties of apricot.
The main of them include:
- High quality fruit (well suited for long-term storage, tolerate transportation). If you collect them before full maturity and immediately remove them to a cool place, then with good ventilation they can be safely stored for 3-4 months.
- Small tree size, compact and flat-circular crown with an average growth of branches about 15-20 cm per season.
- The variety has the highest rates of winter hardiness among the other black apricots. It can even be compared with varieties of cherry plum, which in terms of winter hardiness have been specially adapted to the conditions of Siberia.
- Regular fruiting and high yields (compared with other varieties of apricots).
Also, it should be noted that the black apricot is more resistant to diseases and frosts (especially to return cooling at the end of winter) than its yellow brother. So, this variety affects monilioz, klyasterosporiosis and cytosporosis much less often, which has a positive effect on the regularity of its fruiting. "Black velvet" can be planted in regions with a more severe climate (for example, in the middle lane, right up to Moscow or the Volga region).
The relative disadvantages of the Black Velvet variety are the small size of the fruits and poor pollination of apricots (the variety is partially self-fruited). In the latter case, you will need information on how to pollinate apricots manually.
As you can see, it cannot be argued that Black Velvet apricot is devoid of deficiencies in cultivation, however, a large number of its positive characteristics still have to its cultivation in its own area.