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Video: Growing Hybrid Cherry Plum (Russian Plum - 1)
Cultivation of hybrid cherry plum in the North-West of Russia
After reading the word "cherry plum" in the title of the article, many will remember the small, sour berry, suitable only for compotes and jam, and even then with a fair amount of sugar. Well, what's the point of planting this southern culture on the site?
In principle, one can agree with all these claims, but only when it comes to wild cherry plum. In my article, we will talk about a hybrid cherry plum, called "Russian plum", which is much larger and sweeter than its wild relative, and in some parameters even surpasses the plum varieties traditionally grown in the Northwest.
Cherry plum is one of the most ancient plants, which was widespread even before our era, occupying a huge area, the border of which runs along the eastern part of the Tien Shan mountains, spurs of the Himalayas, the Pamirs, the Asia Minor peninsula, reaching the Carpathians and southern spurs of the Alps in the West.
Cherry plum belongs to the genus of plum (Prunus Mill), scientific names are Prunus divaricata, spreading plum, mirabolan. In addition to cherry plum, this genus includes: apricot, plum, peach. It easily crosses with other types of plums, apricots, peaches, almonds, micro cherries. Cherry plum is the ancestor of blackthorn, home plum, Darvaz plum, Alpine and Italian plum. Among other species, the Chinese plum is very close to cherry plum, with which it easily crosses, forming fruit hybrids.
Alycha species includes three subspecies: typical cherry plum (Caucasian), eastern cherry plum (Central Asian) and large-fruited cherry plum. The first two subspecies are represented by wild-growing forms, and the large-fruited cherry plum is a cultural form. For a long time, it remained only an amateur culture, since until the beginning of the 20th century there were no high-quality varieties, and only in the 20th century the scientists of the Nikitsky Botanical Garden (Crimea), the Maikop experimental station of the VIR, the Crimean OSS of the VIR (Krymsk, Krasnodar Territory) were large-fruited cultivars of cherry plum have been created.
Due to the fact that among the varieties of cultivated cherry plum there were practically no varieties with sufficient winter and frost resistance, the area of its cultivation was limited only to the southern regions. In the second half of the 20th century, thanks to the enormous selection work carried out by the leading breeder of the Crimean OSS VIR, Professor G.V. Eremin and his colleagues, managed to create several hybrid varieties of cherry plum with increased winter hardiness.
Further work of KOSS VIR specialists made it possible to obtain cherry plum hybrids based on Chinese, Ussuriysk and American plums, which have even greater winter hardiness, early maturity, short stature and large-fruited. New varieties of cherry plum moved deep into the North and began to grow them on the territory of Belarus, in the Smolensk, Moscow and Leningrad regions, in the Primorsky Territory and even in Siberia.
In St. Petersburg, on a hill near the Pulkovo Heights, two cherry plum trees of different varieties have been bearing fruit for more than 30 years. There is a hybrid cherry plum in garden plots and some St. Petersburg amateur gardeners, and they regularly get a harvest of delicious fruits from it.
Gardeners who decide to have cherry plum on their plot, first of all, must decide on the choice of varieties that differ in color from pale yellow to red, blue and even black, in the size of berries - from 15-20 g to 30-40 and even 80 g, aroma - from peach-nectarine to almond, cherry and even banana, the ratio of sugar and acids (practically acid-free varieties are bred) and many other parameters. Many of the modern varieties, with appropriate agricultural techniques, have high winter and frost resistance up to -40 … -45 ° C, and during the flowering period they can withstand up to -7 ° C. As shown by long-term tests, in terms of yield and regularity of fruiting, varieties of hybrid cherry plum in North-Western conditions significantly exceed plums.
On the site, it is desirable to have two, and preferably three varieties of cherry plum with different ripening periods, which prolongs the consumption of berries and serves to improve cross-pollination and increase yields.
Having decided on the choice of varieties, we proceed to the purchase of seedlings. Try to acquire seedlings from farms specializing in the cultivation of cherry plum in the Non-Black Earth Region, for example, headed by Yu.M. Chuguev KFH "Voronino" (now the North-West selection and production branch of KOSS VIRA in Smolensk) or from St. Petersburg amateur gardeners growing cherry plum. I do not recommend purchasing seedlings grown in the southern regions, or from unknown dealers, because it can be either wild or southern, non-resistant varieties.
Do not take seedlings with strong growth (more than 1 m) and powerful thick shoots. They are either overfed with nitrogen or grown in the south and will most likely freeze out in the first winter. Give preference to stocky annual seedlings with a developed root system, especially if they are grown in containers. The best solution would be self-rooted or low-grafted seedlings. they overwinter best in the St. Petersburg climate, and the snow that falls well shelters low-lying branches from frost. When buying, carefully inspect the condition of the wood, leaves and, if possible, the root system of the seedlings.
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