FIGS IN THE OPEN GROUND - HOW IT IS GROWN
Vasily Zakharovich Tsapko assigned no more than twenty square meters to "overseas curiosities" on his site near Belgorod. You find yourself in this garden and it seems that some unknown force has transferred you to the Black Sea coast - to the subtropics. Persimmon and citrus fruits, pomegranate and feijoa, kiwi, passionflower, medlar ... "Fairy tale" - the reader will think and probably want to turn the page. No, come true.
But what about in winter? For the winter, the gardener transfers all heat-loving plants to the house. Deciduous winter in the cellar, evergreen - in the room.
So far, Vasily Zakharovich confidently speaks only about the stable fruiting of figs, although the pomegranate has already bloomed. And from a lemon, if it blooms in a room in early January, it harvests at the end of September. Psidium coastal and passionflower gave fruits.
The technology of keeping figs includes both open ground and tub culture. In autumn, the gardener transplants figs into containers and brings them into the house, and in the spring they plant them in the garden. At the same time, it limits the volume of the roots, which inhibits the growth and growth of the aerial part. Plants are small, but in terms of yield per square meter they are not inferior to free-growing fig trees. “In our zone,” says Vasily Zakharovich, “warm weather sets in at the end of April-beginning of May, at the same time leaves appear, shoots begin to grow, flowers bloom. With a sufficient duration of vegetation, figs can produce three to four crops. My fruits ripen twice. From the first flowering - at the end of July, from the second - in mid-September.
The first harvest is formed on the shoots of the current year and the tops of the branches of the past, the second - on the middle and lower parts of the shoots of this year. The fruits do not ripen at the same time. And in the 99th year, frosts smeared everything. Usually the gardener plants the figs on April 20 and puts on a film. And here it was so cold that only a few ovaries were preserved. The ripening of fruits has also shifted. So, the May ovary ripened only on September 6th.
Vasily Zakharovich takes cuttings for propagation from mother plants. It is better to cut semi-woody ones, the gardener believes. They root in water for a month. You can also root in a mixture of earth, humus, peat, but in no case do not forget to cover with a polyethylene cap.
From an annual transplant, the roots, of course, are injured and their development is inhibited. Therefore, Vasily Zakharovich intensively feeds figs 2-3 times a month, alternating mineral and organic fertilizers. Frequent watering is also required. At daytime temperatures above 25 degrees, you have to do this daily, up to 25 degrees - 2-3 times a week in the evening with water heated in the sun. It is better to water closer to the trunk, drip irrigation is even more effective. The trunk circle is mulched with humus.
The gardener forms figs (however, like other plants) in the form of a free palmette. Its height is no more than 2 m, the width of the flattened crown is no more than 1,5 m. With this formation, the crown is better illuminated, it is more convenient to take care of the plant, it is easier to place it indoors in winter. In the spring, before bud break, the gardener carries out sanitary pruning, carefully covers all cuts with garden pitch.
Reference by topic: Growing figs - planting and care, varieties and pollination (Crimea)
I'm interested in excavation. This matter is not easy. You can, of course, dig in the plants along the contour of the crown, dig up a clod of earth along with the roots that have gone deep. But Vasily Zakharovich also uses his device - the "spider".
This is a metal bottom with a diameter of a landing pit with holes and four stainless wire rods evenly fixed along its edges (Fig. 1). The bottom is under the plant, and the ends of the rods “peep out” from the soil, but do not immediately go vertically from the bottom, first the gardener lays them along its edge. In autumn, for these thrusts, they take out figs. Instead of a metal bottom, you can use a mesh. Then the earth ball is in even better contact with the bottom of the landing pit.
At the container for winter storage, the upper diameter should be 3-4 cm larger than "last year's". Indoors, a constant temperature of 8 to XNUMX degrees is desirable. Lighting is not required. The gardener constantly monitors soil moisture, it should be moderately moist.
The gardener prepares planting pits individually for each plant. Considers both the size of the pot and the upcoming growth of the roots. Figs brought from the place of "wintering" are removed from the dishes and placed in a pit, covered with soil, watered along the contour of the pit. Root formation stimulator - root is added to the water.
Of course, talking about high yields would be an exaggeration. From 1 square meter of food area, the gardener collects 30-40 fruits, 20 g each. And if you grow varieties with larger fruits? And if you try to extend the growing season and get three crops a year?
We leave the "subtropics" and go further through the garden. Vasily Zakharovich treats me to peaches. The tree itself is almost on the ground. Curious: what kind of unusual way of landing? It is more convenient to close for the winter, the gardener explains. For landing, he digs a hole measuring 1x1x1 m (Fig. 2). The bottom is covered with black soil with manure and mineral fertilizers. On one (northern) side he makes an earthen slope and places a seedling perpendicular to it in the center - he “looks” to the south. As the tree grows, it tilts it and selects excess land. For the winter, “presses down” the peach with boards.
Winters in the ground and noble laurel. He was planted in a well lined with bricks. In winter, the well is closed with a heavy lid (Fig. 3).
Where does such interest in heat-loving plants come from? Habitual fruits and berries are already a passed stage for Vasily Zakharovich. After all, he graduated from the Fruit and Vegetable Institute, worked as the chief agronomist of the Oak farm. Twenty years ago, a friend sent seedlings of figs, laurel, lemon. But then there was not enough time for such a hobby, and in the house the plants did not feel good enough - too dry. He took it out into the street, forgot it in the confusion, and everything died. Since then, the gardener felt indebted to the thermophilic. And the debt, as they say, is red in payment. And now in the large bright room where we end the conversation, date palms rise.
Reference by topic: Fig tree (fig) cultivation, planting and care
FIGS IN THE OPEN GROUND - VIDEO
© Author: T. Yudina, Belgorod
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