Intensive dwarf apple orchard - expert advice and feedback
DOES A Dwarf GARDEN FROM APPLE TREES PAY OFF AND HOW TO EARN ON IT
The feasibility of engaging in commercial gardening, the effectiveness of investment is determined by the amount of profit, that is, the difference between the proceeds from the sale of products and its cost. Which garden will give the highest economic return?
INTENSIVE GARDENS IN WESTERN EUROPE
In Western Europe, dwarf apple orchards are common. This is facilitated by the economic condition of these states and natural climatic conditions that correspond to the biological characteristics of the dwarf rootstock: a humid climate with warm mild winters, low-productive light soils, and the high price of quality apples.
For such gardens, a growing technology is specially developed, for which the necessary equipment is manufactured, which corresponds to the size of the garden and the tasks set. This is how equipment designed to work in such conditions works in 4-meter row spacings.
In Western Europe, the climate is quite humid, in addition, all dwarf gardens are grown with drip irrigation. Moreover, mineral fertilizers are added to irrigation water, taking into account the nutrients contained in the soil and the requirements of plants in each specific growing season. Reminds me of a hydroponic greenhouse. Installation of such drip irrigation costs about 2 thousand euros per 5 ha.
To these costs, you must also add the cost of operating the pumps. purchase of fertilizers, soil analysis, etc. Rows of trees are kept clean of weeds, the soil is loosened with special cutters or treated with herbicides. The aisles are tinned to reduce the load on the soil when passing small-sized mechanisms. The grass is regularly mowed with special equipment.
For the cultivation of consumer valuable varieties of apples, it is necessary to use intensive protection against pests and diseases. Therefore, most of the cost of apples is the cost of pesticides.
In addition, in every area of Western Europe there are a number of technological features. So, in the southwestern foothills of Germany, hail falls almost every year. To protect the future harvest from it, special nets are pulled over the trees to me.
This also increases the cost of production.
However, all these considerable costs are more than offset by the high price of apples. Yes, and the state subsidizes agricultural production, not the producer (it compensates for the costs of uprooting old orchards, creating and caring for young orchards, partially compensates for the costs of grown export products, an increase in import duties creates barriers to importing cheaper products from other countries). Thus, the production of certain products is regulated. Without government support, not a single farmer would have survived.
Dwarf apple orchards with us
Any intensive technology requires an infusion of large funds, will such a garden pay off? Can we create such a garden in our climate, with the existing technology and our purchasing power?
In our gardens, the technology is usually adjusted to the existing equipment. The soil between the rows is cultivated with large tractors, which makes it very compacted. Disk harrows are often used, which leads to the formation of an elevation in the rows of trees.
Given the low purchasing power of the population, the introduction of high-intensity technologies in horticulture becomes problematic. It is necessary to add the features of our climatic conditions: after all, most regions are a zone of risky gardening. The development of this industry is economically feasible only in the most optimal microclimatic conditions - on the top of slopes, sometimes - on flat areas.
Will we be able to create a dwarf apple garden, according to the technological requirements for growing crops? After all, this requires small-sized special equipment, herbicides, maintenance of rows of trees without weeds, constant watering with top dressing. tapestries. Consider this and natural features. It is also important to take into account a factor that we did not pay attention to before: in dwarf gardens, the soil surface warms up more than in vigorous gardens, which negatively affects the formation of the future crop. The low winter hardiness of trees on dwarf rootstocks places high demands on the winter hardiness of varieties grafted onto them.
See also: Intensive apple trees - varieties
APPLE TREE ON VEGETATIVELY PRODUCED ROOTSTOCK
Dwarfing of apple trees is achieved by grafting desired varieties onto vegetatively propagated dwarf rootstocks. The rootstock ME is close to this standard. Apple trees on M9 have a height of 3 m. Due to the low winter hardiness of the root system, the rootstock Enterprise M9 (-8-9 ° C) is not used. The zoned red-leaved rootstock of the apple tree 62-396 is more winter-hardy (the root system can withstand a decrease in soil temperature to -15-16°C). It belongs to the transitional type between dwarf and semi-dwarf (tree height 3-0 m), but has all the disadvantages of dwarfs: fragile wood, shallow penetration of the root system into the soil (up to 3 cm), which requires support in garden.
The scheme of planting apple trees on rootstock 62-396 - 4-4, 5 x 2-3 m (740-1250 pieces / ha), depending on the strength of the growth of varieties and natural and climatic conditions.
MM106 is a typical semi-dwarf. Its root system is also characterized by reduced winter hardiness (-11 °C).
The zoned red-leaved apple rootstock 54-118 is transitional between semi-dwarf and medium-sized rootstocks. It has a high winter hardiness of the root system (-16 ° C), strong wood, is well fixed in the soil, drought-resistant, lowers the crown of apple trees compared to trees on seedlings of Antonovka vulgaris by 20-25% (the maximum height of trees without pruning is 3, 5-4, 0 m). The scheme of planting apple trees on this rootstock is 5-6x4-5 m (333-500 pieces/ha). With a high level of agricultural technology, timely closure of moisture in the soil, soil content without weeds, apple trees on rootstock 54-118 can be grown without irrigation. The apple orchard on rootstock 54-118 does not need constant support, it enters the period of industrial fruiting from the 3-4th year after planting.
A typical medium-sized stock of an apple tree is M3, 57-4E0. The height of apple trees on these rootstocks is 4-0, the planting scheme is 4 × 5-6 m. soil, its drought resistance is low. Apple trees on M4 grow well in saucers (small low areas of microrelief, in which soil flooding is observed in spring). Apple trees on medium-sized rootstocks M5, 57 are grown without permanent support.
Given the cost of apples, apple orchards on semi-dwarf and partially medium-sized rootstocks are economically feasible in our conditions. Rootstock 54-118 is stable in the soil, does not require permanent supports (only a stake is needed during the first 3-4 years after planting), constant watering. Their root system fully uses the entire thickness of deep soils, the surface of the soil is covered by the crown of trees, the root system does not overheat. as we observe in dwarf gardens, it has a high winter hardiness. It is the rootstock of the apple tree 54-118 that is the main one in our nursery. Trees of medium-sized and vigorous varieties of apple trees on this rootstock are formed with a height of no more than 3-0 m.
In addition to the growth strength of the rootstock, the growth strength of apple varieties is of great importance. Apple trees of low-growing varieties Julia (summer), Syabrina, Nadzeyny (winter) on stock 54-118 can be planted according to the 4 × 3 m scheme.
Many excellent varieties of apple trees grown in the gardens of Western Europe have reduced winter hardiness. Therefore, we do not grow them in our nursery.
It is worth noting that today there is not a single ideal apple variety. Each has its own shortcomings. So, Spartan, Orlik, Idared, Ruby Duki, Renet Simirenko, Winter Lemon. Glory to the winners. Mekintosh, Lobo have low resistance to scab; Jonathan, Elstar, Askold, Jonagold - powdery mildew. Hares are very fond of the bark of the beautiful autumn variety of the Alkmene apple tree. Many varieties of apple trees are characterized by periodic fruiting (Papirovka, Borovinka, Antonovka, Auralia), have uneven fruits (Priscilla, Auralia, Gloucester). Large fruits of winter apple varieties Antey, Freedom often rot on the tree. The crown of Jonathan, Florina, Freedom is thickening strongly. Priam, Askold. And the varieties of apple trees of the Golden Delicious group do not have enough heat to produce high-quality tasty apples in the northern regions in summer (the sum of active temperatures is more than 3000 ° C). All this must be taken into account when choosing a place to create a garden, varieties and rootstocks of an apple tree.
In the nursery, in the garden and in the vineyard, we do not use irrigation. Plants grown in rainfed conditions are more viable in the future garden. Weather permitting, one- and two-year-old apple seedlings in your orchards only need to be watered once, at planting. Loosening the soil between the rows, mulching the trunk circles allows you to do without watering in the future. True, there are years with dry spring and summer, then in order to provide seedlings with moisture in the first year after planting, one or two additional waterings are needed in large doses, followed by mulching or loosening the soil in tree trunks.
When laying gardens with our seedlings, we help gardeners to comprehend the basics of horticultural science. Everything is important here: choosing a site, preparing it for creating a garden, selecting variety-rootstock combinations, proper planting of trees, soil maintenance after planting, pruning trees, protection from adverse climatic factors, pests and diseases, preparing containers for apples, storage facilities, selection technology, optimization of the processes of cultivation, collection, storage and marketing of products, etc. There are no trifles in the technology of creating and caring for a garden.
Given the trends in the market for fruits and berries, in the last ten years we have abandoned the use of chemical plant protection products. On our plots, we are working on the technology of protecting the garden without the use of pesticides. Then we project it onto large areas.
If we use varieties of apple trees with high field resistance to diseases (they are often called immune to 4 or 5 races of scab) to lay the garden, then we introduce a completely pesticide-free protection against pests and diseases. In neglected orchards or orchards with unstable apple varieties, we introduce integral protection with minimal use of chemical plant protection products. And if gardeners withstand the technology, then "punctures" are minimized. It is important to understand: what you are doing, why and when. Growing garden products without the use of chemicals requires certain knowledge and constant monitoring of the garden. However, this is quite real.
Reference by topic: Intensive type garden - what is it and how to grow it!
LANDING AN INTENSIVE GARDEN ON Dwarf Rootstocks - VIDEO
© Author: Lilia YAKHIMOVICH, Alexander YAKHIMOVICH. Candidate of Agricultural Sciences
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