Features of planting and caring for the apple tree Delight
The variety of the apple tree Uslada is an excellent example of a universal fruit plant that can bring a good harvest practically throughout Russia. Today, the variety is actively planted in various regions of the Russian Federation, because to obtain tasty and high-quality fruits, no special conditions are required. What is remarkable about the apple trees of this variety, and what you should know about the features of their cultivation - read on.
Description of the plant and its characteristics
The domestic semi-dwarf apple tree (some consider it dwarf) called Uslada appeared in Russian gardens thanks to the work of breeder Isaev S.I., who for several years crossed different wild and cultivated varieties of fruit trees.
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In particular, the famous apple trees Severyanka and Narodnoye fell into his hands, after working with which the Uslada apple tree appeared in 1961. After several decades, in 1996, a new plant was brought to the State Register of the Russian Federation and zoned in the central regions of the state, where the variety successfully passed all the tests.
Later, winter-hardy crops began to be planted in other parts of Russia, and even in the northern regions the trees brought a good harvest. Today, Uslada is found mainly in the European part of the Russian Federation, although with proper care it can be grown almost everywhere.
Externally, the plants of the variety are represented by relatively low apple trees, reaching a height of 2.5–3 m. At a young age, their crown is more rounded, but the older the tree becomes, the more its shape changes to oval. Skeletal branches are medium in size, quite powerful, slightly deviated from the center.
Gray-brown shoots have a rounded cross section and small internodes, and a slight pubescence is also clearly visible in the sun. The same fluff is present on the lower part of a large, oval leaf plate of dark green color. Ready-to-harvest fruits are also more rounded, with a slightly elongated shape at the base and a weight of 100–130 g each.The crisp, white or slightly pink flesh is covered with a dense peel of yellow-green color, with a bright blush of raspberry color (often it fills the entire fruit). Juicy apples have a sweet and sour taste, which makes them suitable both for fresh consumption and for all kinds of processing.
Pros and cons of the variety
Like any other variety, the Uslada apple tree has both strengths and weaknesses, which every gardener should know about.
- The list of indisputable advantages of this fruit crop can include the following characteristics:
- high winter hardiness (often up to -30 ° C);
- excellent scab resistance;
- early and stable bearing;
- dessert taste of fruits, which also contain a large amount of vitamins;
- high commercial qualities of apples and the possibility of their long-term storage (suitable for growing for commercial purposes);
- ease of care, which is largely due to the semi-dwarf type of plant.
As for the shortcomings, the most noticeable of them will be self-fertility, the tendency of the crown to thicken and the related non-uniformity of the fruits. True, with timely and regular pruning, the last problem can be avoided.
Under suitable growing conditions, it will be possible to collect the first harvest of juicy and tasty apples as early as 4–5th year after planting a seedling on a site.In the future, with every year the abundance of fruiting only increases, gradually reaching 60–80 kg of fruit from one ten-year-old tree.
Because the Variety Uslada belongs to the self-infertile type, in order to get the crop, you have to plant suitable pollinator trees in the garden, which in this case can be classified as Grushovka, Papirovka, President, Bogatyr, Orlik.
Important! The distribution of pollen in the area is ensured by insects, especially bees, so you can increase the chance of successful pollination by planting apple trees near the apiary.
Features of tree planting
In general, the planting process of the Uslade apple tree is not much different from the planting of similar seedlings of other varieties, however, some features are still present. First of all, it is worth paying attention to the optimal timing of the procedure, choosing the right place and preparing the seedling itself.
Dates of planting
Planting apple trees of the Delight can be carried out both in the spring (when the threat of repeated temperature drops passes) and in the autumn, but in the latter case there is no need to delay it. In the autumn period, an optimal solution would be to plant in late September or early October, when there is still enough time before the frost period.
Site and soil selection
For the successful cultivation of apple trees of the variety Uslada, it is desirable to place the trees in well-warmed and sunny areas. The level of groundwater should not reach the surface of the earth by about 1.5–2 m, which will avoid flooding of the root system and the associated overmoistening.
As for the composition of the soil, it is good if there is loose and chernozem soil enriched with a sufficient amount of nutrients in the selected area. At low fertility rates, the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers during planting will be a prerequisite for its further development.
How to plant a seedling
Planting a seedling begins with the preliminary preparation of the site and the organization of the planting pit. Usually, they switch to this process two weeks before planting, after removing all plant debris and digging up the substrate itself.
The optimal size of the hole - 80 × 100 cm (depth / diameter), but in any case, you should focus on the parameters of the selected seedling (if necessary, the size can be increased).
Important! After planting an apple tree, it is necessary to water it well, spending at least two buckets of liquid on one seedling. Such moisturizing is enough for a young plant for at least a week.
In the future, all actions are performed in the following order:
- The substrate removed from the hole should be mixed with organic fertilizer (for example, 2-3 kg of rotted slurry) and add 400 g of simple superphosphate, which will significantly improve the physical and mechanical properties of the earth.
- At the bottom of the prepared pit, lay a 10-cm drainage layer of broken bricks, and then pour out part of the prepared soil so that its upper part reaches approximately to the middle of the pit.
- In the center of the hole you need to drive a one and a half meter wooden stake, which in the future will serve as a support for a young and immature plant.
- The selected and prepared seedling must be placed in the center of the hole and carefully spread all its roots, avoiding damage (dead and rotted parts must be removed before performing the planting procedure). At this stage, you can immediately tie the trunk to the used wooden support.
- At the end of planting, the pit should be carefully covered with the remaining soil, compact the soil and form a near-stem circle, along the edge of which you can arrange a small hole for future irrigation.
Caring for the Uslada apple tree is based on standard actions: regular watering, seasonal top dressing and pruning, tillage and the prevention of diseases and pests. Of course, each process has its own individual characteristics, which must be taken into account.
In the first year after planting, the young apple tree Uslada needs regular and frequent watering, up to 4–5 times a month. Adult plants can be watered less often, focusing on weather conditions and the stage of development. Before flowering and during the formation of apples, sufficient soil moisture is especially important, so you can water the trees once a week, spending 2 buckets of water per plant: 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening.
At the end of summer, watering must be completely stopped so as not to provoke excessive growth of fruit buds (in winter they can freeze). In dry times, the frequency of irrigation is increased, and to keep moisture longer in the soil, the trunk circle is mulched with a 5-centimeter layer of peat or sawdust.
Timely and optimally balanced top dressing is the basis for the subsequent development of trees and the formation of a high-quality crop, so from the second year after planting a seedling, you can proceed to fertilizing the soil.
During active flowering of plants, the best option for the nutrient mixture is humus, compost, urea or ammonium nitrate, but in autumn, nitrogen-containing fertilizers should be avoided.
Organics can be applied under the apple trees from the following calculation for 1 m² of the trunk circle:
- rotted cow manure - 5 kg;
- bird droppings - 1 kg;
- prefabricated compost - 8 kg;
- humus - 6 kg.
The optimal variant of liquid compositions that will be appropriate during the flowering of trees can be considered complex minerals, previously diluted in water. For example, 0.5 tbsp. l it is useful to dilute the nutrient mixture in 5 liters of water and after three days of infusion mix with another 50 liters of clean liquid.
Thus, you will get 5 buckets of the finished infusion, which will be enough for 5 adults or 10 young trees (the nutrient fluid is poured into small depressions organized in the near-stem circle immediately after the next watering of apple trees).
Crown shaping and trimming
Formative and sanitary pruning of trees is one of the most important tasks when growing the Uslada apple tree. Removal of diseased, damaged, or improperly growing branches should be performed annually (before the sap flow begins), which will prevent excessive thickening of the crown and the crushing of fruits associated with it.
After any such events, the places of cuts should be treated with garden varieties, which will help to avoid decay of branches and prevent the development of diseases in the garden. If possible, it is advisable not to leave stumps of branches on the tree, so after trimming them, it is worthwhile to carefully clean such places with a knife and treat them with garden varieties.
Preparation for the rest period
Preparation of apple trees for the winter season begins at the end of summer, when regular watering of plants is stopped. After harvesting, trimming excess shoots, routine top dressing with mineral compounds and whitewashing trunks that protect the apple trees from pests and autumn sunburns are performed.
In the central parts of the Russian Federation, Grade Uslad is not required for serious shelter, so it will be enough just to cover the trees with spruce branches and sprinkle with snow when it falls out. An additional protection from rodents will be a fine-mesh net for wrapping the trunks or treating the bark with fish oil, ghee or mothballs, the aroma of which is very unpleasant for pests.
In the northern regions, with significant temperature drops in winter, special agrofibre or other artificial material used for winding plant trunks can be used to protect young trees.
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Possible growing problems
Variety Uslada is highly resistant to fungal ailments and even most pests, therefore, all that is required from the gardener to completely eliminate possible problems is an annual competent prevention. It consists in seasonal processing of trees with Bordeaux mixture or vitriol, as well as some insecticidal preparations (Voliam Targo or Insegar, the dosage is indicated on the package).
Before buds open on an apple tree, a working solution can be prepared from 12.5 liters of water, 250 g of lime and 250 g of copper sulfate. Lime is mixed with 10 liters of cold water, and sulfate is dissolved in 2.5 liters of warm water, after which the lime solution must be filtered, and then copper sulfate should be added to it. After thoroughly mixing all the ingredients, the crown of the tree, as well as the territory of the trunk circle, is sprayed with the finished solution.
Insecticides are used after buds are opened, in the same way processing not only shoots and trunk bark, but also the soil around the tree. Of course, in addition to the appropriate treatments, do not forget about cleaning the garden from vegetable debris and observing the agricultural techniques of growing trees.
Harvesting and storage
Uslada apples are ready to eat at the end of summer, however, it is better to postpone the mass harvest of fruits until September, when the apples increase their sweetness and become more attractive in appearance.
Important! With early harvesting, the duration of storage of picked apples increases, up to the middle of spring, while the autumn harvest is successfully stored maximum until the end of winter.
For harvesting, you should choose only a sunny, dry day, and the best place to store fruits will be a cellar or other cool room with a low level of humidity. It is advisable to stack no more than two layers of apples in one box. Subject to the rules of cultivation, the apple variety Variety will fully justify its name, every year delighting with an abundant and very tasty harvest of fruits.