Almonds: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Growing In The Garden

Almonds are shrubs or trees. This plant belongs to the almond subgenus of the plum family of the pink family. It is very often mistaken for a nut, although in fact it is a stone fruit. Almond has been growing in the territory of Central Asia and the Mediterranean since several centuries BC. Today they can be found in California, Czech Republic, China, Slovakia and South Moravia.

This light-loving plant is highly resistant to drought. Under natural conditions this crop prefers to grow in small groups (a few bushes or trees) at an altitude of 800-1600 m above sea level. In Russia Common Almond is cultivated in the southern zone of the European part. In the middle latitudes cultivate steppe almond or beanberry, or low almond, or soft plum. This type of such a plant has not only valuable fruits, but also very beautiful leaves and flowers.

At the same time, the most decorative species in such a culture is considered a three-lobed almond, it is usually cultivated as an ornamental plant. The following will describe in detail how to plant and grow the ornamental almond shrub.

Peculiarities of the ornamental almond

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

The almond, which is a decorative shrub, can reach a height of 250 to 300 centimeters. There is nothing difficult to grow and even a novice gardener can handle them. It is among the most valuable ornamental crops.

There are varieties that grow on the stem, the appearance of this shrub is similar to the almond tree, it has leathery lanceolate leaf plates of dark green with a serrated edge, the compact crown has a spherical shape. The ornamental almond will not flower before 4 or 5 years after planting. Terry-shaped or plain very showy flowers with a lot of stamens and petals can be colored white or pink. Flowering usually lasts about 20 days and the shrub looks like it is enveloped in flowers like a cloud of air. It is enough to see such a shrub blooming once to remember this wonderful sight for a lifetime.

Leaf laminae usually grow after the flowering ends. The ornamental almond cannot eat the fruit, but it is just as incredibly beautiful. The fruit is a three-lobed suede pericarp with a round shape, inside it has a pit which is very easy to separate.

This plant is very closely related to such fruit crops as: cherry, cherry, cherry plum, cherry plum, peach, nectarine, sakura, plum, cherry, apricot, peach and sloe. It is also related to apple, rosehip, hawthorn, rowan, pear, quince, rose and chokeberry.

The ornamental almond is not demanding to growing conditions, is highly resistant to drought and is considered a very valuable honey bearer. If well cared for, the shrub can live for 100 years or more. Ornamental almond differs from ordinary almonds (cultivated in most cases only for the sake of the fruit) is that it has a very high frost-resistance and grows well in the middle latitudes. That's why almonds are no longer rare in Siberia.

Almonds .

False Almond ( Beanberry & Louisiana). Ornamental Garden Shrubs

Planting almonds

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

When to plant almonds

Planting ornamental almonds is recommended during the fall after the leaf fall is over. They can also be planted in early spring after the night frost has passed and the weather is warm. Consider that autumn planting is preferable for this plant.

Saline or acidic soil is not suitable for cultivation of this shrub, the suitable pH of the soil should be between 4.

5 and 7.5. Also, an area where groundwater is not close to the soil surface should be selected. To grow this shrub, it is recommended to choose a site with light sandy loam or loamy soil, saturated with nutrients. However, in clayey heavy soil, the almond will quickly die.

This shrub needs plenty of sunlight and air, so it is recommended to plant it in the southern side of the garden plot. The place where the plant is planted may be either full sun all day or covered for up to three hours by the shade of neighboring trees.

How to plant

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

The ornamental almond needs cross-pollination, so planting several bushes of this beautiful plant is recommended. Almond pollination is mainly done by bees, therefore it is very nice to have a small apiary planted not too far away from the almond shrubs. It is not necessary to remove stones, because in natural conditions this shrub prefers to grow on stony slopes.

The depth of the planting hole should not be less than 30 centimeters. At the same time, the distance between the specimens should be from 3 to 5 meters, and the width between the rows should be about 5 meters. At the bottom of the planting hole make a drainage layer, for this purpose it is recommended to use crushed stone or broken bricks, and a layer of sand is placed on top of it. Then a long pole should be driven into the middle of the hole bottom to support the seedling and it should be at least 50 centimeters above the surface of the plot.

The shrubs should be planted very early in the morning or after 4 pm.

Before planting annual seedlings, their root system should be immersed for some time in a clay putty. Then they are lowered into the planting holes and covered with soil mixture, consisting of the upper nutrient layer of soil, sand and humus, and the root neck of the plant must necessarily be a couple of centimeters above the surface of the plot. If the soil is acidic, it will need to be mixed with a small amount of dolomite flour or lime. After planting is complete the soil should be well tamped, and plants should be watered (per 1 bush 10 to 15 liters of water). After the liquid is completely absorbed and the soil settles, you will need to tie the bush to the previously installed support, as well as cover the root circle with a layer of mulch (peat or dry earth).

The mulch should be left out so that the root peg, which has to be in line with the ground after the watering, is exposed to the soil.

Suitable care

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

To plant and grow almonds is quite easy and does not cause any problems to the grower. They are looked after just like any other ornamental shrub, presently watering, weeding, trimming, loosening, fertilizing, disease and pest control. However, note that stagnant water in the ground can cause rotting of the shrub's root neck. Watering is carried out approximately once every 7 days, and the soil should dry out to a couple of centimeters in depth.

Under 1 bush, 10 liters of water is poured. Experienced gardeners recommend after each watering to loosen the soil surface around mature bushes from 8 to 10 centimeters deep, and around young - from 5 to 7 centimeters. Weeding should also be done during the weeding.

Feeding is necessary for the plant to grow and develop normally. In spring it is recommended to cover the root zone with mulch, but use cowpea or manure instead of peat.

A little later, under each bush will need to pour a nutrient solution, consisting of 10 liters of water, 20 grams of ammonium nitrate and 10 grams of urea. In autumn, 20 grams of double superphosphate and the same amount of potassium sulphate per square meter should be applied.

Almond pruning

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

The ornamental almond shrub needs timely pruning. Spring pruning should be done before the sap starts to flow and all injured, frosty, withered, thickened crown and disease-damaged branches and shoots should be removed. It happens that one of the branches prevents the normal growth of the other, they are called competing.

In this case, choose the strongest and best located branch, and the other is cut off. After the almond blossoms, a formative pruning is done. Pruning is not harmful to this plant, on the contrary, if the flowering stems are cut off in time, next year the almond will bloom even more lush.

After the bush is 7 years old, branches that have become very old should be removed. These can be replaced by the root shoots that grow after the bush is 3 years old.

MINDALL. How to prune an ornamental almond.

How Almond Blossoms

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

There are sources that claim that the name almond comes from the word amigdalos, which is translated from the ancient Greek as "beautiful tree". Many people consider this version to be true, as a blooming almond tree looks simply mesmerizingly beautiful. There are so many flowers that they cover the entire plant.

Their color can be red, pink, white or purple. Those who like paintings might have seen the picture "Blossoming Almond Branches" by Vincent van Gogh.

If the region has a warm and mild climate the almond starts blossoming in the last days of January and ends in March. In mid-latitudes, flowering begins in the last days of April or the first days of May and lasts about half a month. At this time the shrub must be given an adequate amount of water otherwise flowering will not last as long.

Diseases and pests

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Indigenous diseases such as: moniliosis, scabies, clasterosporiosis, grey rot and rust are common. And of pests it can be visited by aphids, almond seed mites, spider mites and leafminer. Fungal diseases can be handled with fungicides, such as: Skor, Cuproxate, Topaz, Fundazol. Pests are got rid of with insecticides: Calypso, Zolon, Actellic or Fufanon. And if a spider mite has settled on the bush, it should be treated with Acarin, Klechevit or Agravertin.

But you should remember that if you take care of this decorative shrub properly, you will have problems with it very rarely.

Hibernation

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Winter preparation

You should start to prepare this shrub for the winter as early as the summer. For this purpose, the tops of the stems are pruned so that they become woodier much faster and the almond does not freeze in winter. Young seedlings should be covered in autumn with dried leaves, straw or lutrasil, to a height of 15 centimeters from the soil surface. It is necessary to make sure that the root neck, which is under a layer of snow, does not start to rot.

Mature specimens do not need to be covered for the winter. If some of the stems do freeze, the shrub will recover in a short time in the spring.

Wintering in Moscow and Moscow

In Moscow and Moscow suburbs it is recommended to grow such almond species as: low (steppe), Georgian, three-lobed and Ledebourg almonds. These shrubs can suffer a little during the winter from a hard frost, but they recover very quickly and bloom incredibly abundantly. You should plant and care for almonds exactly as you would do in the midlands (described above).

Almond propagation

The almond variety can only be propagated by grafting, grafting and propagation, but the species can also be propagated by seed. Some growers grow their own rootstocks and then graft the varietal cuttings onto them.

Growing almonds from seed

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Sow the seeds in the open ground and do this in spring or autumn. Please note that before sowing in the spring the seeds should be prepared by putting them in the refrigerator on the vegetable shelf for four months. Make furrows in the soil, the depth of which should be 8 to 10 centimeters, and the distance between the seeds should be 10 to 12 centimeters.

The space between the furrows should be 50 centimeters. Seedlings of almond seedlings require care consisting in timely watering, weeding and loosening the soil surface. In the summer, when the seedling will reach a half-meter height, and the thickness of its trunk is 10 mm, all his branches that grow to a height of 10 centimeters from the root neck, you need to cut into a ring. Then the plants are transplanted to a permanent place. Once they are diseased, you can start grafting cuttings onto them.

Grafting almonds

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Any of the plant species is suitable for grafting, but it is recommended to take those that are highly frost-resistant. Almond trees grow well on rootstocks of cherry, bird cherry, sloe, or plum. Suitable scion for grafting should be straight and have developed stems with eyes that should be fully formed. All foliage should be removed from the cuttings with secateurs, leaving only the short, centimetre-long petioles.

This shrub can only be grafted when the sap is flowing, i.

e. in spring or in August. The scion, which should grow in the open ground, should be rubbed gently with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Then make a T-cut a little above the root neck with the aid of an eyedropper knife. Then gently turn aside the cut bark.

The scion should be cut off the scion, which is a strip of bark with a bud and a thin layer of wood. Note that the scape should fit entirely into the T-cut you made earlier, so do not make it too long. When the flap is inserted, you should press down on the edges of the bark that were previously unscrewed. You can use ribbon, tape or plaster to hold the shield in place and it will only take a few wraps around the stem. Remember, however, that the bud with the rest of the petiole must not be covered.

If the grafting was carried out in spring, the petiole, which should still be green, should fall off itself after half a month, and the grafting tape should be loosened a little. If grafting was carried out in August, it is not necessary to remove the tape until the next autumn period, and in late autumn it is necessary to dip the grafted seedling with soil (the place of grafting should necessarily be covered with earth). With the onset of the spring period, the soil should be removed so that the rooting neck is free, and the fixing tape should also be removed.

Sprouting

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Sprouting material for cuttings should be prepared from mid- to late June. For this purpose, half-timbered apical cuttings with two nodes should be cut and their length varies from 15 to 20 centimeters.

Then the cuttings should be immersed for 16 hours in a product that stimulates growth. Their rooting should be performed in a cold greenhouse. For planting, a soil mixture consisting of peat and sand (2:1) is used. Fully rooted cuttings after 20-30 days. According to statistics, take root 85-100 percent of cuttings.

When roots appear, the cuttings should be transplanted to a training bed for rearing.

How to propagate offspring

To provoke active growth of offspring around the shrub, a strong pruning should be done. The offspring should have a fully developed root system, which will not happen until the second year. The grafted offspring should be cared for in the same way as the annual seedling.

How to propagate by grafting

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Bend the flexible stems to the soil, fix them with metal pins and then cover with soil.

During the time the offshoots are forming a root system, they should be watered, weeded, and loosened on the soil surface in a timely manner. Separate the offshoot and plant it in a permanent place will be possible only after 12 months. During this time, it should have a fully developed root system.

Almond species and varieties with photos

Ordinary almond

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

This species is grown as a fruit plant. It is divided into sweet almonds, which are cultivated by many gardeners and do not contain any harmful substances in their fruit, and wild almonds (bitter) - their kernels contain hydrocyanic acid.

Many varieties of sweet almonds are very popular with gardeners, and are also grown commercially. This type of almond is not ornamental but its fruit is highly healthful and nutritious.

Low almond, either steppe or beanberry

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

This deciduous shrub can grow up to 150 centimeters tall. Its lush crown is spherical and the bark on the upright branches is grayish reddish. Its leathery, narrow, lanceolate leaves are about 6 centimeters long.

Their front surface is dark green, while the reverse is pale green. Single flowers have a deep pink color. It blooms for 1-1.5 weeks. The fruit of such a shrub can be eaten.

Almond trees grow well on rootstocks of cherry, bird cherry, sloe, or plum. Suitable scion for grafting should be straight and have developed stems with eyes that should be fully formed. All foliage should be removed from the cuttings with secateurs, leaving only the short, centimetre-long petioles.

This shrub can only be grafted when the sap is flowing, i.e.

in spring or in August. The scion, which should grow in the open ground, should be rubbed gently with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Then make a T-cut a little above the root neck with the aid of an eyedropper knife. Then gently turn aside the cut bark. The scion should be cut off the scion, which is a strip of bark with a bud and a thin layer of wood.

Note that the scape should fit entirely into the T-cut you made earlier, so do not make it too long. When the flap is inserted, you should press down on the edges of the bark that were previously unscrewed. You can use ribbon, tape or plaster to hold the shield in place and it will only take a few wraps around the stem. Remember, however, that the bud with the rest of the petiole must not be covered.

If the grafting was carried out in spring, the petiole, which should still be green, should fall off itself after half a month, and the grafting tape should be loosened a little.

If grafting was carried out in August, it is not necessary to remove the tape until the next autumn period, and in late autumn it is necessary to dip the grafted seedling with soil (the place of grafting should necessarily be covered with earth). With the onset of the spring period, the soil should be removed so that the rooting neck is free, and the fixing tape should also be removed.

Sprouting

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Sprouting material for cuttings should be prepared from mid- to late June. For this purpose, half-timbered apical cuttings with two nodes should be cut and their length varies from 15 to 20 centimeters. Then the cuttings should be immersed for 16 hours in a product that stimulates growth.

Their rooting should be performed in a cold greenhouse. For planting, a soil mixture consisting of peat and sand (2:1) is used. Fully rooted cuttings after 20-30 days. According to statistics, take root 85-100 percent of cuttings. When roots appear, the cuttings should be transplanted to a training bed for rearing.

How to propagate offspring

To provoke active growth of offspring around the shrub, a strong pruning should be done. The offspring should have a fully developed root system, which will not happen until the second year. The grafted offspring should be cared for in the same way as the annual seedling.

How to propagate by grafting

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

Bend the flexible stems to the soil, fix them with metal pins and then cover with soil. During the time the offshoots are forming a root system, they should be watered, weeded, and loosened on the soil surface in a timely manner.

Separate the offshoot and plant it in a permanent place will be possible only after 12 months. During this time, it should have a fully developed root system.

Almond species and varieties with photos

Ordinary almond

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

This species is grown as a fruit plant. It is divided into sweet almonds, which are cultivated by many gardeners and do not contain any harmful substances in their fruit, and wild almonds (bitter) - their kernels contain hydrocyanic acid. Many varieties of sweet almonds are very popular with gardeners, and are also grown commercially.

This type of almond is not ornamental but its fruit is highly healthful and nutritious.

Low almond, either steppe or beanberry

Almonds: planting and care in the open field, growing in the garden

This deciduous shrub can grow up to 150 centimeters tall. Its lush crown is spherical and the bark on the upright branches is grayish reddish. Its leathery, narrow, lanceolate leaves are about 6 centimeters long. Their front surface is dark green, while the reverse is pale green.

Single flowers have a deep pink color. It blooms for 1-1.5 weeks. The fruit of such a shrub can be eaten.

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