Nectarine, a fruit of the genus Prunus, is a recently planted type of peach tree that is gradually gaining popularity among consumers. Its spectacular flavor, crunchy texture and ability to keep refrigerated make it a summer favorite. the nectarine cultivation It has some aspects that we must take into account if we want everything to be in good condition.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about growing nectarines and what their requirements are.
Main characteristics of nectarine
Botanically, the nectarine is a variant of the peach tree. This fruit tree has always been associated with a cross between a plum tree and a peach tree, but this is not the case because it is an existing type of peach tree, but it has some similarities with the plum tree, hence the assertion.
The biggest difference between nectarines and normal peaches is that their shells do not have a hairy appearance and are slightly smaller in final size. At tree level, however, their morphological characteristics are very similar, with a spherical shape and an average height of 3 to 4 meters.
Nectarine is a special variety of peaches. Its scientific name is Prunus persica var. nectarine. is supposed to have the same origins as peaches and has the same history and age of origin. In order of production, China is one of the main producers, followed by Italy, the United States, Spain and Greece.
Physical aspect of the nectarine
His appearance is gray. This tree has a single trunk and the structure of the tree consists of the trunk with secondary and tertiary stems. Whether in the trunk or in the branches, It has a certain red tint combined with natural gray.
In fruit trees, we can distinguish different types of branches, which are part of the distribution of flower buds and woody buds. Its general classification in nectarines and other fruit trees is as follows:
- may corsage
- mixed bouquets
Flower buds found on branches and twigs can be floral (they bloom and bear fruit) or woody (they give off stems that form new structures in the tree). In nectarines, there is usually 1 central woody bud surrounded by 2 lateral flower buds.
The leaves of the nectarine or nectarine they are very similar to those of other trees of the genus Prunus. Bright green, thin and narrow, with pointed ends and straight edges without serrations. They are usually between 14 and 18 cm long, with an average width of 4 or 5 cm.
Nectarine flowers are concentrated in buds (3 or 4 flowers) or solitary, platycodon (bell-shaped) or pink. The tree is in full bloom, giving off a profusion of flowers that completely dress the ground in shades of white and pink. In fact, it is an exhibition that attracts many visitors, like the one held in the Region of Murcia, where different varieties of peach, nectarine, almond and almond trees are presented.
among the fruit, we found a big difference between nectarines and peaches. They are smaller, reddish in color and hairless, which are the main distinguishing features.
Cultivation of nectarines
Growing peaches and nectarines is highly dependent on the ambient temperature of the growing area. We would say this is the main conditioning factor when deciding to plant it. It is a very cold hardy tree. especially when the tree is bare wood, and can even withstand temperatures of -15 ºC or lower.
However, with the earlier varieties, the most sensitive stage of cultivation is the flowering stage, which is actually between February or early March. In the Mediterranean, since we are talking about a mild winter climate, look for varieties that do not need to accumulate many hours of cold, This is why varieties that require less than 700-750 cold hours are usually grown..
Peach and nectarine trees can be planted in any type of medium-textured soil. The largest products are produced on soils with high fertility and a regular supply of organic matter. The main disadvantage of nectarines is their high susceptibility to root choking, which is often caused by very sticky soils with high moisture retention and poor drainage.
In all cases, we add at least 4-5 kg of organic matter in the planting holes before planting. It is recommended to replenish 3 to 4 kg around the trunk every year or every 2 years without burying (surface supply).
Regarding irrigation, nectarines have moderate needs. Although there are many cultivable hectares of rainfed land, in the Mediterranean region rainfall is very low and cultivation can only be practiced under irrigated conditions.
A common system for irrigating nectarines is drip irrigation, using 2 lines of drippers parallel to the main trunk, 4 drippers per tree, each with a flow rate of 4 L/h. In the warmer months, watering is done almost daily and for a long time. Average irrigation schedules for hot regions are as follows, based on variables such as soil texture, planting configuration, average temperature, evapotranspiration, etc.
Care of nectarines
High yields of nectarines require a supply of organic and mineral nutrients throughout the production period, leave good reserves before winter to ensure good flowering and a new fruit set.
As an indication, the average annual dose for this crop is as follows:
- Nitrogen: 80-140 kg/ha
- Phosphorus: 50-60 kg/ha
- Potassium: 100-140 kg/ha
When the roots begin to develop, the supply of nutrients begins with the movement of the shoots. Extracts of humus, liquid humus or any other liquid organic matter in the form of a high carbon source are recommended.
Foliar applications are usually prebloom (buds move up to 50% of flowers open) and postbloom (50% petals drop to fruiting), using biostimulants based on amino acids, algae (effect of phytohormones) or rich in nutrients phosphorus, boron, zinc and molybdenum.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about nectarine cultivation and its characteristics.