Plum cultivation

The name “plum” includes a large group of fruit-bearing plants, divided mainly between European plums, those that produce plums, and Sino-Japanese ones that produce true plums. The fruits are very varied in terms of shape, color of the skin and pulp, consistency of the flesh, ripening time and flavors that can be more or less sweet. These fruits lend themselves well both to fresh consumption and to the production of delicious jams, also considering that these plants are often very generous in fruiting.

Therefore, in a mixed organic orchard we can introduce many different types of plum trees chosen for their differences and possibly also for their resistance or tolerance to common diseases. Plums of both types belong to the Rosaceae family and the subgroup of stone fruits like peaches, apricots, cherries, and almonds. In addition to European plums and Sino-Japanese plums, there are also other minor or wild species of plums that produce edible fruit.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Climate and soil suitable for plums

  • How to plant a plum tree

  • Cultivation of Prunus in detail

  • pruning plum trees

  • Plum tree diseases

  • Plum insects and pests

    • Cydia Plum

    • Tenredini

    • New» insects

    • aphids

  • Growing plum trees in pots

  • plum collection

  • Varieties of plums and plum trees

Climate and soil indicated in the plum

Climate necessary for cultivation. European plum trees are quite resistant to low winter temperatures and spring frosts, thanks to their fairly late flowering, while Chinese-Japanese plum trees, which tolerate winter cold, have an earlier flowering. In the north, the ideal would be to favor European varieties, but it is not excluded that the Sino-Japanese can adapt. In the plains with a very humid and foggy climate or in the bottoms of valleys, it is very important to pay attention to the appearance of fungal diseases such as monilia, favored by humidity.

ideal ground . The plum tree adapts very well to different types of soil, also depending on the rootstock used. In general, almost all have good resistance to both root suffocation and ferric chlorosis, while they suffer from the presence of salinity in irrigation water. Ideal soils, however, are fertile and of medium texture.

How to plant a plum tree

Transplant . To transplant a plum tree, a deep hole is dug, approximately 70x70x70 cm in size, even smaller if the soil is particularly loose. The hole can be dug manually with a shovel or shovel, but in case of particularly hard ground or to plant many specimens the use of a drill motor can be considered. The ideal time to plant plum trees is from autumn to late winter, but excluding periods of frost or prolonged rain, as frozen or wet soils should not be worked. If the plants are bare-rooted, planting can be preceded by tamping, a practice that promotes rooting and involves soaking the root system for at least a quarter of an hour in a mixture of fresh manure, water , sand and earth. The top 20 centimeters of soil that fills the hole should be mixed with a good organic soil amendment, such as compost or mature manure, to which may be added rock meal, potassium magnesium sulfate or wood ash, They provide other valuable nutrients. In the act of digging and then filling the hole, we must be careful to stay above the soil that was on the surface, this allows us to save the useful microorganisms. The plant is inserted directly into the hole, with the grafting point above the surface. The soft soil is then lightly compressed and finally watered.

The choice of rootstock is an important parameter on which the adaptability to different soils and other factors depends, so it is essential to request this information from the nursery owner at the time of purchase. Among the most used rootstocks for plum trees are the Mirabolano seedling, which adapts to almost any type of soil, gives the plant vigor and a slow entry into production, and the clonal Mirabolano 29 C, which rather favors an early entry into production and in any case adapts well to different soils, including calcareous or tending to suffocation.

Pollination. While European plums are generally self-fertile, almost all Sino-Japanese plum varieties are self-sterile and therefore require different varieties that bloom simultaneously for pollination, which also helps European plums. The presence of bees and bumblebees in the environment is essential for pollination success, so collaborating with a beekeeper who brings the hives to our orchard could help a lot.

Sixth floor . Between one plant and another of plum trees or plum trees we will maintain 3 or 4 meters along the row, while between the rows even 4 or 5 meters.

Plum cultivation in detail

Irrigation. After transplanting, the young plants should be irrigated to promote their rooting. Then the irrigation will depend on the climate and the soil, but in the first 2 or 3 years it is important that it is possible to irrigate if necessary. From flowering to fruit growth, drought can be detrimental, so it is advisable to set up a drip or sprinkler irrigation system to deal with this eventuality.

plant shape . Normally, for plum trees and plum trees, the most suitable form of cultivation is the pot, an open form, suitable for organic cultivation. The 3 main branches open from the central stem, which then bears all the fruiting branches. Lighting inside the canopy is guaranteed by this form and the plant reaches a manageable height from the ground. European plums are also grown with free, flattened palm.

pruning plum trees

Pruning is done at the end of winter (dry pruning) or during the growing season (green pruning). Like other stone fruit trees, plums and plums can also produce mixed fruits of branches, toadstools, and darts (Racimos de Mayo).

With dry pruning, the fruiting formations are thinned or shortened to renew them and balance the fruiting, avoiding the phenomenon of alternation from one year to the next.

In the green, the important practices are the elimination of suckers and suckers, vertical branches that start respectively from the base or the branches, and the thinning of the small fruits with which a pupil is left every 6-7 cm of branch . To be effective, this last practice must be done at the right time, that is to say after the fruit has fallen spontaneously and before the kernel hardens.

Plum tree diseases

Fungal (cryptogamic) diseases take over if they are favored by hot and humid weather, and in organic arboriculture they are mainly prevented by choosing genetically resistant or tolerant varieties. Other preventative measures include summer pruning that thins out overly dense foliage, following correct planting guidelines, watering only under the foliage, and removing affected plant parts. That said, especially in rainy years certain pathologies can still occur and in these cases we can use ecological and effective products.

Monilia

It is the most common disease among stone fruit trees and is caused by a fungus that damages both the branches, which dry out at the terminal part keeping the blackened leaves attached, as well as the flowers and fruits . Affected plum trees or plum trees become covered with mold, rot in various places, and eventually take on a mummified appearance. The pathology is favored by humidity, and prevented by the distribution of reinforcing macerates of horsetail. However, for the treatment of diseased plants, calcium polysulfide can be used (but not in flower as it could kill bees) or Bacillus subtilis. In addition to removing the affected parts, at the end of the season it is also advisable to remove all dead leaves from the orchard of plants showing symptoms of the disease, to reduce the chances of inoculation for the year. next.

Oxide

Rust occurs on plum leaves (mostly European) with small yellow spots and brown pustules on the lower page. The plant tends to produce rubber and, in severe cases, may even defoliate completely. Horsetail maceration also has a preventive effect against this pathology, which once manifested is treated with copper-based products, to be used with caution.

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