Mulberry - growing and care
Mulberry can often be found in gardens, in summer cottages and household plots. It is grown for harvesting tasty and healthy fruits. Cultivating a tree does not cause much trouble. How to plant this crop and what care it needs will be discussed in the article.
Where better to grow mulberry
Mulberry, or mulberry, mulberry tree is a deciduous plant belonging to the Mulberry family. It reaches a maximum growth of 10–15 m and gives edible berries of black, white or red color. Under natural conditions, mulberry grows in areas with a temperate and subtropical climate, in Africa, North America, Asia. It is actively cultivated in Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania and Armenia.
It is demanding on lighting. It tolerates droughts and frosts down to –30 ° С. It can grow on any soil. It shows the best growth and yield in fertile soils with good drainage and acidity in the range of 5.5–7 pH.
The best varieties for growing
Experienced gardeners are advised to plant such varieties of mulberry at home:
- Shelley. It is distinguished by very large fruits, which reach a size of 5 cm and weigh about 10 g. They have high palatability. Appear in May. The fruiting period is long - for a month. Among the advantages of the variety are excellent winter hardiness, resistance to diseases, early maturity.
- Kherson-2. Another large-fruited variety. The trees are stunted. The fruits ripen in mid-July. The berries are black, reaching a length of 5.5 cm. Their flesh is sweet, oily. The variety is winter hardy and unpretentious.
- Black Prince. Summer large-fruited high-yielding grade. It brings large, shiny black fruits up to 5 cm long. Up to 100 kg of berries can be picked from one tree per season. Trees tolerate adverse weather conditions. They are not afraid of droughts and frosts.
- Hope. The plant grows up to 10 m. It bears fruit in July. The berries are dark purple, elongated. The weight of one piece is 20 g, the length is up to 5 cm. The pulp has a sweet and sour taste, and is juicier. The variety has several advantages: it is self-fertile, with a high level of frost resistance and drought tolerance.
- Black royal. High-yielding mulberry early ripening. In early June, large fruits weighing up to 20 g and a length of up to 6 cm are formed on the trees. The trees grow medium in height, but with a spreading crown. They survive well in low temperatures and dry periods.
- White honey. As the name implies, this mulberry is valued with white fruits with a sweet taste. The berries are 4 cm long. Their flesh is juicy. Trees grow up to 6 m. They have a dense crown in the shape of a ball. Fruiting occurs in June - July.
- Victoria. Trees reach medium height, have a compact crown. The fruits ripen in the middle of the first summer month. They are white, juicy, with a sweet taste. For storage and transportation unsuitable. The plant is self-fertile, hardy and undemanding to care.
- Pink honey. The trees have a height of 6–8 m. Medium early ripening of pink berries, reaching a length of 3-4 cm. The berries are sweet to taste. Fruiting begins in late June and lasts for 1–1.5 months.
Mulberry can be bred in several ways: seed, green half-lignified and lignified cuttings, top grafting. The seed method is one of the easiest. It is suitable for almost all varieties. In order to carry it out correctly, it is necessary to grow seedlings, which are then transplanted into the soil on a site selected in accordance with the recommendations.
Video: how to plant mulberry seeds
Seeds can be purchased in a specialized store or extracted from the fruit yourself. For this, it is necessary to select very ripe berries. Then they need to be drained to a mushy state. A few days after the fermentation process begins, pour in water, mix and strain through a sieve. This procedure must be carried out until small seeds remain in the sieve. They need to be put on paper and completely dried. Then shift in a paper bag and keep until spring.
Did you know? Residents of Central Asia consider the mulberry tree sacred. They make amulets and amulets from its wood.
Seed Growing and Care
Sowing should be done in April. Seeds are laid in open ground in a well-lit and heated area. Landing should be superficial - not deeper than 1 cm. After watering, it is advisable to mulch the soil in order to maintain the required moisture level. As the top layer dries, the planting needs to be watered. It is also important to periodically remove weeds.
If 5 leaves appear on the seedlings, it is necessary to thin or plant the plants. The distance between them should be observed 3-5 m. Before winter, it is necessary to increase the layer of mulch. Plant growth takes place over two years.
Important! Shoots must be protected from aggressive sunlight and return frosts by covering with non-woven material.
Transplant to the ground
Transplanting seedlings to a permanent place is carried out in the spring. You will need to perform the same procedures as when planting seedlings, which is described below. The distance between the seedlings is 3-5 m. Such plants enter fruiting after 5-6 years. The qualities of the mother plant, as a rule, they do not preserve. They can be used as stock for grafting varietal mulberries.
The optimal time for planting mulberry seedlings is April or September - October. If the climate in which you plan to plant the tree is temperate and warm, then autumn planting is possible. In this case, the seedling will have time to take root before winter frosts. However, it is important to catch up to the rainy season.
In areas with a harsh climate, it is better to plant a mulberry tree in the spring. In this case, he will have a lot of time to adapt, and he will be able to survive the first winter without any problems.
The juiciness and taste of the fruit largely depends on where the tree grows. The sweetest and juiciest fruits will appear in those plants that are planted in a well-lit area. It must be protected from the winds on the north side.
Before planting, make sure that the groundwater does not approach the surface closer than 1.5 m. From the house or other building, the growing place should be at a distance of 3-5 m. Between the trees should be left at 3-5-3 m .
The soil extracted when digging a hole should be mixed with fertilizers. For this purpose, rotted manure or compost (5–7 kg) mixed with 100 g of superphosphate is well suited. You can also add 1 cup of wood ash. A drainage layer should be placed at the bottom of the pit.
A landing pit needs to be dug up a few weeks before landing. Recommended sizes: 80 × 60 cm or 80 × 80 cm. Fertilized soil should be poured onto the drainage layer and a mound made of it. It is necessary to install the root system of the seedling on it, which must be evenly spread.Then fill the voids with earth and make a tamper. The planting process is completed by abundant watering with a flow rate of 20 liters of water and mulching.It is advisable to tie a young plant to the planting peg.
Important! The root neck of the tree should be above the ground.
Subtleties of care and ripening
Even a beginner in gardening can take care of mulberry. The tree will need regular watering, top dressing, mulching, pruning, preventive measures against diseases and harmful insects. If the cultivated variety is not self-fertile, then help in pollination is needed. Young trees also require obligatory shelter for the winter. The ripening of fruits occurs depending on the variety - it begins in June and ends in July.
It is necessary to water the mulberry tree regularly from April to July. The amount and volume of watering will depend on how often rainfall occurs. In July, irrigation is stopped because the berries can form watery and tasteless. In addition, the trees can easily enter the dormant period and survive the winter period without any problems.
When the tree reaches 5-6 years of age, then you can no longer worry about moisture. It will need to be carried out only with prolonged droughts, pouring 20-40 liters of water under each tree. At other times, the plant will have enough rainfall. The root system, which penetrates deep into the ground, will provide the tree with moisture without any problems.
Important! Fertilizers are instilled in the near-stem zone into the previously moistened loosened soil. They can not be placed in dry ground, as a burn of the roots is possible.
Fertilizer selection and top dressing
In the first 2 years after planting, trees do not need top dressing. They lack the nutrients that were introduced during planting. From the third year of dressing should be regular. Like other garden plants, in the spring the mulberry tree needs nitrogen. Therefore, nitroammophoska, ammonium nitrate is introduced. In autumn, trees need potassium and phosphorus. Superphosphate and potassium salt will be required at this time.
A layer of mulch laid in the near-stem zone allows preserving the necessary moisture level in the soil and restrain the growth of weeds. Mulching saves the gardener from frequent watering, weeding and loosening. The layer of mulch during the growing season can be 5–10 cm high. In winter, it needs to be increased. Use hay, straw, mowed grass, fallen leaves, sawdust, pine needles, peat, rotted manure.
When growing a variety, you should find out whether it is self-fertile or not. Self-fertile specimens have both male and female flowers, so they do not need additional pollination. When cultivating non-self-bearing mulberry in the immediate vicinity, it is necessary to plant another 2-3 varieties that bloom at the same time. Cross-pollination will occur, which means that you can count on a successful and plentiful crop.
If mulberry is grown in a temperate climate, then only young trees need warming for the winter. Mature specimens are already well adapted and will not freeze. When grown in Siberia or the Urals, the mulberry tree needs to be covered. The trunks are wrapped in burlap or non-woven material, which will protect not only from frost, but also from the bright sun in early spring. To prevent the roots from freezing, the trunk area is covered with a high layer of mulch. Sawdust, leaves, peat, rotted manure are suitable for this.
Did you know? Mulberry is a long-lived plant. She is able to live up to 200-300 years and at the same time not stop bearing fruit.
Collection and storage of mulberry fruits
The collection of fruits must be started when they ripen, reached the size and taste stated in the description of the variety. Since the ripening is uneven, they harvest in several passes. It is important not to be late for harvesting, as the fruits fall off very quickly. Harvest must be planned in the morning, when the berries dry out of dew, or in the evening. Fruits collected dry are stored longer.
Before you start harvesting, spread a cloth in the near-trunk zone, on which part of the fruit will fall. The collection is carried out manually. Berries with the stem are carefully torn from the branches and placed in a small container. Fruits that have fallen on the fabric are removed in separate containers. They are not suitable for transportation or long-term storage.
Did you know? To wash the traces left by a black mulberry, white fruits of a mulberry well help.
Berries are consumed fresh, they are made from them confectionery, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They make jam, make flour, and put them into pies and pies as filling. To keep the berries longer, they can be dried or frozen. The shelf life of the dried and frozen product is 1 year.
Pests and diseases
In order to avoid infection by bacteria and fungi, as well as harmful insects, preventive treatments must be carried out annually. Drugs affect not only the crown of the plant, but also on the ground in the near-stem circle. The first treatment should be carried out in April, when the kidneys have not yet begun to swell. The second - in the fall, after harvesting and the end of the growing season. Bordeaux fluid (3%), urea (7%) are most often used for spraying.
Important! When spraying with chemicals, safety precautions must be observed. The body should be protected with a special suit, eyes with glasses, airways with a mask, hands with gloves.
Of the diseases more dangerous for the tree are:
- Bacteriosis. The causative agent of the disease affects foliage and stems. Small spots appear on them, which eventually turn black, after which the leaves fall off. The stems are bent at the same time. Cameo detection is also observed. Treatment of the disease is carried out with the drugs "Gamair", "Fitoflavin". Healthy plants are treated to prevent the spread of the pathogen. It is important to understand that getting rid of the disease will not be quick. Many gardeners fail and as a result get rid of the tree.
- Powdery Mildew Excited by a fungus. The first symptoms are the formation of white powdery coating on the leaves. As soon as it manifests itself, spraying with Bordeaux liquid (3%), Fundazol, colloidal sulfur should be carried out.
- Brown spotting. You can find out that mulberry is affected by this disease, by the appearance of small brown spots on the leaves. Subsequently, the foliage turns yellow and falls. When the first signs appear, you should resort to treatment with Silita (1%). Reprocessing must be done after 14 days.
The most dangerous mulberries are the following harmful insects:
- Spider mite. A dangerous sucking parasite that feeds on plant juices, leading to leaf decay. It spreads rapidly in dry and hot weather conditions. It is a carrier of viral diseases. The fight against it is carried out by acaricides - "Actellic", "Tick-borne" and others.
- Mulberry moth. Caterpillars hit the foliage. Timely preventive measures allow them to not be allowed into the garden. In case of infection, spraying with “Chlorophos” is necessary.
- American butterfly. Caterpillars of this insect eat mulberry leaves. In a short time, they are able to destroy greens almost completely. In case of detection of pests, it is urgent to prune the branches on which there are caterpillar nests.Attachment belts should be attached to the trunks. Also, spraying a tree with Chlorophos will be required.
So, it is not difficult to grow mulberry in a country house or in a personal plot. The main thing is to choose a good place for her and carry out regular tree care. Before choosing a suitable variety, you should familiarize yourself with its description, photos of fruits and reviews of gardeners who already had experience in planting it.
Mulberry is different: red, blue, white. I show two varieties, white and blue. Here's what they write: It has an edible fruit, from which they make a filling for pies, make wines, vodka-mulberry and soft drinks. The berries of red mulberry (native to North America) and black mulberry (native to southwest Asia) have a pleasant aroma. The berries of white mulberry (originally from East Asia) have a different smell, often characterized as “tasteless”. The ripe fruit contains a large amount of resveratrol, which is a powerful plant antioxidant. The leaves of mulberry, especially white mulberry, are the main food source for silkworm larvae, whose pupa is used for silk production.