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Mulberry in central Russia: the intricacies of cultivation and the best varieties

Mulberry in central Russia: the intricacies of cultivation and the best varieties


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Mulberry, or mulberry (Latin Morus) is a tall tree with sweet berries that look like blackberries, black, white or pink. For a long time, this plant was considered an exclusively southern crop, but thanks to the efforts of gardeners and breeders, its distribution area has expanded significantly. Is it possible to succeed in growing mulberry trees in central Russia and what varieties are better to choose for planting?

Can mulberries be grown in central Russia?

Mulberry is a thermophilic plant. In nature, it grows in regions with a subtropical climate, where it is widely used for breeding silkworms, from which natural silk is produced.

In our country, mulberries are most often planted for the sake of obtaining tasty fruits. Two types of this plant are especially popular:

  • black mulberry (Mórus nígra),
  • white mulberry (Mórus álba).

Experienced gardeners for growing in central Russia recommend white mulberry. Unlike black, which often dies at temperatures below -15 ° C, it can withstand frosts down to -30 ° C without significant damage to the crown and root system.

White mulberry winters well in central Russia

It is quite easy to determine the type of mulberry tree. The main distinguishing features of the white mulberry are the light gray color of the bark and the medium-sized ovate-pointed or dissected-lobed leaves. At the same time, the color of berries of different varieties can be either white or pink, or almost black.

But even a fairly winter-hardy white mulberry does not feel very comfortable in cold climates. So, in the southern regions of our country, the height of an adult tree is usually about 15 meters, and in the middle lane it rarely grows more than 4 meters and has the shape of a bush.

Video: the experience of growing mulberry in central Russia

Features of agricultural technology

In the south, mulberry is one of the most unpretentious fruit crops. But gardeners in the middle lane will have to make a lot of effort to get a good harvest. Especially a lot of attention is required for young plants with an insufficiently developed root system.

Mulberry planting

Mulberry seedlings are usually planted in spring or autumn. In the conditions of central Russia, spring planting is considered optimal, which is carried out before the start of active sap flow. Over the summer, the plant manages to build up the root system and adapt to open ground conditions, which allows it to survive the winter without much loss.

When choosing a place for a mulberry tree, the following conditions must be observed:

  • good illumination;
  • protection from strong winds;
  • the distance from the planted plant to the nearest trees or buildings should not be less than 3 meters;
  • light loamy, sandy loam or sandy soil.

When planting mulberries, choose sunny and wind-protected places on the site.

For planting mulberries, it is necessary to prepare a hole in advance with a depth of at least 70 cm and the same diameter. At its bottom, it is advisable to lay drainage from expanded clay or other small pebbles. This is especially true when planting in heavy clay soil, which can provoke root rot due to stagnant moisture. The pit is filled with humus or rotted compost by about a third. If desired, you can additionally add about 50 g of any complex fertilizer mixed with the soil.

During planting, a young plant is placed in a hole, carefully spreading the roots over its entire area, and carefully sprinkled with earth. After that, 20-30 liters of water are poured into the trunk circle and mulched thoroughly in order to avoid severe drying out of the soil.

Video: the subtleties of transplanting a mulberry tree

Most mulberry varieties belong to dioecious plants, therefore, for successful fruiting on the site, you need to have at least two trees - a male and a female. You can determine the sex of a plant by its flowers:

  • in female specimens, they are collected in dense inflorescences-earrings, spike-shaped;
  • in males - inflorescences are looser and have a drooping stem.

It is possible to distinguish a male specimen of a mulberry from a female one only after the beginning of flowering.

Care

Mulberry is a drought-resistant plant that does not tolerate excess moisture. Usually, only young plants need additional watering. In especially dry and hot summers, you can also water an adult tree. It should be remembered that 15-20 liters of water per week is enough for mulberries.

The nutrients contained in the fertile soil with which the planting pit was filled is enough for two to three years. After the expiration of this period, to obtain a good harvest, mulberries begin to be fed. Fertilization is carried out in two stages:

  1. Before blooming leaves, about 50 grams of complex mineral fertilizer (Nitroamofosk, Azotofosk and others) are scattered over the surface of the trunk circle.
  2. During the ripening period, mulberries are fed with organic matter, for example, diluted infusion of poultry droppings (1:18) or fresh cattle manure (1: 8).

When feeding, it must be remembered that mulberries growing in too fertile soil often gain a large green mass and refuse to bear fruit. Excess nitrogen is especially harmful for this plant.

One of the most important mulberry care procedures is preparing the tree for winter. It begins long before frost. Already in the second half of summer, the plant ceases to be watered. This is necessary so that the green shoots have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather.

In September-October, the trunk circle of mulberries is well loosened and covered with a layer of mulch. Its thickness should be at least 15 cm at the edges and 30 cm at the trunk of the tree. It is better to completely cover young trees with a non-woven material or fabric that allows air to pass through.

Mulch protects the mulberry root system from severe frost

Crown formation

In central Russia, mulberries are usually grown in the form of a bush less than 3 meters high. For the formation of a crown of this type in a plant that has reached three to four years, most of the shoots are cut out, leaving only 8–10 of the most developed ones. Then every year 2-3 branches are pruned to the point of growth and replaced with younger ones. As a result, 3-4 branches of the second order and about 10 branches of the third order are formed on each skeletal shoot. After a few years of such pruning, the gardener gets an excellent mulberry bush, the shape of the crown of which makes it possible to harvest the entire crop without much difficulty.

Video: how to properly trim mulberries

After the crown is formed, sanitary pruning is performed, which relieves the mulberry from twisted, dry or damaged shoots. Usually it is carried out in the spring, before the sap flow begins, or in the fall - immediately after the leaves are shed.

In addition, once every 10-15 years, mulberries need anti-aging pruning. During it, all shoots are reduced by a third, and several skeletal branches are completely removed, replacing them with younger ones.

In order to avoid infection of the mulberry with viral and bacterial diseases, all the tools with which pruning is carried out must be disinfected in advance.

The best varieties

At present, breeders have bred many varieties of mulberry that easily tolerate the rather harsh climate of the middle zone of our country. Many of them are not inferior to their southern relatives either in taste or in yield.

Admiral's

Admiralskaya is the only black mulberry variety recommended by the State Commission of the Russian Federation for the Testing and Protection of Breeding Achievements for growing in the middle lane. Received from the Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy. It is a tall, sprawling plant with black berries that have a sweet taste and a refreshing aroma.

The berries of the Admiralskaya mulberry weigh about 1.5 grams

Admiralskaya differs from other varieties of black mulberry in its high winter hardiness. In addition, it tolerates drought and extreme heat well, and is also practically unaffected by diseases and pests. The average yield of an adult plant in the middle zone of Russia is about 5 kg.

The dark woman

Dark-brown, like most other varieties grown in central Russia, belongs to the botanical type of white mulberry. Due to its excellent winter hardiness and the ability to quickly restore frost-damaged shoots, it is very popular among gardeners in central Russia.

Mulberry Smuglyanka bears excellent fruit in the conditions of central Russia

The berries of the Darkie are black in color, have an excellent sweet and sour taste. This variety has a fairly high yield. Up to 500 g of fruits are harvested from one branch of an adult tree.

In central Russia, the fruits of the Smuglyanka begin to ripen in the second half of June. Despite their juiciness, they are excellent for transportation and can be stored for up to 18 hours from collection.

An important advantage of the variety is its monoeciousness. Thanks to this quality, even a single growing tree will produce a bountiful harvest.

Royal

Royal is one of the most productive mulberry varieties. From a tree over 7 years old, about 10 kg of greenish-white berries can be harvested. They have an excellent sweet taste and a well-defined aroma.

The mulberry variety Korolevskaya tolerates frosts well down to -30 ° C. It is also highly resistant to adverse conditions such as extreme heat, lack of moisture and poor soil composition.

White honey

A mulberry variety with white berries of a pleasant sweet taste without a pronounced aroma. They reach 3 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter. In the middle lane, the fruiting period of the mulberry variety Belaya Medovaya usually falls at the end of June or the beginning of July.

Berries of the White Honey variety are much larger than the fruits of most other mulberry varieties

Among the disadvantages of this variety, gardeners note the very thin skin of the fruit, which makes it impossible to transport them. The collected berries must be processed within 5-6 hours.

During breeding trials, the Belaya Medovaya variety demonstrated high winter hardiness. He easily tolerated frosts down to -30 ° C, even without additional shelter.

Staromoskovskaya

Staromoskovskaya is one of the few mulberry varieties that have male and female flowers on the same plant. Among its other advantages:

  • excellent sweet and sour taste and pleasant refreshing aroma of fruits,
  • good yield,
  • high winter hardiness,
  • undemanding to the composition of the soil.

The fruits of the mulberry variety Staromoskovskaya are colored black

Reviews: gardeners of the middle lane about mulberry

I live in Moscow. My mulberry is about 50 years old, bears fruit abundantly every year, by the way, about frosts, 40 degrees she easily tolerates.

I have been growing mulberry for 5 years. I brought it from the south. There she grew from a seed. At the time of landing, it was 50 cm. Now it is 2.5 m. Does not bear fruit. The upper branches used to be heavily frozen over. Less now. I look forward to harvesting every year. Dacha in the northwest near Volokolamsk.

I also have a white mulberry bush, I took it 4 years ago from Funtikov. Now it is about 1.7 meters high. Only the tips of the branches, 12-15 centimeters, are frozen this year. Below are living buds, and tiny ovaries are already visible on them. Last year I tried the first berries. The color is white, sugary sweet, small.

In the spring of 2015, I planted 2 mulberries side by side - Darkie and Black Baroness. They took root well and grew a lot in a year, but in winter they froze out - the Baroness completely, and the Dark-haired woman almost to the ground. In the next 2016, from the remaining hemp, 5–6 shoots, one and a half meter long, grew. In winter, they froze to about half. Since I do not like it when my trees grow as a broom, I left the most powerful shoot, cut out the rest. And this remaining shoot had to be shortened to a height of 80–90 cm, because the rest is frozen. This year, 5-6 new shoots over one and a half meters long have grown from this small stem. The topmost and most powerful has already grown 2m in length. Moreover, it also branches. Those. on the shoot of this year, there are already branches of side branches, some up to a meter long. Branches not only the central, but also the rest of the shoots of this year.

Every year mulberry is becoming an increasingly popular crop in central Russia. Of course, in the conditions of this region, it requires much more care than in the south. But all the efforts of gardeners will be more than rewarded with an abundant harvest of delicious and very healthy berries.

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Since childhood, I have been fond of growing various plants and have achieved considerable success in this matter. I would be very happy to share my experience.

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Mulberry (mulberry) is more often a dioecious tree or bush with a height of 1 to 15 m. There are both female and male plants. The monoecious mulberry is less common. The fruit is a fleshy polystyrene with a size of 1 to 5 cm. There are varieties with berries of white, dark purple and pink flowers.

Depending on the individual characteristics of the plant, fruiting can last as long as 2-3 weeks or more than a month. It occurs only on female specimens of the mulberry tree.

A healthy mulberry can grow and bear fruit from 150 to 300 years, depending on the type and development conditions.

Mulberry is actively cultivated in the southern regions; about 17 species of this plant are known. Over time, the distribution area of ​​the mulberry tree has moved far to the north. Some of its varieties are grown in many areas of the middle lane, for example, in the Moscow region, in the Urals and in Siberia. This is possible due to the plant's ability to quickly restore vegetative mass.

In the northern regions, varieties of white mulberry are grown (they do not take into account the color of the berries, but the shades of the plant bark). Specimens are planted with a light yellowish or light beige shade of the trunk and branches. At the same time, the fruits on the plant can be both dark and light, and the frost resistance of such a mulberry tree is higher.

  • "White Honey" is a high-yielding variety, resistant to low temperatures, with appetizing fruits, which is actively grown in the Moscow region. Not demanding on the soil, however, the berries themselves have a very short shelf life - about 6 hours.
  • "Black Baroness" is a tree with large berries (4 cm). The variety is high-yielding and frost-resistant.
  • "Vladimirskaya" is a red-fruited variety with dark purple fruits. Does not need pollinators, lends itself well to different types of formation. A distinctive feature of the variety is its high frost resistance. Suitable for growing in Siberia.


How to plant a mulberry correctly?

Mulberries can be planted in mid-spring or in the second half of autumn. Before planting, you should decide which form of plant is preferable - bush or standard. When planting boles, the distance between the plants should be at least 5 m, and the row spacing should be 4 m. The bush form can be grown in rows with a distance between bushes of 50 cm, and between rows - 3 m. Grafting allows you to get a harvest earlier than usual. The stock is selected from winter-hardy varieties.

Selection and preparation of soil and seedlings

An open sunny area, protected from gusty northerly winds, is suitable for mulberries. The pit for the plant is prepared in advance so that the prepared soil substrate has time to "stand". The size of the planting pit depends on the age and height of the mulberry seedlings. For an annual plant, a 70x70x60 cm depression is suitable.Soil preparation consists of extracting soil from the pit and mixing it with fertilizers. The following options for the soil substrate are possible:

  • 2 parts of deciduous soil, 1 part of humus or compost, 2 parts of sand, add 70 g of simple superphosphate and 30 g of potassium sulfate or potassium salt to the mixture
  • mineral additives can be replaced with 200 g of wood ash
  • the soil from the hole is mixed with humus in equal proportions.

The choice of mulberry seedlings should be approached responsibly. In order for the mulberry to please for many years, you need to consider the following:

  • All varieties are divided into self-fertile and cross-pollinated. In self-fertile varieties, pollination occurs between female and male flowers on the same tree. Cross-pollinated plants are female and male. Fruiting does not occur on male plants. When choosing a variety, you should carefully read the characteristics in the variety description.
  • In order not to acquire a male, you need to buy a plant in the nursery that has already borne fruit at least once.
  • You should not purchase a specimen grown much south of the area of ​​future growth. Southern seedlings, especially black mulberry, do not adapt well to more severe climates and often freeze out.
  • The plant chosen for planting must be healthy with a developed intact root system.
  • Always try to choose planting material in a professional nursery - they will offer already formed standard trees or bushes.

Planting rules and technology at different times of the year

When planting in spring in central Russia and Belarus, mulberry seedlings take root better. Step-by-step instructions for planting seedlings:

  • half of the soil mixture is removed from the pre-prepared planting pit
  • a mound is made of their remaining soil
  • a vertical peg is inserted in the center of the pit, which will serve as a support for the plant
  • a seedling is placed next to it in such a way that the roots are spread and descend along the slopes of the mound
  • the roots are covered with the removed soil mixture
  • the root collar should be sprinkled with earth a little - unlike fruit plants, this technique will not harm the mulberry
  • the soil is rammed
  • pour a large amount of water into the hole formed after planting to avoid air voids near the roots (for a 2-3-year-old seedling, 2 buckets of water will be needed)
  • tie a tree to a peg
  • mulch the hole with peat, grass or straw to retain moisture.

Watch the video: How to Grow Organic Mulberries From Bare Root


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