Medlar - fragrant jam on a branch
Medlar is a very beautiful, deciduous tree (or shrub) with sweet, edible, but rather hard fruits. Long dark green leaves of medlar, on open branches, can decorate any garden. The fruits of medlar contain a large amount of substances necessary for man and, in addition, they are extremely tasty.
In the taxonomy of plants, medlar belongs to the pink family (Rosaceae), where it is highlighted in a separate genus of Mushmula (Mespilus) The genus includes 3 species of medlar, of which the species is most famous. Medlar (Mespilus germanica) or ordinary.
Medlar has many synonyms. So, the loquat German in the Caucasus is called Caucasian, real, chishkovym (cup) tree, chishka. In other areas, the name of the cone, ezgil, etc.
Description of Medlar German
Although medlar is called German, the real homeland of the culture is the mountain slopes in northern Iran, areas of southern and southeast Asia Minor.
German medlar - deciduous tree up to 4-8 m tall, whose life expectancy is about 50 years. It attracts in summer with an unusual green crown and for its beauty is assigned to the group of decorative-deciduous plants used in the decor of parks, rest corners in summer cottages.
The root system of the medlar Germanic is branched, but superficial, is located in the upper 60-70 cm layer of soil, is well developed. The trunk is straight, the branches are curved, form a wide spreading crown. The bark of the trunk and skeletal branches of gray-brown. The branches and trunk of wild forms are dotted with small thorns.
In the medlar German at the ends of the shoots of the previous year, single flowers form, which begin to bloom in May-June. The flowers are regular with a white or pinkish corolla, up to 3 cm in diameter. Very similar to quince flowers.
The fruits of German medlar have a round apple-shaped shape, with a diameter of 2-5 cm. In appearance, they often resemble the fruits of large rose hips. The peel of the fruit is brownish or brownish-red in color.
The pulp of ripened fruits is sweet, slightly sour, tart with an apple-quince taste. Harvest for eating after the first frost or earlier, laying for long-term storage. Frozen fruits acquire a sweet taste and lose astringency. Fruits on branches remain until severe frosts, and in mild winters and until spring.
Some gardeners compare the taste of the pulp of ripened fruits with applesauce and call it fragrant jam on a branch.
Growing German medlar does not require special techniques when planting seedlings and caring for trees.
The spread of medlar German
In natural conditions, medlar Germanic grows well and develops in countries with hot summers and warm, slightly frosty (even better - frost-free) in winter. However, shrubs and trees of culture have a fairly good frost resistance. In the wild, the loquat German is widespread in the Balkans, in the Transcaucasus, in Armenia, Georgia, South Ossetia, and Azerbaijan. It is found in wild and wild Ukraine in southern and western Ukraine, in amateur gardens in the warm regions of Moldova, and even in the Baltic states.
In the Russian Federation, it grows in natural conditions in the light forests of southern Crimea, the Caucasus region, and in the Caspian regions. Given the beneficial properties of medlar German, more and more gardeners began to cultivate cultivated varieties of medlar in the dachas and adjoining areas.
Why do they love loquat?
The benefits of medlar for the body have been proven for thousands of years in food and for the treatment of many diseases. The loquat contains a rather high content of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K, PP and others), trace elements, including iodine, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese, which are responsible for human immunity and the work of the thyroid gland, pancreas, adrenal glands.
The fruits of German medlar are used in the production of jam, jams, marshmallows, preserves, marmalade, juices, compotes, wine. The fruits of medlar are low-calorie and are used in weight loss diets.
At the same time, medlar must be carefully introduced into the diet, especially for children. It irritates the gastric mucosa and is contraindicated in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, accompanied by high acidity, in inflammatory processes of the pancreas.
Medlar can not be used in food for allergic reactions to increased amounts of vitamins and other substances found in the fruits of German medlar.
How to grow medlar Germanic in the open ground?
As an ornamental plant, medlar Germanic grows everywhere in the southern regions. In recent years, breeders have obtained garden forms that can form fruit crops in fairly cold growing conditions.
German medlar grows and bears fruit in open ground in all southern and nearby areas, the climate of which corresponds to the requirements of culture. It forms edible fruits that are distinguished by high palatability. Trees have high frost resistance, withstand frosts up to -30ºС. Some varieties grow in the middle lane.
Medlar German large photophilous, in shady places feels oppressed and poorly developed.
Given the surface root system, trees need watering. They can not stand the proximity of groundwater, so watering should be moderate.
German medlar is planted in late autumn in October-November.
Soil preparation and outdoor planting
The optimal soil type for medlar Germanic is slightly acidic (pH = 5-6), fertile, loose, air- and water-permeable soils (sandy loamy chernozems, soddy, humus and others).
To plant medlar seedlings, a planting pit of 40-50x40-50 cm is prepared in advance. Depth is up to 70-80 cm. The final size of the planting pit should exceed 1/3 of the root system of the seedling. Set aside the topsoil to prepare the soil mixture. Place drainage 20-25 cm high from expanded clay, crushed stone, broken bricks, small stones at the bottom of the landing pit so that the water does not stagnate in the zone of the root system during prolonged heavy rains.
To the separated upper layer of soil (if it is heavy in physical terms) add humus or mature compost and sand in a 1: 1 ratio. Mix well, add nitrophosphate (70-80 g / well) or other full mineral fertilizer based on phosphorus and potassium, respectively, at 40 and 30 g / well.
The technology of planting seedlings is no different from other fruit crops. During planting, it is necessary to monitor the location of the root neck of the medlar German. Its penetration into the soil negatively affects the growth and development of the tree. The root collar must be at the level of the soil.
It is necessary to drive a stake into the landing hole and tie a medlar seedling with a soft ribbon or wide twine to it through the figure eight so that the trunk does not bend. After watering, the soil around the seedling is mulched with humus, horse peat, and compost.
German medlar belongs to self-pollinated crops, but it is better to plant several seedlings (2-3) in a separate curtain. When planting in a mixed garden, seedlings are immediately placed in a designated place. Culture does not tolerate transplants.
Given the shape of the crown (it is quite spreading) between the trees leave an interval of 3-4 m. When choosing a place, you need to take into account that the medlar does not tolerate the proximity of walnut and apricot. The rest of the crops is tolerant, especially apple, pear, quince.
Outdoor loquat care
The long vegetative period of medlar German leads to depletion of the soil, therefore, the culture needs fertilizing, which begins literally from the second year of life of plants in a permanent place. Young plants are fed after 3-4 weeks, adults (with fruiting) 2-3 times during the growing season.
Medlar is fed with organic fertilizers in spring or autumn. Fresh mullein is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 8. If soil fertility is low, then additionally, during flowering, they are fed with phosphorus fertilizers, and during the period of active growth and development of fruits, potash fertilizers.
Medlar positively responds to top dressing with ash and microelements, the solutions of which can be applied to the soil or by the foliar method through spraying. Since the leaf plate of the medlar is smooth, soap or a special adhesive must be added to the nutrient solution. Solid fertilizers are applied under watering. After watering, mulching of the soil is mandatory.
Inside the crown, thickening branches are cut and requiring sanitary cutting (dry, sick, growing inwards, curves). In the first 2 years after planting a 2-3-year-old medlar seedling, skeletal branches of the first order are cut by 1/2, the next 2 years by 1/4. The lateral shoots of the 2nd order in this period are shortened to 20-25 cm. In the future, mainly sanitary pruning and pruning of branches that extrude beyond the main volume of the crown are performed.
Methods of propagation of medlar German
German medlar is propagated by seeds and vegetatively - by cuttings, layering, root shoots and inoculation.
Medlar seed propagation
With seed propagation of medlar, the varietal characters of the mother plant in the culture are preserved.
Condition: the seeds must be fresh, taken out of the fruit before sowing in the soil. Dried bones reduce germination several times. The seeds of medlar in the German fall in late October - early November are planted in the soil. During the winter, they undergo a natural stratification and rise the next year.
You can grow medlar seedlings at home (in a pot or other container) by stratifying the seeds in the refrigerator and plant 20-30 cm of the plant in the open ground in spring. Further care for seedlings and adult fruiting trees of German medlar is the same as for other crops.
Medlar propagation by layering
German medlar is well propagated by layering. In autumn, an annual branch is pinned to the soil with a V-shaped hook in a dug groove. On the soil side, cuts are made in several places on the cortex, which contributes to faster rooting. The layer is watered with a root solution, sprinkled with earth, mulched.
The soil, with the medlar layer dug out, should be constantly moist, but do not flood it. Rooting lasts up to 2 years. The lay of medlar forms a well-developed root system and several shoots. After rooting, it is separated from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place that does not require transplants. A transplant of the separated plant is carried out in the autumn period after the leaves fall.
Propagation of medlar by vaccination
The selected variety or hybrid of medlar German can be grafted onto a pear, quince, apple tree, hawthorn. Vaccination method: for bark, in a split.
You can try to instill a German medlar on a plum, the fruits acquire an unusual, very pleasant aftertaste. In turn, frost-resistant medlar German is used as a stock for pears.
Protection of medlar from pests and diseases
German medlar is extremely rarely affected by pests and diseases. Gardeners note that of the pests of medlar, aphids are damaged by scabies. Of the diseases - fungal diseases, including soot fungus, brown rust. Damage by other pests and diseases is manifested in individual cases and practically does not harm plants.
For prophylaxis, trees and shrubs of medlar German are treated with 3% Bordeaux liquid after dropping leaves in autumn and spring until buds open. It is better not to use other chemical treatments, but to apply, if necessary, biologics:
- bioinsecticides - actofit, boverin, lepidocide, bitoxybacillin and others.
- biofungicides - mycosan, trichodermin, phytolavin, phytosporin, glyocladin and others.
Varieties of medlar German for growing in the country
In appropriate climatic conditions in the territory of the Russian Federation, the CIS countries and other states, the following varieties of German medlar are most acceptable and widespread: Sweet Dracheva, Karadag, Goitkhovskaya, Sentesha Rozha, Sochinskaya, Khvamli. All fruits of varietal forms of medlar German are large from 3 to 5 cm in diameter.
Of seedless varieties of medlar, Apirena (Seedless) can be recommended, but its fruits are small and Huge Evreinova, which has fruits up to 8 cm in diameter.
Of the other varieties of medlar known for many years of testing, gardeners recommend bushy with large fruits ‘Dutsh’, upright trees with small fruits ‘Nottingham’ and ‘Royal’. All varieties are distinguished by aromatic, fruits with an unusually pleasant taste.