How to grow cherry in a biological way
The cultivation of the cherry tree (Prunus avium (L.) L., 1755) presupposes the careful selection of the climatic area and the nature of the soils. It is a plant that tolerates the cold and needs it during the winter but does not like humidity, the late spring frosts (which affect the flowering) and the rains (as well as hail) before the harvesting period which can cause the fruit to split . The cherry is therefore more suitable for hilly environments where these climatic conditions are more suitable. The cherry plantation is possible both in the autumn and at the end of winter, from February to April (more recommended). The recommended sixth is from a minimum of 6 x 6 to a 7 x 7 meters. It is a very long-lived plant that can reach considerable dimensions.
For the plant you can start from a plant with a bare root or earth bread. The one with the ground bread has the lowest risk of engraftment and, especially for the less experienced, involves a simpler job. Attention to the choice of rootstock (which must be suitable for the type of soil). The plant should be placed in a 70 x 70 x 70 cm hole. A good amount of mature manure or compost (8-10 kg) should be added to the bottom, a further layer of soil to allow the collar of the plant to reach the same level of the ground. The cherry tree must first be insured, for the first years of life, to a guardian who must be placed in the hole.
The soil on which to implant should be dissolved and fresh, well drained. The irrigation of the plant is important in the first years of life, then it will be necessary to ensure the water supply in the phase before the ripening of the fruits and in the post-harvest.
For the pruning technique it is advisable to follow the natural tendency of the plant by operating slight thinning only for the dry branches (dry pruning to be carried out in autumn) and to work a little aeration before the vegetative restart and after harvesting and in any case this technique goes made after the first year of life. Important is that the tools are perfectly disinfected because it is from the cuts that are generated diseases that lead to gummy and branching cancers.
For the harvest, considering that the cherry tree goes into production gradually after 3-5 years (also depending on the variety) it must be done when the drupes have reached the maturation but not excessive, otherwise the storability and transportability decreases drastically.
Even if the cherry tree is a very rustic plant some diseases can affect it especially if you have not respected the suitable range and the type of soil.
Among the fungal attacks, the monilia is the one that can give more worries in the presence of strong humidity, associated with fog and rain. If you have respected the aeration pruning (and the burning of plant parts) and other conditions should not create particular problems; if sulfur treatments are presented they can have a good effect. Among insects, cochineals and aphids (especially Myzus cerasi) can give problems especially in humid vintages and spring mists. These treatments are excellent with Neem Oil and Marseille soap.
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