Planting and caring for cherries in autumn are part of the year-round complex of works and are an integral part of them. They are just as important as pest spraying or pruning, for example. Only regular implementation of all seasonal work on the care of cherries can guarantee a good harvest.
And autumn work is doubly important, because it depends on them how the plant overwinters, how much power it will receive and how early it will enter the next year during the growing season. It is in the fall that the foundations of the future harvest are laid.
Rules for caring for cherries in autumn, preparation for winter
Autumn for a gardener is not a reason to rest and relax. After harvesting, there are still many warm sunny days, and you need to try to use them as efficiently as possible. And there is really a lot to do.
The importance of autumn cherry care
Not only the future harvest, but also the life of the tree itself, directly depends on how fully and efficiently the autumn work will be carried out. After all, winter is ahead - the most difficult period for any plant, and even more so for such as sweet cherry. During fruiting, and especially when it is abundant, the tree spends a lot of energy, therefore, after harvesting, it is severely depleted. For a short autumn period, he needs to restore his energy reserve as much as possible in order to go into hibernation, like a fully charged battery. This will allow the tree to winter well and begin the growing season calmly in the spring.
If the plant does not have time to prepare for winter, does not have time to gain strength, winter will exhaust it even more or kill it completely. In spring, such plants start growing late, are late in flowering or do not bloom at all. Therefore, the gardener's task is to do everything to help the cherry as quickly and fully “recharge” before the winter cold.
What work do gardeners have to do in the fall
The complex of autumn works for the care of cherries is quite extensive. It is imperative to carry out the following activities:
- sanitary pruning;
- whitewashing of boles;
- cleaning, weeding and loosening of the trunk circle;
- water charging irrigation;
- top dressing.
In addition, some varieties are sheltered for the winter.
It is also worth noting that the most important part of the work is carried out in the fall - the planting of young cherry seedlings. This is done mainly in the southern regions - in the more northern regions, seedlings are planted in the spring.
Planting cherries in autumn
In regions with mild winters, the autumn planting of young seedlings is considered the main one. This is due to the fact that before the onset of cold weather the tree manages to take root well and tolerates winter without problems. Where winter starts early, there is not enough time for the seedling to adapt, and the plant may die.
When is it better to plant cherries: in autumn or spring
Spring planting has several benefits. This is especially true in regions with a cool climate. A plant planted in spring with this planting option has enough time to be guaranteed to take root and to meet the winter cold without any problems.
In hot regions, on the contrary, high temperatures create problems. In this case, the plant planted in spring will constantly suffer from high temperatures, sunburn and lack of moisture. In autumn, all these harmful factors are absent.
When can you plant cherries in autumn
You need to plant cherries several weeks before the onset of constant frosts. The timing will greatly depend on the region, however, on average, this is the period from the last decade of September to the end of the second decade of October. In the Moscow region, Central regions and Southern Siberia, it is better to focus on the end of September; in more southern regions, this can be done later.
Choosing a place for planting cherries
Most cherry varieties are self-fertile. Such plants need a pollinator to set fruit. Therefore, seedlings are planted, as a rule, in a group of several trees. The only exception can be a situation when a young plant is planted with already existing adults, or pollinators grow in close proximity, for example, behind a fence.
Cherry tolerates frosts well (especially its winter-hardy varieties), but does not like the cold wind very much. You should avoid planting it on the north side of the site. She needs sunlight and water to grow well. At the same time, excess moisture is also harmful, therefore, places with periodic flooding or high groundwater levels should be avoided.
This plant grows well on light loamy and sandy loam soils with neutral acidity. Heavy clay areas are not suitable for planting.
How to choose the right cherry seedling for planting
Cherry is planted with seedlings of the second year of life, less often with annuals. When choosing a planting material, you need to pay attention to the following:
- The seedling must have a clearly visible grafting site in the lower part of the trunk. At the junction of the rootstock and the scion, the difference in the thickness of the trunk is necessarily visible. If there are no traces of inoculation, then the plant was grown from a seed (this is a seedling). In this case, there is a high probability that all varietal traits will not be preserved and a non-varietal plant (wild) will grow from the seedling.
- The seedling must have a well-developed main trunk (conductor) and lateral branches. This will allow you to correctly form the crown of the future tree.
- The root system should be well developed: have 2-3 main roots and many small ones. There should be no rotten and dry roots among the roots.
Important! When transporting, it is imperative to wrap the roots of seedlings with wet burlap.
Cherry planting scheme
Cherry seedlings can be planted in a row, in a checkerboard pattern or in any way. It is important to observe the distance between adjacent plantings, it should be at least 3 m. At the same distance, trees should be located from the walls of houses, outbuildings or deaf high fences.
How to plant cherries in the fall
- Planting holes for planting cherries in the fall should be prepared 1.5-2 months before the planned planting date.
- Pits are dug at a depth of about 0.8 m, their diameter is 0.6–0.7 m.
- The removed earth is mixed with several buckets of humus and 0.2 kg of superphosphate. During the time that will pass before the moment of planting, the soil of the walls and bottom of the pit will have time to be saturated with air, and the excavated soil will turn into a nutrient mixture, which will fill the young seedling.
- Before planting, a stake is driven into the bottom of the pit - a support to which the planted tree will be tied.
- An earthen mound is poured at the bottom of the pit.
- A seedling is placed on its top, while the root collar should be flush with the ground.
- The roots are covered with nutritious soil, compacting it a little in order to prevent the formation of voids.
- After falling asleep, an earthen roller is formed around the seedling, limiting the near-trunk circle. It will prevent water from spreading when watering.
- Pour 3 buckets of water under each tree, and then mulch the soil with sawdust or peat.
What can be planted next to cherries
Sweet cherry is a rather strong antagonist and does not tolerate being close to other trees or shrubs if they are very close. Another cherry or its closest relative, a cherry, will feel best next to it. Other trees will simply interfere with cross-pollination.
Of other cultures, grapes get along well with it. The black elderberry also feels good next to it, so many gardeners plant it specifically as protection against aphids. Flowers grow quietly in the root zone: nasturtiums, primrose, tulips. But berry bushes should not be planted, since the powerful root system of the sweet cherry will simply strangle them.
How to properly prune cherries in the fall
Pruning is an important part of caring for cherries. Pruning correctly can prolong the life of the tree, significantly increase the quantity and quality of the crop, and rid the plant of dry, broken and diseased branches.
The importance of pruning cherries in the fall
Autumn sanitary pruning helps the tree to get rid of old, diseased and dry branches. In addition, shoots that do not produce fruit are removed. Therefore, the tree retains more strength for the development of fruit-bearing ones.
When to prune cherries: fall or spring
Sanitary pruning is carried out twice a season: in the fall and in the spring. All other types of pruning - in the spring, before the start of sap flow.
Terms of autumn pruning of cherries
Cherry should be pruned after the leaves fall. Usually it is done before the end of September. If it was not possible to carry out it within the specified time, it is better to postpone the procedure until spring.
How to prune cherries in the fall: scheme
Autumn sanitary pruning aims to remove dry, broken and diseased branches from the tree. Therefore, the following branches are cut:
- damaged by birds;
- having traces of disease (fungi, swelling, growths).
Important! In addition to those listed, vertically growing branches are removed, on which there are never fruits - tops.
Cherry care in autumn
Autumn is the time to clean up the garden. Many activities at this time allow you to avoid big problems in the future, so you should not postpone or neglect them.
How to feed cherries in autumn
Adult cherry trees in the fall are fed once every 3 years. Usually, rotted manure or humus is used for this, introducing it into the soil to the depth of a shovel bayonet when digging near-trunk circles. Organic matter can be supplemented with superphosphate, which is scattered over the surface in wet weather at the rate of 0.2 kg per 1 sq. m.
Important! You do not need to use nitrogen fertilizers in the fall, so as not to stimulate the growth of shoots.
Pre-winter watering of cherries
The so-called moisture-charging irrigation makes sense to do if the autumn was warm and dry. About 5 buckets of water are poured under each tree shortly before the onset of frost. Such a measure significantly increases winter hardiness, and the tree suffers less from spring frosts.
Loosening the trunk circle
Keeping the trunk circle of a tree clean means significantly reducing the risk of pests on it. Since most of them hibernate right there, under the tree, digging up the ground in the fall significantly reduces their chances of surviving in the winter. Digging also contributes to the saturation of the soil with air, and the air cushion is an additional heat-insulating layer for the plant's root system.
Processing cherries in the fall from diseases and pests
The main preventive spraying of trees is done in early spring and summer. In autumn, the trees are sprayed with a concentrated (5%) urea solution. This is a fairly effective remedy for diseases and pests, for the destruction of which not only the trees themselves, but also the trunk circles, are treated.
Do I need to whitewash cherries in the fall
Whitewashing not only looks beautiful. It is also a hygienic, preventive and protective procedure.
The importance and purpose of whitewashing cherry trunks
Whitewashing is also a way to protect trees from pests living in cracked bark. Whitewashed trunks are less susceptible to sunburn, and frost cracks are less likely to appear on them. They are not touched by hares. Garden trees are whitened after leaf fall before the onset of frost (late October - early November).
How can you whiten cherries
The easiest way to whitewash is to use a solution of ordinary slaked lime. This is the cheapest option, but also the most unstable. After 2-3 rains, the whitewash will simply be washed off. You can also buy special whitewash mixtures containing wood glue (PVA) from the store. Such solutions are more durable.
The best result is given by whitewashing with special acrylic paint. It is easy to apply, does not wash off well, and has a bright white color. In addition, it is also breathable - it is very important that air does not stop access to the tree bark. Alas, this option is not cheap.
How to whitewash cherries in autumn
You can whitewash trees with a spray gun, a brush, or just a bunch of grass. The height of the whitewash should be approximately equal to the level of human height (160-170 cm), since the thickness of the snow cover should also be taken into account. Therefore, not only the stem is whitened, but also the lower skeletal branches.
Cleaning the garden
Cleanliness is the key to health, this statement is also true for the garden. The cleaner the garden is, the less shelter the garden pests will have, so their chances of surviving the winter will be much less.
Protection of cherries from rodents
For young trees, hares, who like to gnaw bark from branches in winter, are a great danger. For protection, the trunks are wrapped around and tied with spruce branches.
How to insulate cherries for the winter
Mature cherry trees do not cover. The large crown size and height simply will not allow this. But sheltered from frost, young seedlings will survive the winter much better.
Mulching the trunk circle
Mulching is carried out after water-charging irrigation and before the onset of cold weather. Usually rotted manure or peat is used for this, covering the trunk circle with it by a thickness of 5 mm. This measure increases frost resistance, improves tree growth.
How to shelter young cherry seedlings for the winter
To do this, you can make a frame structure or simply build a semblance of a bag of covering material. The crown needs to be collected in a bunch.
The bag must be carefully put on from above, fixed and sprinkled with earth from below.
How to insulate cherry trunks from frost
The easiest way is to insulate the trunks with spruce branches. And you can also wrap them with any material that allows air to pass through, for example, agrofiber.
How to protect cherries from winter winds using frame structures
For small trees, frame shelters can also be used. They are collected from boards or bars, and then covered with covering material.
Such a shelter protects well from cold wind and precipitation.
Nuances of preparing cherries for winter in different regions
Sweet cherry is a southern plant. And the closer to the north to grow it, the more care it will take.
How to prepare cherries for winter in the Moscow region
The climate of the Moscow region is quite changeable. In recent years, frosts of thirty degrees in this region have become a rarity, however, you need to be prepared for them. For cherries grown in the Moscow region, all agrotechnical work is mandatory. The only exception can be water-charging irrigation, since autumn is rarely dry in this region. In addition, it is worth limiting autumn baits, so as not to provoke the growth of young shoots.
It is advisable to cover trees for the winter, young completely (or covered with snow), adults - as far as possible. To save yourself from this problem, you can try to graft cherries on cherries. This will significantly increase winter hardiness and reduce tree growth.
Preparing cherries for winter in the central regions of Russia
The central region of Russia is not too different from the Moscow region, so all measures for preparing cherries for winter are similar. In these regions, it is possible to completely abandon the partial shelter for the winter of adult trees and confine oneself to whitewashing the trunk and lower skeletal branches.
For protection from rodents, the barrel can be additionally wrapped with breathable inedible material.
Features of preparing cherries for winter in the Volga region
Winters in the Volga region are more frosty than in the Moscow region. Here young trees must be covered. They remove the shelter in early spring.
How to prepare cherries for winter in Siberia and the Urals
In order to keep the cherries intact in winter, cherries are grown in these regions inclined, bending them in a northerly direction.This method allows for the winter to completely bend the tree to the ground and cover it with straw and spruce branches. In the spring, the plant is returned to its original position.
When to remove shelter from cherries in spring
Too early release of cherries from their winter shelter can cause frostbite. But you should not delay with this either, otherwise the tree will simply adhere. The best time is when the snow has completely melted. At this time, there are no longer severe frosts, and the soil has not yet been warmed up by the spring sun.
Planting and caring for cherries in the fall is just a fraction of the many work done in the garden at this time of year, which is very important for gardeners. Not only the future harvest, but also the health, and in many cases the life of the tree, depends on the quality of the work carried out during this period.