Features of planting and care for Sweet 16 apple trees
Among the many varieties of apple trees cultivated by domestic gardeners, the American winter variety called Sweet Sixteen is a novelty. Excellent technical and operational properties of the culture, in particular, excellent winter hardiness and strong immunity to diseases, allow it to grow in almost all climatic zones. What are the main advantages of the apple tree, and what is the agricultural technique of its cultivation - further in the article.
Apple Tree Sweet 16 is a winter cultivar native to North America. The plant is quite tall, has a rounded crown of low density with medium-thick shoots. The green mass of the variety is represented by numerous leaves of a traditional green color, elongated with small notches along the edges.
The variety belongs to winter, therefore, begins to bloom quite late in the second half of May. At this time, small pink-white flowers with a pleasant, pronounced aroma form on the plant. After flowering, the culture forms aesthetically attractive fruits.
The fruits of Sweet 16 are of medium size, weighing 100-140 g, regular, conical-shaped apples, the main color of which is green-yellow, the cover color is bright red with a blurred blush on almost the entire surface. The peel of the fruit is very smooth, dense, shiny, not prone to cracking, has a characteristic waxy coating.
The pulp is yellowish in color, coarse-grained, crunchy, with a high juice content and a pronounced aroma of cherries. The taste of apples is sweet with a slight hint of acid, spicy, a bit like tarragon, but without a sharp aftertaste.
Did you know? According to the biological description, the apple tree belongs to the Rosaceae family. The closest relatives of the culture are peach, plum, cherry and, even, raspberries.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- Despite the fact that Sweet 16 is a novelty in the field of domestic gardening, many have already managed to fall in love with it for a large number of significant advantages, in particular:
- strong immunity and increased resistance to scab;
- excellent frost resistance;
- excellent taste and marketability of the fruit;
- good yields;
- the ability to grow apple trees in cool climates.
Since the described variety of culture today is only gaining its popularity in the territory of our state, many of its characteristics are in the testing stage and are not fully understood.
- Those who were engaged in cultivating the plant, among its shortcomings, note:
- unconventional spicy taste, which many consumers may not like too much;
- not fully understood the level of plant resistance to fungal ailments.
Landing and preparation for it
Apple-tree Sweet 16 is characterized by high growth intensity, for the full development of which it is necessary to provide comfortable conditions and a lot of space.
Winter apple varieties also include:
Saplings of the described variety are allowed to plant, both in autumn and early spring. Autumn planting can be carried out in the second half of October or a month before the onset of the alleged frosts.
Video: Apple tree planting instructions
In spring, seedlings are recommended to be planted after the ground has completely thawed and warmed up. When conducting spring planting, it is necessary to prepare the site for the plant in the fall: carefully dig it up, add mineral or organic products.
Choosing the best seedling when buying
The key to good fruiting and a rich crop is the planting of high-quality, healthy seedlings. Preference should be given to an annual plant, which can take root much faster than two- or three-year-old trees.
Experienced gardeners advise purchase planting material in specialized stores or nurseries that guarantee the variety of culture.
When buying, you need to pay attention to:
- Root shoots. A healthy seedling has strong, sufficiently elastic, “living” roots, among which there are no dry, weak, rotten or with the presence of root diseases.
- Koru. Smooth, elastic, uniform bark color without roughness and wrinkling indicates a good quality of planting material. With a small incision in the bark, the wood beneath it should be green, fresh and juicy.
Important! If there are a lot of leaves on a young seedling, then before planting it is necessary to remove most of the foliage so that the plant can take root more quickly and not waste nutrients on the green mass.
Choosing a place to plant an apple tree
Since the apple tree Sweet 16 is a native of North America, it prefers to grow on open, well-lit, sunny areas without drafts and cold winds.
The culture has a fairly branched root system, so that its roots do not suffer from excess moisture, the groundwater in the area should be at least 2.5 m. Also, the place must be chosen so that after spring thawing of snow near the plant does not accumulate and not a large amount of moisture was retained.
Very often, the underlying cause of the apple pinnacle is near-ground water
The technology of planting an American beauty is practically no different from the algorithm for planting other varieties of apple trees. Before planting, first of all, it is recommended to take care of the preparation of the soil and the pit. When spring planting in the fall, you should carefully dig the soil, make a little humus or compost, dig a hole in the size of 70 × 100 cm.
In spring, the seedling is planted according to this algorithm:
- at the bottom of a previously dug hole, lay out a drainage layer, up to 8 cm high, using expanded clay, pebbles or broken brick;
- a layer of fertile soil, which is prepared from garden soil, humus and river sand, is covered with top of the drainage;
- a small mound is made from the soil, into which a wooden peg is inserted, which is necessary for tying the seedling;
- a plant is placed on top of an earthen mound, gently leveling the root processes;
- Sprinkle the seedling with a layer of fertile soil so that the stem of the plant remains on the surface by 5-8 cm;
- the earth around the near-stem circle is rammed, abundantly watered with water, defended in the sun;
- the soil around the seedling is mulched with a layer of straw, hay or sawdust. The seedling is tied to a peg.
Fig. 1 - the process of planting a seedling, Fig. 2 - a correctly planted seedling
In order for the planted plant to quickly take root, he should provide timely and proper care.
Caring for the Sweet 16 variety does not require the use of any labor-intensive methods, and boils down to traditional measures: watering, top dressing, pruning, and preventive treatment of ailments and pests.
In the first year of growth, the crop needs regular and plentiful wateringwhich must be carried out under normal climatic conditions - once every 14 days, with drought - once every 7 days. It is especially important to provide the plant with the right amount of moisture in the flowering phase, the formation of ovaries and after harvesting.
Experts recommend practicing radical hydration, in which:
- a shallow ditch is torn around the plant;
- poured into a recess of water, approximately 25-30 liters per tree;
- after the moisture is completely absorbed, the ditch is covered with soil.
It is good if irrigation measures are combined with loosening the soil and removing weeds. For irrigation, you need to use protected, not cold water, ambient temperatures.
For a good, full-fledged development of its culture several times a season should be nourished with mineral and organic preparations. In early spring, as a dressing, it is recommended to use a urea solution or nitrogen-containing agents that activate the growth of green mass.
Important! Top dressing, which is carried out in the fall, can improve the winter-hardy qualities of the culture and strengthen the immune system, which, in turn, makes it possible to perfectly transfer even very cold winters.
In the flowering phase, the apple tree is fed with a mixture of water, bird droppings, superphosphate, urea and manure. A third portion of fertilizer is recommended to be applied in the fall, after harvesting the fruit. At this time, the plant responds well to superphosphate mixtures or organics in the form of compost.
Sweet 16 is a tall tree, therefore, to provide a compact, decorative, aesthetically attractive appearance and increase productivity, it must be trimmed regularly. In the first year, all branches of the seedling are recommended to be shortened by 1/3 of the length. Such events will allow the formation of the crown and contribute to its proper development with further growth.
Besides, annually experts advise sanitary pruningduring which it is necessary to remove damaged, broken, dry, diseased or too elongated shoots. All procedures must be carried out in early spring, before the plant begins sap flow. After trimming, the places of cuts must be disinfected by treating them with garden varieties or crushed charcoal.
Despite the fact that Sweet 16 has excellent frost resistance, it is recommended to protect young seedlings for the winter from the cold. To do this, before wintering, the soil around the trunk circle should be carefully dug up, abundantly watered, mulched with a layer of hay or straw, and the tree trunk should be wrapped with natural, "breathing" insulation material.
Did you know? The world leader in apple cultivation is the People’s Republic of China, which collects about 44.5 million tons of fruit per year. Russia ranks ninth with 1.5 million tons of fruit per year.
Also it is very important to protect the plant from rodents, in particular, mice and hares, which can greatly harm the apple tree and even lead to its complete death. In pest control, special repellers, baits should be used, or the tree should be fenced with a net.
Diseases and pests of the variety
The described apple variety shows excellent immunity against scab. But, in violation of agricultural regulations or in adverse climatic conditions, it may suffer from other ailments, in particular, powdery mildew, fruit rot, cytosporosis. High fungicidal preparations of a wide spectrum of action, for example, Chorus, Skor, have high effectiveness in the fight against diseases.
Simple preventative measures will help prevent the development of diseases and pests:
- regular loosening of the soil;
- weed weeding;
- timely destruction of vegetation residues on the site;
- wood processing with special preparations.
Twice a season, it is necessary to spray the tree with Bordeaux liquid or a solution of copper sulfate. The first treatment is recommended to be carried out before the flowering phase of the apple tree, the second - after the formation of the ovaries.
Among pests, the greatest danger to culture is spider mite, caterpillar, codling moth. To get rid of parasites, you should spray the plant with insecticide solutions: Inta Vir, Karbofos, Aktara, etc.
Harvesting and storage
Variety Sweet 16 belongs to the category of winter, eating fruits from which begins in the second half of September. Harvesting is recommended to be carried out in dry, warm weather, since fruits picked in wet weather are poorly preserved and quickly deteriorate.
Collected fruits should be stored in wooden or plastic boxes, in several tiers, each shifting with a thin layer of straw or hay. Apples are perfectly stored in a dry, well-ventilated, cool place at a temperature of 0 ... + 2 ° C and a relative humidity of 80–90%. Under such optimal conditions, they are able to lie without loss of taste and marketability for about two months.
Sweet Sixteen is a novelty of domestic gardening, and still some of its characteristics are in the testing stage. But, according to gardeners, the apple tree shows excellent yield results, high winter hardiness, is able to withstand scab, and also please the fruit with excellent taste and marketability.