Through the efforts of skillful breeders, the southern handsome apricot climbed far to the north. Previously, this could only be imagined in a fairy tale, but now the modern apricot variety is named after the Slavic god of love and abundance. Lel - generous and early, showered with a golden rain of juicy fruits that melt in the mouth.
For the successful spread of apricot to the north, various measures were taken. And they sowed the seeds of the fruits they liked in more severe conditions, and crossed varieties of common apricot, common in the south and in the Caucasus, with wild species, but the best results were obtained by grafting common apricot on a plum or cherry-plum stock. For apricot Lel plum was the most suitable stock. Due to grafting on a plum stem, it is possible to get rid of the preheating of the apricot bark, which is inevitable in conditions of high humidity.
Apricot branch Lel strewn with golden fruits
The variety was created at the end of the twentieth century, and since 2004 has been included in the State Register. It is recommended to grow Lel apricot in the Central region. The tree does not grow large, has a not very dense, wide crown. The variety is early-growing, in the third year after planting it begins to yield a crop of a very early ripening period. However, gardeners note the frequency of fruiting.
The skeleton of the tree is formed by smooth, straight, dark red shoots. The apricot begins to bloom before the leaves appear. The flowers are large, have five white-pink petals. There are five sepals, dark red in color. When blooming, a delicate sweetish aroma spreads around the trees.
Apricot flowers bloom before the leaves appear
The leaves are dark green, round-ovate, with a pointed tip, smooth, shiny. The fruits are round, orange, but if allowed to ripen completely, they are filled with an intense red blush. Covered with soft, weak down. The average weight of fruits is 18 g. Orange pulp, juicy, very tender, sweet and sour taste, received the highest tasting score.
If we compare the apricot Lel with another variety similar in terms of indicators, the Tsarsky apricot, then the yield of Lel is higher, on average 40 centners of juicy fragrant fruits are harvested per hectare. Apricot Tsarsky has an average yield of 30 c / ha. Lelya fruits ripen earlier and are slightly larger in size, 18 and 15 grams, respectively. The tasting score of Lel apricot is also higher, 5 versus 4 points of the Tsarsky variety.
Apricot Lel - a productive variety with rounded fruits
Apricot Lel is winter-hardy, shows an average resistance to klyasternosporiosis and practically does not suffer from aphid attacks, less than 1% is damaged.
Regardless of the variety, when planting apricots, the need of this crop for lighting and protection from sudden gusts of cold winds is taken into account. Ideal are the southern slopes or areas protected from the northern side by buildings, but not closer than 4–5 meters, so that snow does not accumulate and there is no stagnation of water. Apricots are planted, maintaining intervals of 4 meters in a row and 6 meters between rows, since the crown of an apricot grows quite wide, and these trees require intense lighting.
A few general guidelines for preparing the landing hole:
Apricot planting scheme
Together with the topsoil, it is recommended to lay your own turf on the drainage, only with the roots up. This will allow earthworms and microorganisms living in this layer to quickly spread through the soil, and plant residues, when overheated, will provide the seedling with organic fertilizers.
It is recommended to plant trees with an open root system in spring or early fall. When purchasing container seedlings, planting timing is not so important, since the earthen clod remains intact when planting the plant, and it is exposed to less stress.
When planting, it is important not to deepen the root collar of the tree.
You need to choose the right level of planting seedlings to get a strong and healthy tree.
The sequence of actions when planting an apricot seedling:
Experienced gardeners do not recommend forming an irrigation hole, as this can lead to stagnation of water or accumulation of snow, followed by stagnation, which will cause the bark to heat up.
Another important issue is the attitude towards fertilizers. Some successful ones add mineral fertilizers to the soil mixture when planting apricots, others prefer to add rotted horse manure, there are those who believe that an apricot's own fertile layer with the addition of river sand is enough to improve the mechanical properties of the soil. Apricot is not very picky about the composition of the soil. For him, warmth, illumination and high-quality drainage are more important. If desired, fertilization can be applied in the spring to avoid intensive growth of young shoots before winter frosts.
After planting, the seedling is pruned. For this, the strongest shoots are chosen, directed in different directions. The optimal angle of branching from the trunk for the formation of a small-sized crown 45-50about. Cut the lateral shoots to the outer bud so that they are about 1/3 shorter than the central conductor. In subsequent years, they maintain the tiered crown and try to prevent its thickening.
When pruning, remove:
To the delight of summer residents, apricot Lel is distinguished by its slow growth and does not require constant attention. In order for the trees to withstand winter frosts better, summer formative pruning is recommended. In this case, only strong shoots 50 cm long are left, the rest are cut into a ring. And in August, a powerful young shoot is chosen, bent in the direction of better lighting and tied with twine until next year.
Diagram of apricot crown formation
Another important measure to protect trees is whitewashing. It is carried out in late autumn and early spring, providing protection of the bark from winter frosts and recurrent spring frosts. It is recommended to add copper preparations to the whitewash to prevent fungal diseases. It is necessary to whitewash both the tree trunk and the main skeletal shoots.
In general, apricot Lel is a winter-hardy variety and calmly tolerates cold up to 25-30aboutC. No need to cover trees in winter. If, nevertheless, the frostbites damaged the bark, then in the spring in April-May they clean the injured area to healthy tissue and cover it with garden var.
To obtain a stable and good harvest of apricots, it is advised to plant at least two trees. The more planted, the more efficient the pollination.
Recommendations for the care of Lel apricot are similar to those for other northern apricots.
Apricot Lel is also convenient to grow because the variety is resistant to clasterosporium disease. If a lot of stone fruits grow on the site: cherries and cherries, and there is concern about the defeat of fungal diseases, it is recommended to carry out preventive spraying with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or Bordeaux liquid. The same drugs will prevent possible moniliosis.
It is advisable to constantly monitor the condition of the leaves on the apricot. If dark spots are found on them or if the dry leaves appear early, it is necessary to immediately collect the affected leaves and destroy, and the tree should be treated with copper preparations, and this should be done at least 2-3 times at intervals of 14 days.
Apricot varieties Lel have no pests. To prevent even rare lesions by aphids, you can spray with biotlin in early spring according to the instructions.
As the golden-haired mythical Lel threw sparks from his palms, causing love passion, so in a good year the apricot tree among zealous gardeners is covered with golden fruits, past which it is impossible to pass by indifferently.
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Apricots began to be grown on the territory of the country not so long ago, being guided by insufficiently favorable climatic conditions. Indeed, the varieties that existed then could not take root, as it should, even in the middle lane. Accordingly, it was impossible to get the harvest.
Recently, apricot varieties have begun to appear that can be safely grown in any region of the country, even in the conditions of Siberia and the Urals.
Thanks to the work of breeders, there are even such representatives of the crop that can perfectly withstand low temperatures and at the same time give a good harvest. These varieties include Lel apricot. It quickly became popular with Russian gardeners.
The variety was bred by breeders A.K. Skvortsov and L.A. Kramarenko in 1986. Included in the State Register of the Russian Federation in 2004. The variety is zoned for the southern and middle zone of the country, "Lel" can be attributed to the winter-hardy varieties, the tree tolerates frosts down to -30 degrees. In regions with a stable climate, the tree does not need shelter for the winter. Also apricot is resistant to high temperatures and drought.
It is characterized by annual fruiting, the plants are self-pollinated, which means that there is no need to plant a number of other varieties. But experienced gardeners still recommend planting several simultaneously flowering varieties on the site, this will positively affect the yield of all trees. Alyosha, Iceberg and Aquarius are considered good neighbors for the Lel variety. Apricot grows rather slowly, which makes it very easy to care for. An adult tree is small in size, it can reach a height of 3.5 meters. The crown is compact, not prone to thickening. The leaves are ovoid and are dark green in color. Toothed at the edges, smooth to the touch from above, slightly pubescent below. With the onset of autumn, they are painted in various shades of red.
Apricot "Lel" begins to bloom in late April, early May, depending on weather conditions. Flowers are medium, single, up to 3mm in diameter. They have five petals, they are painted in a pale pink color and have an unsurpassed aroma. During flowering, the variety can withstand up to -1 degrees of frost, which is a huge plus, because frosts in central Russia are by no means uncommon.
Fruits are small in size, weighing 20 grams on average. Apricots have an oval, slightly flattened shape. The skin is dense, smooth, shines in the sun. "Blush" on it is a rarity. The pulp is juicy, tender, but firm, colored orange. The apricot tastes sweet, with a slight hint of sourness. Fruit tasting score 5 points. The stone is large, the core is sweetish. The seed itself occupies up to 15% of the fruit volume; when fully ripe, it separates well from the pulp.
Besides, apricots are very healthy. The "Lel" variety contains a large amount of useful substances such as: iodine, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The fruits are indicated for eating with iron deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency and disorders of the cardiovascular system. Also, the fruits are rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, H, PP.
Apricots ripen quite early, it is not necessary to expect record yields from the variety, but fruiting is stable, year-round. The tree begins to bear fruit 3-4 years after grafting or planting a seedling. It is mixed by type.
The fruits can be eaten fresh, they are also suitable for making dried fruits. Delicious preserves, jam, and puree for babies are made from apricot varieties "Lel". Also, the fruits are suitable for compotes.
TO disadvantages varieties can be attributed not too high yield of 25-30 kg per plant and small fruits, which reduces the commercial quality.