Almonds are a popular food product with a pleasant taste, enriched with a lot of nutrients. The plant itself is a medium-sized tree 6 m high, belongs to the genus Plum, the Pink family.
Varieties of the shrub type do not exceed 2 m. Despite the fact that everyone is used to considering almonds as nuts, according to botanical descriptions it is a stone fruit. It is grown commercially in many countries. Let's take a closer look at what kind of plant it is - an almond, is it very capricious, is it possible to grow it in your summer cottage.
- Almonds - what kind of plant is it, description and photo of the almond tree
- How almonds grow - let's talk about the correct planting of a seedling
- Features of caring for common almonds
- Useful properties of almonds
Almonds - what kind of plant is it, description and photo of the almond tree
The almond plant is a low-growing deciduous tree or bush that belongs to the subgenus Almond. The culture has long been cultivated in Turkey, Iran, and the countries of Central Asia. Common almonds are most often cultivated, although there are more than 40 varieties. The life span of the tree reaches 100 years.
The plant has a strong root system that protects against drought. Pointed lanceolate leaves are located on the stems.
The tree blooms in late March or early April, before the foliage is in full bloom. The flowers are white or pale pink, with five petals. The plant begins to bear fruit in the fifth year of life.
However, full fruiting occurs no earlier than the tenth, and lasts 30-50 years. The fruit is a drupe with grooves in the skin. The mass of each is 1-5 g. Most of them call almonds a nut.
A pleasant sweetish aroma emanates from flowering trees. Those who are going to settle almonds in their area should take into account that the plant needs cross-pollination. Several pollinating varieties are planted on the site. Also bees are needed for pollination. It is desirable that there are 3-5 hives nearby.
The almond tree is famous not only for its delicious and healthy fruits. The plant stands out for its decorative qualities and can easily decorate any area, revitalize and complement the green composition.
How almonds grow - let's talk about the correct planting of a seedling
Professional gardeners know how to grow an almond tree from seed. For amateurs, the most suitable breeding method is planting seedlings. One-year-old specimens are best suited.
Almonds are planted in early spring or late autumn. According to the observations of many gardeners, seedlings rooted in the autumn season take root better.
For an almond tree, choose a location with an abundance of sunlight. Light partial shade is also suitable. But almonds do not like drafts and strong winds.
Despite the fact that the plant tolerates temperatures down to -25 C, severe frosts can destroy it. If possible, give preference to southern areas, sheltered from cold northerly winds.
Loose nutritious chernozems, loamy and sandy slightly acidic soils are best suited for cultivation. Lime is encouraged. Almonds grow poorly in acidic, salty and clayey soils.
Swampy lowlands and areas where groundwater passes close to the surface are not suitable for planting.
In the fall, two weeks before planting, they dig a hole 60 by 60 cm. A space of 3-5 m is left between the seedlings. Drainage is laid at the bottom of the pit - brick chips or crushed stone. Mix leafy earth, sand, humus (3: 1: 2) and fall asleep in the grooves.
You should also add several kilograms of manure and 500 g of superphosphate. They start planting after 12-14 days, when the ground has settled. If the soil on the site is acidic, lime must be added.
Planting almond seedlings is not much different from planting fruit trees. A support is placed in the middle, where the planted plant will be tied. The level of the column above the ground should be about 0.5 m. The seedling is placed in the center of the recess, after which the ground is compacted and watered abundantly with water.
Please note that if you postpone planting in the spring, the groove should be prepared in the fall. Drainage, fertile soil and fertilizers are laid before wintering. With the arrival of spring, the seedling is planted in a standard way.
Features of caring for common almonds
If you decide to grow almonds on your property or garden, take proper care of it. Proper maintenance will give you the opportunity to get a good harvest.
One of the important conditions for a healthy almond tree is loose soil. During the growing season, loosening is carried out 4-5 times. Pay attention to the trunk circle. Don't forget to get rid of the weeds.
Almonds are among crops that tolerate drought well. However, it is better not to abuse this property and water it in a timely manner. Young seedlings are most sensitive to lack of moisture.
They need hydration every 1.5-2 weeks. The greater the concentration of sand in the soil, the more often an adult plant needs irrigation. Water is added after the earth dries out a few centimeters deep. Excessive moisture can lead to decay.
Nitrogenous fertilizing is suitable for the almond tree. Prepare the following solution: dilute 20 g of saltpeter in a bucket of water. In the fall, it is useful to pamper the plant with natural fertilizers. A kilogram of manure is placed under each trunk. Superphosphates are also used. Ash is added to the soil annually.
Some gardeners consider it sufficient 1-2 times a year to use Fitoverm, as well as to leave fallen leaves under the tree. It is useful to sprinkle the area near the trunk with cut grass. In this case, additional fertilization may not be required at all.
Stone fruit crops are traditionally pruned in the fall or early winter. Remove dried, damaged and old shoots.
To avoid the attack of pests, preventive treatment is carried out. In early spring, before the buds appear, the trees are irrigated with Bordeaux liquid. This will keep out overwintered parasites. After the leaves have fallen off, the spraying is repeated.
The best part is harvesting from a mature tree. The fruits are ready after the shell has darkened. The bones should come off easily. The crop is dried and then put into storage.
Useful properties of almonds
The benefits of almonds are undeniable and proven long ago. The main advantage is the rich content of fatty oil (up to 70%).
Almonds are a valuable food product and a storehouse of nutrients:
- Vitamins: A, group B, ascorbic, folic and pantothenic acid, E, niacin
- Minerals and trace elements: potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iodine, calcium, iron
- The content of high-quality, easily digestible protein reaches 30%.
Valuable components have a beneficial effect on the work of internal organs, the hematopoietic system, and mental activity. Regular consumption of the product improves visual acuity, detoxifies and increases fertility.
Consumption of almonds is recommended for asthmatics, people with peptic ulcer disease, pleurisy. Scientifically proven effectiveness against ARVI. The rich composition of the nuclei stimulates the body's resistance to pathological agents.
It turns out that almond peel is no less useful. Tinctures are made from it, used in the production of wines and spirits.
Almonds are eaten raw and fried, salted and wrapped in sugar. The bones are widely used for the preparation of confectionery, cakes, sweets, desserts, marzipans, and exquisite liqueurs. Almonds are able to give a dish a delicate aroma and an unforgettable taste.
It should not be forgotten that almonds have a high calorie content - 650 kcal per 100 g. Use should be moderate, especially for overweight people.
The almond tree is a plant that bears fruit with excellent taste and healing qualities. The plant is easy to grow on your own. Take care of your garden and reward you with a harvest of healthy almond kernels.
We suggest you watch a video about the beneficial and healing properties of almonds: