Irga: planting and care in the Urals

irga planting and care in the urals Blog

What do we know about Irga?

Irga belongs to non-traditional fruit crops.

In many regions of the Russian Federation this is true, but at the same time, in the conditions of Siberia and the Urals, it has long been a traditional culture, and almost every gardener knows how to plant and grow it. It has been cultivated here since about 1934-1935. Irga has been cultivated in the USA and Canada since the middle of the 18th century, planting and caring for it have been known in Europe since the 16th century.

Professor L. Vigorov rightly attributed small-fruited garden crops to medicinal. Irga is very useful for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The use of irgi helps to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, its fruits are effective in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. These beneficial properties, according to L. Vigorov, are associated with the presence of coumarins and sitosterol in fruits.

Irgi fruits are also useful for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In folk medicine, it is recommended to use infusions from the fruits and leaves of irgi for diseases of the mouth and throat, infusions from flowers help lower blood pressure.

The fruits of irgi contain the most vitamin P (1000 mg /%), C (up to 60 mg /%), carotene (up to 1 mg /%), up to 3.7% of pectin substances (this allows you to remove heavy elements from the body), 0.6-1% organic acids and up to 14% sugars. From trace elements manganese, iodine, lead and cobalt were found.

Irgi berry is widely used by the population of the Russian Federation in fresh and processed form. They are used to prepare jam, compote, jelly, marshmallow, jam, jelly; they can be dried and obtained “northern raisins”, frozen, used in winter for making compotes, drinks and pie filling. Irgi fruits are a good raw material for making homemade wine, making assorted fruits with other fruits, they are a natural dye.

Plant features

Irga is a large shrub up to 4-6 meters… The aboveground system consists of uneven-aged stems (trunks). It grows quickly, by mid-July, the growth of shoots stops and thus has time to prepare well for winter.

Leaves are whole, rounded-oval, dark green in the first half of summer, whitish, pubescent, orange-red in autumn.

The flowers are small, white, collected in apical brushes, resemble a bird cherry inflorescence, blooms in May.

Fruiting is abundant, annual, on the increments of the previous year. Seedlings begin to bear fruit in the fourth or fifth year, root suckers – in the second or third.

The high yield is due to a high degree of self-pollination and a large number of fruits in the cluster (6-16 pieces).

The fruits do not ripen at the same time in late July – early August. At first they turn red, then become bluish-black with a waxy coating (gray-gray). Fruit weight depends on the cultivated species, more often within 0.3 -0.7 g, the yield depends on the age of the bush. In the fifth year after planting, you can get six to eight kilograms of fruit from a bush, at an older age -10-15 Kg and higher.

The root system of the irgi is well developed. Vertical roots penetrate to a depth of two meters, horizontal roots go two or more meters from the center of the bush in the row spacing. The bulk of the roots is concentrated at a depth of up to 30-40 cm…

Irga is a durable bushy plant, it can live 60-70 years, individual stems live 15-20 years.

What does Irga need?

Irga grows and bears fruit normally on various types of soils, planting and caring for it are available to almost everyone. On sod-podzolic soils, it needs to be fertilized. The texture can be from sandy loam to heavy loam. But on soils of light texture without organic fertilizers and watering, the fruits become sharply smaller and dry. Soil moisture should be moderate. On low, swampy soils, in areas with a close occurrence of groundwater, it grows and bears fruit poorly. Drought tolerates well. Irga is relatively shade-tolerant.

The most important advantage of this shrub is its resistance to low temperatures. In the literature, its ability to withstand a temperature drop to minus 40 degrees is often indicated. In the conditions of the Perm region, the damage to the irga in the winters of 1968-1969 and 1978-1979 was at a temperature of about minus 50 degrees. Irga is one of the few crops whose flowers tolerate a temperature drop during flowering to minus six to seven degrees. This is an extremely important feature and dignity of this culture. In the northern zone of horticulture, irga is practically resistant to pests and diseases.

Types and varieties of irgi

There are no breeding varieties in Russia. In amateur gardening, seedlings of round-leaved and spiky irgi are most often grown. There are publications in the literature, which indicate that in the Perm region there are selected forms of canadian irgi. In my opinion, these are, apparently, all the same seedlings of the spiky irgi. This species originates, like the canadensis, from North America. According to A. Kolesnikov (1974), canadian irga is a bush or tree up to 1015 metersin height. In the Perm region, the irga has a maximum height of up to five meters.

Irgi varieties were created in the USA and Canada. The All-Russian Institute of Plant Industry brought for testing the varieties Suxes, Altaglou, Forestburg, Pembina, Smoky, Carlos, Northlain, Sheinon, Indean.

How to propagate it?

Known reproduction of irgi seeds, root shoots, root and green cuttings.

The varieties must be propagated by green cuttings, budding and grafting by cutting.

Before sowing, seeds are stratified for 90-100 days. The seeding rate is two grams per running meter, the seeding depth is one and a half to two centimeters, the distance between rows is 1520 cm, in a row after decimation-7-10 cm… Seedlings are grown for two years, by the time of transplanting they should have a height of about40 centimeters…

Green cuttings are best cut from young plants. They are cut to length 15-20 cm, treated during the day with a solution of heteroauxin (75-100 mg / l), planted in mid-June in a greenhouse or frame with a fogging unit. Landing scheme 5-7 x 3-4 cm… It is better to grow at the place of rooting. It is better to replant from the place of rooting to growing in the Urals in the spring.

Root suckers with a good root system are transplanted to a permanent place immediately after digging or after one to two years of growing.

Root cuttings are taken with a diameter of 7 – 8 mm and length 10-15 cm… They are planted for rooting in the spring, vertically for the entire length of the cutting.

The most valuable selective forms and varieties can be grafted in spring with a cuttings on seedlings of irgi, mountain ash or hawthorn. It is better to plant on mountain ash and hawthorn at a height of 50-60 cm… In this case, the gardener will receive the standard irgi shape, which is original and beautiful.

In amateur gardening, irgi seedlings are used as a dwarf rootstock for pears, but the physiological compatibility of such components is not complete.

We grow irgu without problems

In the garden, it is possible to grow irgi as a fruit crop or as a hedge. Irga hedges can be very dense and up to four to five meters high. It is better to lay it on the windward side. In our area, this will be the western, south-western or north-western side of the site. When creating a living wall of irgi in cooperative gardens, it is very important to coordinate this issue with neighbors, since it must be planted, departing from the border of the site at least one and a half meters. A hedge is created by dense planting and annual haircuts. The distance between plants in a row is set within 0.5-0.7 m… The height of the cut is determined by the length of the annual growth and the height the gardener seeks to achieve. But in any case, in order to get a dense wall, it is necessary to cut off the annual increase by at least 10-15 cm… Shortening stimulates branching.

When growing irgi for products, it is better to place it in rows with cherries, plums, sea buckthorn and chokeberry. In this case, the planting pattern will be 4×2 m.There may be a single arrangement of the irgi against the background of the lawn with a planting pattern of at least 5×3 m.

Planting irgi can be carried out in the spring (at the beginning of May) or in the fall (not for the winter, but in the second half of September). Pits are dug 70-80×40-50 cm… Before planting, the hole is covered two-thirds of the depth with fertile soil with the addition of 10-15 Kg humus (compost), 200-300 g superphosphate, 50-70 g potassium salt, and on sod-podzolic soils it is also useful to add 400-500 goven ash or lime. All components must be thoroughly mixed.

The planting depth depends on the origin of the seedling. In grafted plants, the root collar is set at the level of the soil surface, while self-rooted ones are deepened by five to eight centimeters. It is necessary to fill up the rest of the pit after installing the seedling with the remnants of the fertile mixture or soil from the aisle. After backfilling, the soil is compacted, watered with water (at least two or three buckets), a near-stem bowl is prepared and mulched with peat or humus. The stems of the seedling are cut in the spring into four to five well-developed buds.

In the first years after planting, the bush must be properly formed. For this, two or three well-developed shoots are left annually. Formed should be considered a bush with 12-15 uneven-aged stems. One of the main mistakes gardeners make is the complete absence of irgi formation. In the process of leaving, the size of the annual growth is monitored. When it is reduced to ten centimeters, such a trunk is removed.

An experiment was conducted to find out how to lower the height of plants. To do this, thickened plants about five meters in height were cut to 80cm, 40cm and at the root collar (cutting to a stump). In all variants, the irga was easily restored. Already in the first year, the number of shoots was from 10 to 18 pieces, in the fourth year their number increased to 42-57 pieces. This is a lot. In the first year after pruning, it is necessary to remove the weakest shoots from the surface and continue to do this in subsequent years. The required number of trunks per bush is 12-15 pieces, maximum 20 pieces should be accumulated over two to four years. The best development of stems and their fruiting in our experience was observed when pruning at a height80 cm… In subsequent years, trunks at the age of 14-15 years must be cut at the soil surface. The signal for pruning is given by the plant itself – the trunks at this age have a very small increase, and the fruiting zone goes up and to the periphery. The height of the bush must be kept within 2-2.5 meters.

In our experience, 22-year-old plants were five meters high; there is no point in collecting small fruits from such a height.

Fertilizers and feeding

Despite the fact that irga belongs to undemanding crops for soil types, it reacts extremely positively to fertilizers. In the first three to four years after planting, you do not need to fertilize it. For this, fertilizers are applied to the pit during planting. In subsequent years, organic fertilizers must be applied once every two to three years at the rate of 8-10 kg / square meter. Fertilizers are best applied to the furrows at the crown periphery.

Mineral fertilizers are applied for the winter (phosphorus-potassium) at the rate of 40-45 g / sq. m of superphosphate and 20-30 g / sq. m of potassium salt, and in the spring to enhance growth processes, 20-30 g / sq. m of ammonium nitrate or watered with slurry diluted five to six times. Mineral fertilizers are applied in the fall (phosphorus-potassium) at the rate of 40-45 g / sq. m of superphosphate and 20-30 g / sq. m of potassium salt, and in the spring to enhance growth processes, 20-30 g / sq. m of ammonium nitrate or watered with slurry diluted five to six times. Mineral fertilizers are applied in the years when organic fertilizers were not applied.

A great connoisseur of irgi Ivan Fedorovich Ovchinnikov conducted a production experiment on fertilizing irgi in the Kudymkarsky fruit nursery. According to him, irga turned out to be very responsive to fertilization and a fruitful crop. In the suburbs of Kudymkar, she produced up to 40 centners of fruit per hectare. Inspection of irgi by Professor of the Perm Agricultural Institute F. Yudkin (1968) in the Fokinsky fruit nursery (south-west of the Perm region), in the backyards of the city of Kudymkar showed that at the age of 25-30 years it is capable of producing 9-12 buckets of fruit from a bush … With a planting scheme (according to I. Ovchinnikov) 4×3 m, the yield of irgi fruits can reach 80 -100 centners / ha. This is a very good harvest for the conditions of the Urals.

In the northern and northeastern regions of the Russian Federation, the irgi culture should be more widely recommended for amateur gardening. This berry is winter-hardy, productive, resistant to spring frosts, good for health and suitable for many types of processing.

The task of scientists of the Russian Federation is the fastest study of North American varieties, reproduction of the best of them and their introduction into amateur gardening. The strategic task should be considered the inclusion of irgi in the breeding process and obtaining domestic varieties adapted to the conditions of the northern zone of Russia.

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