INTEGRATED PRODUCTION OF STONE FRUIT TREES
Now that it is necessary to carry out an exhaustive control of our crops, especially for the ecological and monetary issues, the plots that carry an integrated production of their crops are being increased. This means that the cultural work, the irrigation dose and the fertilizer plan are very much controlled. In Gardenprue we are going to give you some ideas to perfectly carry out a stone fruit crop . You sign up?
Our intention with this article is to try to do things differently. On the one hand, we are going to change the format with which we made the entries referring to crops.
What we are going to do is contribute ideas of how a cultivation plan for stone fruit should be carried out from the most economical and profitable point of view. However, speaking of profitability, productions will not be reduced. What is going to be achieved is to have the same production avoiding unnecessary losses as a result of ignorance.
WHAT IGNORANCE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
One of the great problems of agriculture is that it is often uncontrollable. We cannot predict the climate, nor the microorganisms that will be inside the earth, nor the available water (although it is closely linked to the climate), nor how a living being is going to behave under certain conditions.
Another big problem is the lack of information. When we have a land, if we do not carry out analysis to know its status, we pay it blindly , we water it without information, and we treat it with ignorance.
For example. There are lands with enough calcium and magnesium to avoid fertilizing with fertilizers rich in these elements. However, it is usually applied in high amounts simply because the soil has not been analyzed. And this, unfortunately, happens a lot. Therefore, to avoid having a soil analysis and a water analysis every certain period of time, we are wasting money on unnecessary fertilizers for the plant.
Well, this is what integrated production agriculture wants to avoid. Optimize the resources we have to the maximum and take advantage of current technology to reduce costs.
How would it be done with stone fruit trees? Let’s see it.
LAND PREPARATION AND PLANTING
The objective when growing stone fruit trees is to keep the soil in perfect condition. This requires increasing aeration, improving the hydrophysical characteristics and the conservation of the properties that the soil harbored in the previous campaign.
PROHIBITED: soil disinfection is not allowed if it has not been verified that there are actually pathogenic elements that affect the development of the crop. Is there a specific problem? Then yes it is acted.
RECOMMENDATION: nematological analysis of the soil.
The most suitable variety is chosen according to the climatic zone that we are in. If our soil has drainage problems, then we will look for patterns that offer resistance to waterlogging. If we irrigate with saline waters, we look for varieties that are tolerant to these conditions. So with everything.
RECOMMENDATION: selection of varieties resistant to the most common physiopathies in the area.
Irrigation must be adapted to the climatic and soil conditions of the area. Said this way, the first thing to do is carry out a water analysis. With this we will know the levels of salinity and mineral content of the water, being able to evaluate its quality.
The type of irrigation will be conditioned according to the electrical conductivity (salt content) of the water.
RECOMMENDATION: Carry out an irrigation plan according to the water needs of the crops based on crop coefficients and climatic parameters.
Average watering time for hot climates:
- Clay loam soils: 3.5-4 hours.
- Loam soils: 2.5-3.5 hours.
- Sandy loam soils: 2.5 hours.
THE TASKS OF PRUNING AND MAINTENANCE OF STONE FRUIT TREES
As in many other facets of life, excesses and shortcomings are bad. As for pruning, the same thing happens. For this type of fruit trees it is not recommended to do severe pruning (except in specific cases of rejuvenation) or absence of pruning.
The level of pruning will be based on the year of life of the tree and the variety-pattern chosen, ensuring good aeration (thereby reducing the spread of many diseases) and an improvement in the photosynthetic rate of the crop.
RECOMMENDATION: pruning can be crushed and incorporated into the soil, with which we would be recovering large amounts of nitrogen that can be contributed to the soil and, thus, saving us on nitrogen fertilizers .
Contrary to what many may think, having many fruits on the tree is not a sign of successful harvesting. It means that we have had a good setting due to circumstances beyond our control (climate) or specific to our cultural work (irrigation and fertilizer).
However, a large number of small fruits on the tree will reduce its fattening (the energy obtained by the roots has a limit …) and we will have a large harvest of fruits of little value and size.
RECOMMENDATION: thin damaged or small fruits at the beginning of fattening by mechanical means .
PROHIBITION: in integrated production and according to which zones, the use of chemical compounds that seek fruit thinning is not allowed.