Ripe and fragrant cherries are the dream of any gardener. It is especially important to ensure that the cherry is self-fertile, since usually there is not much free space in the summer cottages, so it is simply not possible to plant related crops nearby. Therefore, many fruit trees are rendered sterile. Of course, if you grow apple trees, then you will definitely have at least two of them on your garden plot, but 2 cherries are not always needed, today we will tell you about a wonderful variety of fragrant cherries, under the beautiful name Lyubskaya. Cherry Lyubskaya gives a bountiful harvest, self-fertile, so if you have no related crops nearby, and insects are not frequent guests, then you will still enjoy Lyubskaya cherry. In our article, we will tell you about the history of breeding Lyubskaya cherries, the characteristics and features of planting, at the end you will get acquainted with the methods of fighting and preventing diseases and pests and, perhaps, you will fall in love with this variety, and you will definitely plant this cherry on your site.
Cherry Lyubskaya: photo of the variety
Usually, out of habit, this cherry is called simply Lyubka, as a beautiful and stately Russian woman. An interesting fact, in the Kursk province, this cherry began to be grown in the 19th century. Later this variety spread to many regions of our country. It was registered in the State Register in 1947. In the same period, this cherry received its first description. However, Lyubka is not recommended to grow everywhere, not all regions of Russia are suitable for this crop. However, this variety is still included in the State Register, and this cherry is very popular, but the origin of the variety is still unknown.
In some regions, the variety sometimes mutates, therefore, depending on the climatic conditions of a particular area, cherries are capable of showing certain signs. Therefore, even in neighboring plots, slightly different trees can easily grow, which will differ not only in their yield, but also, for example, in the size of the berries. Quite often, this variety is also called very fruitful, bouquet, in any case, Lyubskaya cherry was especially popular both in the last century, as in the present. Well, let's introduce you to the characteristics of Lyubskaya cherries.
Cherry Lyubskaya: variety description
Cherry variety Lyubskoy - ordinary, not steppe. It is grown mainly as a shrub, but many gardeners give the bush the shape of a tree in order for the plants to winter well. In the southern regions, Lubka is grown on a trunk. The height of the Lyubskaya cherry tree usually does not exceed two and a half meters, so it is always easy and simple to pick the fruits. The bark of the tree is grayish brown, usually covered with small cracks. The branches of this small tree are quite branched, the crown is sometimes weeping. From the main trunk, the shoots grow at about a 45 degree angle. The buds of the tree are oval, the leaves are dark green, usually they are quite sharp both at the base and at the ends. Cherry flowers are collected in inflorescences of three to four pieces. The inflorescence leg reaches a length of 3 cm.
The culture bears fruit quite late, berries are already formed on the annual shoots. The size of the fruits is small, on average, one cherry weighs no more than 5 grams. However, there are quite large specimens. The berries are round in shape, the top is blunt. Cherries are usually dark red, sometimes a light stripe is visible along the edge. The fruit tastes quite sour, juicy, with sweetness.The kernel of the berries has a thick tip; it takes up no more than 8% of the total volume of the fruit. Usually, green berries do not crumble, as they are firmly fixed on the stalks, however, even in mature form, cherries remain on the shoots for a long time. I recommend growing this variety in the central, central black earth, north-western, north-Caucasian, middle Volga and lower Volga regions. As you can imagine, not all areas are suitable for cultivating this variety.
Characteristics of Lyubskaya cherry
This cherry is considered quite unstable to fungal infections, the berries are mediocre in taste. However, it is often grown on an industrial scale, so this variety is loved by both beginners and professionals. The ripeness of the variety is high, therefore, gardeners are very fond of Lyubka for this quality. If we talk about drought resistance, then this cherry is not high. Therefore, if there is no rainfall in your region for a long time, the cherry bushes should be watered. The frost resistance of the culture is quite high, but cherries should not be grown in harsh climatic conditions, in the north. Usually in the middle lane, in a temperate climate, cherries are capable of intensively bearing fruit for about 15 years, but in the south, gardeners can feast on ripe cherries from these small trees even for 25 years. This difference is due to the fact that in a more unfavorable climate, branches often freeze in plants, and in spring the crown recovers worse with age, therefore the life cycle of a tree is so reduced. Interestingly, the buds of this cherry tolerate low temperatures better than the wood itself.
Common cherry Lyubskaya blooms in May, about 1 week. The fruits ripen together, the tree begins to bear fruit at the end of July, and ripe cherries ripen until the end of summer. As you remember, this cherry is self-fertile, so if there are no pollinators nearby, you will still harvest 50 percent of the crop from the maximum possible. If you take good care of the culture, then you will get a lot of product. If, however, such varieties of cherries as Vladimirskaya, Zhukovskaya and some others are placed nearby, then the harvest will become even more plentiful.
This culture begins to bear fruit approximately 2 years after planting seedlings in open ground. The yield is always high, every year the tree gives more and more fruits. Sometimes cherries develop mutations, so the fertility of a culture, first of all, depends on many factors, in particular on the region of growth, and sometimes the place. You can harvest more than 50 kilograms of fresh product from one mature tree, but usually the yield is kept at the level of 10-25 kg. It should be said right away that this cherry is considered technical, so the berries are not very sweet. However, they contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that a person needs so much. In the south, the fruits of Lyubskaya will be sweeter, since the berries gain sugar more intensely from the sun.
Take good care of your trees, do not forget to feed, treat diseases and pests, if you follow all the rules of agricultural technology, then the harvest will be plentiful. In addition, the berries of this cherry do not crumble, they come off well from the branches, the cherry can be transported over long distances, the product does not deteriorate for a long time. You can make jam, juice, wine from cherries, often housewives dry and freeze the product. In addition, both adults and children are happy to eat these berries fresh, and we note right away that they are not so sour. As you remember, this cherry is not very resistant to fungal diseases, so it is best to carry out inspections and treatments on time. If we talk about pests, then it should be said about aphids and cherry sawfly. Do not forget to inspect the plants and process the branches in a timely manner.
About the advantages and disadvantages
Each variety has its merits and demerits, this cherry is no exception. If we talk about the advantages, then gardeners note that the Lyubskaya cherry is self-fertile.Since cherry blossoms late enough, usually the ovaries do not die from frost. If you take good care of the crop, the yield will be high. This culture also bears fruit annually. However, if you do not follow all the rules of agricultural technology, then you will still enjoy ripe and aromatic cherries. Harvesting is easy enough, since these trees are compact, they usually grow no more than 3 meters in height. The seeds are perfectly separated from the berries, so processing cherries is also easy. The fruits do not crumble for a long time, but they come off well from the stalks. Cherries can be transported over long distances, they do not crumble, the berries are quite large in size. If we talk about the shortcomings of the variety, then gardeners note low resistance to many fungal infections. If you grow this cherry in harsh climatic conditions, then it should be said about insufficient frost resistance, so you will have to cover the trees for the winter. The berries have a rather pronounced sour taste, so many people don't like it. It should also be said that the crown of this cherry often suffers from sunburn, so you should not plant cherries in an area that is too brightly lit.
Cherry Lyubskaya: pollinators and planting seedlings
Before talking about leaving, you should pay attention to the rules for planting a culture, since the further fate of the plant depends on this event. Best of all, Lyubskaya cherry will take root in early spring, it is advisable to do this before the start of sap flow, before the buds bloom. If you are late, the Lyubskaya cherry seedling on the site may not take root at all. Some gardeners buy planting material in the fall, so you should properly store the cherry until spring, dig it in a wet area, and plant it in open ground as early as possible in the spring. If you live on a gentle slope, then it is best to plant cherries on the west side, the place should be sunny, but not too much. Groundwater should not lie close to the surface of the earth, the soil should be moist, but not swampy. If we talk about the acidity of the soil, then choose a neutral soil. It is best to plant cherries on light loam.
We should talk about the neighbors of the common cherry Lyubskaya. It is best to plant related varieties nearby, which will be excellent pollinators, so your cherry will bear fruit 2 times more intensively. However, remember that the tree must be well lit, there will not be a good harvest in the shade. Due to its compact size, taller trees can obscure cherry trees, so choose less active neighbors. On the site next to this tree, it is advisable to plant any other stone fruit crops, but oak or maple should not be settled next to cherries. It should also be said that many active bushes have a well-growing crown in breadth, so they should not be planted close to the cherry either. Over time, these neighbors will fight for nutrients and it is not a fact that the cherry will win in this fight. In order for the moisture to evaporate not so actively, such herbs as mint, lemon balm, gingerbread or periwinkle are often planted near the tree. It also helps to protect the area from weeds, these ornamental crops perfectly displace all unnecessary.
Usually, seedlings are bought either in garden centers or in nurseries. Before buying, it is advisable to carefully examine the plants. The main shoot of the seedling should be at least 80 cm in height; in the two-year-old, the central stem should be higher. The bark should be greyish brown and the root system well developed. If the stem of the seedling is greenish, it reaches a height of one and a half meters, then you do not need to buy this plant, because these signs indicate that the cherry can be overfed with growth stimulants. Before planting cherries in the ground, soak the root in water for three or more hours.The planting pit should be about 50 cm deep, the soil on the site should be fed, for this, humus, phosphorus and potash fertilizers are added to the soil. If the soil is dense and heavy, then it is recommended to pour sand into the planting hole, and wood ash into the acidic soil. Next to the hole, you should immediately dig in a wooden peg in order to tie the plant to it later. A seedling of Lyubskoy cherry is installed in the middle of the pit, the root should be covered gradually, each time compacting the next layer of soil. The root collar should rise about 5 cm above the soil surface. After you completely fill the hole, you should compact the soil near the trunk, and up to 3 buckets of warm water should be poured into it. In order for moisture not to evaporate, and an earthen crust is not formed, you should mulch the soil. To do this, you can use straw, dry grass and sawdust.
How to care for cherries
In order for the cherry to bear fruit well, you need to loosen the soil in time, water the plants. In order to retain moisture and increase the flow of fresh air to the roots, you need to remember to add mulch after watering. If we talk about moistening the soil, then the following should be noted: during flowering, cherries need a lot of water, but about a week before the planned harvest date, watering should be stopped altogether. In late autumn, it is also recommended to carry out water-charging irrigation, do not forget about top dressing. Apply mineral, organic complex fertilizers to the soil in time. The soil is sometimes mulched with a layer of mullein, adding a little wood ash there.
Cherries need a lot of nitrogen and potassium, but not so much phosphorus. In addition, this element is found in abundance in organic matter. Do not forget to remove weeds from the site in a timely manner, they take nutrients from the soil, as well as the moisture necessary for the tree. It is very often recommended to carry out sanitary and formative pruning on cherries. All diseased and deformed branches should be cut off in time. In addition, shoots that thicken the crown should be removed. They must not be forgotten to thin out, shorten. Young twigs stimulate fruiting, so don't spare old shoots either. For the winter, the trunk circle should also be mulched; humus is usually used for this. If your region has rather harsh climatic conditions, then you should cover the plants for the winter. Usually they are tied with burlap, covered with spruce branches or other breathable material. This protection also prevents rodents from entering the tree crown.
About diseases and pests
Cherry varieties Lyubskaya: photo of fruits
As you remember, this cherry is quite often affected by fungal diseases. Therefore, if you do not carry out preventive treatments, then the yield will be low, sometimes trees may even die from certain diseases. If dark spots began to appear on the leaves, then the green parts began to fall off, forming holes, then this is a typical clinic of coccomycosis. In order to overcome this disease, you need to spray the foliage with any preparations containing copper, after the foliage has completely fallen off, you can treat the trees with iron vitriol. Diseased leaves should be removed, and also do not forget to carry out preventive examinations.
When the trees look like burnt, and young shoots and flowers begin to wither, then this is a manifestation of moliniosis. This disease affects not only branches, but also fruits that rot and crumble. All diseased living tissues should be cut off, and the wounds should be treated with garden pitch or crushed coal. The plant should also be treated with a medicinal preparation several times. All fallen leaves should be removed in a timely manner, the stamp should be whitened. In order to further avoid the spread of this disease throughout the site, you need to treat cherries with preparations containing metals every spring and autumn.Very often cherry aphids and cherry sawfly are affected. In order to overcome these harmful insects that suck juice from plants and also feed on leaves, you need to remember to treat the plants with insecticides and other means. Carry out preventive examinations in time.
Cherry Lyubskaya is rightfully considered the queen of technical varieties. Therefore, if you take proper care of the plant, you can get a good harvest. The housewives point out that the best cherry jam is made from Lyubka. It bears remarkable fruit every year, and besides, this variety is self-fertile. Therefore, you will have a harvest on your site. In any case, gardeners who cultivate this crop never complain.