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Almond tree: tips for proper irrigation
The Almond is a fruit tree that grows well even in hot climates; however, it requires periodic irrigation, especially to support vegetative activity and fruit. In general, the water supply must be constant and abundant especially for the youngest ones in growth phase; in this case, therefore, the irrigations must be repeated weekly, unless abundant rainfall occurs, with a reduction in the frequency in the winter periods. In the case of intensive cultivation or for more specimens grown in the garden, however, drip irrigation systems can be used, which involve the constant administration of small amounts of water directly at the base of the plant, at the origin of the roots. For mature almond trees, on the other hand, watering can be used more frequently, paying particular attention to periods of prolonged drought.
Almond: main cultivation methods
The Almond is a plant native to the Asian continent, adapted to warm and rather dry climates. To obtain satisfactory results it is advisable to choose a sunny garden area or vegetable garden, possibly sheltered from strong winds and cold currents. The almond tree grows well in all types of soil, as long as it is well drained. It should be planted at the end of winter, distancing the various specimens by at least 5 meters to ensure sufficient space for their growth. In the first two years the plants must be abundantly irrigated and weeds must be removed well; moreover, it is difficult for them to produce fruit in the first few years, ie before adequate maturation. In autumn, almonds are harvested and in winter, when the growth of the plant has stopped, it is advisable to prune, to remove any dead branches or to order foliage.
When and how to fertilize the almond tree
The almond tree does not necessarily need to be fertilized, unless the quantitative yield of fruit is to be implemented. In general, before transplanting, it is important to place a fair amount of organic material, compost or mature manure on the bottom of the hole, to guarantee a sufficient dose of nutrients to the plant during its growth in the early years. For more adult Almond trees it is sufficient to bury this type of fertilizer at the base of the trunk annually, while for the younger ones it is possible to use in addition fertilizers based on macroelements such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. The latter, mixed in irrigation water, should be dispensed in spring and throughout the growing period, checking that the soil is already moist to avoid excessive and harmful concentrations of fertilizer.
Almond diseases and possible remedies
Among the main diseases of the Almond tree we find above all parasitic infestations of aphids, small insects that feed on the sap of the plant thanks to a buccal apparatus of the pungent type; the youngest and most tender frond plants can suffer the most from the attack and weaken until withering. Furthermore the aphids produce a sugary substance that can act as a substrate for the growth of fungal species; these pathogens are fought with specific pesticide products. Another dangerous insect is the Amyelois transitella, a moth that finds shelter in the fruits not collected and remained on the tree. At the end of the winter these insects reactivate and together with the larvae damage the almond tree vegetation. Important in this case is the prevention, which is carried out by collecting all the fruits at the beginning of winter, both still attached to the plant and fallen to the ground, to eliminate any shelter for the insect.