The modern world market of fruit plants offers not only an abundance of time-tested and completely new varieties, but also a fairly large number of hybrids. Among them there are those whose names, and their fruits, are well known even to people very far from gardening, for example, yoshta - a hybrid of black currants and gooseberries or ezhemalin - the result of crossing blackberries and raspberries. And there are those whose name can confuse many. Today we want to talk about one of these hybrids. So, meet the sharafuga.
Sharafuga is the name of a hybrid of apricot, plum and peach, which is endowed with a fairly high level of frost resistance, in spite of the southern origin of its progenitors. The portrait of a sharafuga is quite common: large fruits, leaves and thorns strongly resemble an ordinary plum, but very large. The traits of the other parent, the apricot, appear in the shape and size of the fruit. The flesh of the hybrid carries flavors of both plum and apricot, and besides, it is easily separated from the rounded stone, on which you can find the classic "peach" pattern, here are the traces of the third relative.
We easily found two varieties of sharafuga on the market near Moscow - purple and yellow-orange. They were sold, of course, like plums, and were probably brought from the southern regions. The diameter of the fruits is 6-7 cm. It was very interesting to evaluate the taste of the fruits, although they turned out to be a little unripe. The purple sharafuga has a crispy red flesh with yellow veins. The taste is sour and more like a plum. But the fruits of the second grade - yellow with orange specks - were tastier - a little sweeter and closer to apricot, but only in taste, and in consistency - the same plum, only with softer pulp. The fruit does not have a pronounced aroma, as is the case with many hybrids. If we choose which one to plant, we would prefer the yellow one.
Sharafuga is a single-stemmed tree with a spreading crown of medium density. The annual growth of shoots is 50-70 cm. The crop ripens in late August - early September. The fruits are well attached to the stalks and are not prone to shedding.
It is interesting that, as is often the case with hybrids, the taste of the fruit changes as it ripens, a fully ripe sharafuga fruit has a stronger taste of apricot, and an unripe fruit has a taste of a plum. Moreover, in either case, the taste will be pleasant and sweet, so the owners of such a miracle in their garden can harvest two tastes at once from one tree!
The fruits of the sharafuga, like its progenitors, are great for making various compotes, preserves and jams.
The first crop from a tree can be harvested within 3-4 years after planting on the site.
Growing a sharafuga
Caring for a hybrid is not much different from caring for its "relatives" - plum, peach and apricot.
For a sharafuga, you need to choose a place on a flat area or on a small hill, well illuminated by the sun's rays, with shelter from the winds, without stagnation of cold air, with light breathable soil that is not prone to accumulation of excess moisture.
Before planting, the soil must be dug deeply and several buckets of compost or humus must be added to it with the addition of 70 g of superphosphate along with potassium fertilizer (35 g). Sharafuga does not like acidic soils, if deoxidation is necessary, it is necessary to liming the soil, with the introduction of about 0.3-0.5 kg of lime per 1 m² of soil.
In the southern regions, autumn planting is also possible, but in central Russia it is better to plant trees in spring.
The optimal size of the planting pit for a sharafuga seedling is 0.8 × 0.8 × 0.8 m. At the bottom of the pit, it is advisable to lay out a drainage layer of brick chips or small pebbles, and on top of it pour a mound of fertile soil. In a pit ready for planting, it is necessary to install a landing stake that rises above the ground by at least 0.5 m.
The seedling is placed on a mound of fertile soil, carefully straightening all the roots, and fixed on a support peg, then the tree should be well watered and, if necessary, mulch the trunk circle with organic matter.
Water the sharafuga, preferably like plums, using a sprayer, or water along the pre-made grooves 10-15 cm deep, which should run in a circle at a distance of half a meter from the tree trunk. Watering is done as needed, especially on very hot days. About 2–3 buckets of water are required for 1 m² of the area of the trunk circle.
Autumn feeding is carried out with organic fertilizer (2-3 buckets of humus) with the addition of mineral compositions, for example, 5 tbsp. tablespoons of superphosphate and 2 tablespoons of potassium sulfate, per 1 m².
Spring feeding must be carried out immediately after the snow has completely melted, 3 tbsp is introduced into the trunk circle. l. urea per 1 m².
For the normal development of the plant, its growth and good fruiting, regular loosening of the soil and weeding is necessary.
Sharafuga is endowed by the creators with a sufficiently high resistance to various diseases and pests. There is only one known problem with the sharafuga - the curliness of the leaves, inherited from the peach. Traditional whitewashing of the trunk and skeletal branches will help protect the plant from disease and pest attacks and prevent tree injury from icing and sunburn.
Does not require shelter for the winter. Russian amateur gardeners, who have already settled a sharafuga in their gardens, confirm that this culture is able to withstand winter temperatures down to -30 ° C (zone 5), and short-term ones even up to -35 ° C. Despite the slight freezing of the shoots at such low temperatures, the sharafuga quickly recovers in spring, blooms and bears fruit normally.
The plant needs regular spring pruning, during which it is necessary to cut annual shoots in half.
Sharafuga is one of those amazing hybrids that any enthusiastic gardener can easily grow on his backyard.
The history of the origin of the sharafuga
Many of the hybrids that are currently available to large growers and private gardeners in the global plant market were developed by American private fruit breeder Floyd Seiger. He introduced to the world market his first hybrid - a pluot, consisting of ¼ of apricot and ¾ of a plum, back in 1989.
Floyd Seiger has been dubbed "the father of exotic fruits" in the world of breeders and is one of the most famous and most successful innovators in the selection of apricot, plum, nectarine, peach and their hybrids. Through his efforts, new representatives appeared in the world of fruits, among the most famous of them are pluot (a hybrid of 75% plum and 25% apricot), aprium (a hybrid of 75% apricot and 25% plum) and nectaplam (a hybrid of nectarine and plum). Today in the world there are eleven varieties of pluot, two varieties of aprium, one variety of nectaplama, and one variety of pichplama (a hybrid of peach and plum).
But one of Floyd Seiger's most promising creations is Peacotum®, a hybrid with yellow peach flesh, plum juiciness and the delicate velvety skin of an apricot. It is the first hybrid of three fruits in the world to be marketed primarily on the basis of commercial mass production. It took Floyd Seiger almost 30 years to create this miracle.
It is not known how it got the name "sharafuga". The aroma of the new fruit is rated by experts and world stars of culinary culture as complex and unique, in addition, the reviewers point to an amazing opportunity to taste both a good plum and a wonderful apricot in one fruit at once.
Peacotum® is a registered trademark of Zeiger's Inc. Genetics of Modesto (California) for certain complex interspecific hybrids of plants of the genus Prunus (P. persica, P. armeniaca, P. salicina).
Peacotum® Bella Cerise and Bella Royale are for commercial production, while Bella Gold is recommended by Zaiger Genetics for home gardening. All varieties are marketed by Dave Wilson Nursery, which is the main American propagandist of Seiger's varieties and the sole and exclusive producer of all his hybrids.
Floyd Seiger has an amazing destiny. A passionate professional gardener and researcher, Floyd Seiger has devoted his entire life to plants. He believes that nature can and should be improved, but this must be done carefully and wisely, without violence against a living plant, only with love and hope.
This man is completely devoid of ambitious ambitions, although the king of Morocco invited Floyd Seiger to "bring life and perfection" into his own gardens, and the French government proclaimed him a Knight Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit.
Floyd Seiger does not recognize genetic interference and uses "old-fashioned" methods, pollinating fruit trees in his vast gardens by hand, using his daughter's makeup brushes. Interspecific hybrids are the result of crossing two or more species, usually over several generations. Breeding breakthroughs by Zaiger Genetics when hybridized produce new fruit types and varieties with particularly desirable new aromas, textures, sweetness levels and original looks.
His whole family works with Floyd: wife, daughter, sons. Over the years at Zaiger Genetics, breeder Floyd Seiger and his three children have patented or applied for more than 500 new fruits.
But plant breeding does not bring instant profits, it takes decades for a new species to gain fame and generate income. For the past 30 years, the Floyd family has lived very modestly, giving all their strength, time and money to their cause, almost barely making ends meet. And only the appearance of Peacotum®, according to experts, should begin to bring the Floyds annual profits of $ 1-2 million in the foreseeable future.