Purchase of seedlings
Actinidia planting material can be purchased in nurseries, at all kinds of fairs, markets. However, when buying seedlings, you need to remember a few simple rules.
1. Actinidia has a very vulnerable root system. Plants left with bare roots in the wind or heat, even for 5-10 minutes, can die, and the survivors find it difficult to adapt after planting, and stagnate for a long time. Therefore, you need to purchase seedlings with a closed root system: with a clod of earth, in a container or securely packed in bags, and not older than 3 years.
2. Since actinidia is a dioecious culture, both female and male plants must be purchased. Otherwise, you will not wait for fruiting. It is recommended to plant 2 male plants on 5 female plants. It should be borne in mind that the pollination of actinidia colomicta, argut and polygamy occurs only by plants of their own species. Mutual cross-pollination is possible only between male and female plants of actinidia arguta, giralda and purple.
3. Before flowering, it is impossible to determine the sex of actinidia by external signs. Therefore, purchase planting material from nurseries, not from the market.
4. Seedlings grown from seeds (seedlings) may not retain varietal characteristics. It is more prudent to purchase planting material grown from cuttings. You can distinguish them by their external features. In seedlings grown by cuttings, thin young shoots grow from lateral buds, and the stem itself looks like a stump. The seedling forms the main axial shoot growing from the apical bud.
5. Most often, seedlings of actinidia kolomikta are sold. They are easy to distinguish by the appearance of an annual lignified shoot. Its color is intense, changing from tobacco, greenish-brown to reddish-brown, almost chocolate. Small, rounded, convex, light-colored lentils are clearly visible on the bark. Because of them, the escape is rough to the touch. In other species of actinidia, shoots are smooth, light, greenish, sandy or brownish shades prevail.
Since in natural habitat actinidia grow in the openwork penumbra of thinned forests, it is advisable to choose a place with similar conditions. But on a garden plot, as a rule, small, at first glance, it is simply not possible to find such a place. Therefore, let's think together where it is better to place the purchased vines.
First of all, it is worth remembering that climbing plants need supports on which they will grow in a vertical plane. This means that they will not take away a lot of garden area. Actinidia can be placed on trellises around the perimeter of the garden and along the walls of the house or other outbuildings. It is also suitable for creating gazebos, green sheds and hedges.
We should not forget about the decorativeness of actinidia. Vines are attractive all year round; in winter, a bizarre intertwining of branches against a background of snow, in spring with bright greens of young foliage, during the flowering period with a delicate aroma of flowers. By mid-August, the leaves of actinidia kolomikta, starting from the edge of the leaf blade, acquire a reddish-brown shade.
During the summer, mature argut plants represent a living, satin-iridescent dark green wall, and in the fall it turns bright yellow. On polygamy, from the beginning of September, orange berries ripen among the velvety-shimmering light green and already yellowed leaves, which do not fall off even after the first frosts. In order to constantly admire this beauty, it makes sense to plant several actinidia in plain sight - at the entrance to the house, near a window or near a walkway.
The question is often asked: "Is it possible to plant actinidia on the north or south side of the buildings?" The answer is ambiguous. These plants are shade-tolerant, but they can bear fruit well only with sufficient light.Therefore, it is preferable to place the vines against a wall facing east or west, in partial shade, or where direct sunlight falls at least half the day.
Actinidia planted on the north side of the building can grow and develop well too. Since the snow does not melt here longer in spring, this somewhat slows down bud opening and the growth of young shoots, which protects them from freezing during late spring frosts. However, such plants enter fruiting later - when they reach with their shoots to a height where nothing blocks the sunlight.
When growing actinidia south of the building or in an open space, as long-term observations have shown, plants do not have sunburn of leaves, shoots or fruits. However, with this placement, it is important to prevent overheating and drying out of the upper root layer of the soil. This is quite achievable by timely mulching the soil and watering, regularly spraying the foliage in the morning and evening hours.
According to the rules, in the North-West region it is not recommended to plant actinidia from the south and south-west sides of buildings, in the southern regions - from the north-east and north.
What kind of neighbors do actinidia like? For plants, especially young and growing in the sun, the proximity of annual legumes is very beneficial: beans, peas, and even better - beans. Sown in the immediate vicinity of the vines, they improve the soil, at the same time not letting it dry out, and create a suitable microclimate.
Flowers planted nearby as a living backstage are welcome. You can create a bright mixborder from annuals: petunias, asters, verbena, ageratum, matthiola, calendula, godetia, clarkia, antirrinum, tagetes and other flower plants that are powerful enough, but do not dry out the soil.
As a rule, near the wall of a residential building, actinidia tolerates severe winters better and rarely freezes during frosts in late spring and early summer. However, when planting near buildings, it is necessary to take into account where the drops of water from the roof fall so that they do not damage young plants.
Like many plants, actinidia grows well in places protected from the prevailing winds in the area. Again, buildings or high dense plantings can be used as protection.
When placing a large number of plants, they are planted in rows with row spacing of 3-4 m and at a distance of 1.5-2 m between seedlings. The rows are placed in the north-south direction, which contributes to a longer preservation of snow and moisture in colo lianas, and in summer, uniform illumination and successful shading during the hottest hours of the root collar and the zone of greatest distribution of roots.
Actinidia is undemanding to soil fertility. In nature, it grows normally on lands with a low content of nitrogen and phosphorus. However, it should be borne in mind that alkaline soils are not suitable for it. Slightly acidic and acidic are optimal, although neutral are acceptable. Therefore, before planting actinidia, the soil is limed. Otherwise, the vines will suffer, develop worse and may even die. Also undesirable are heavy, swimming, clayey soils with a close standing of groundwater.
When choosing a site for actinidia, it should also be borne in mind that she does not like places where melt and rain waters lurk for a long time, as well as planting fruit crops in the near-trunk circles. In the first case, the plants get wet and die, in the second, they suffer from drying out of the soil by powerful tree roots and from damage to the surface root system during deep soil cultivation in an orchard. The close proximity of the apple tree is especially undesirable for actinidia. If a young fruit tree is used as a support, then it often dies, strangled by a vine.
For actinidia, the neighborhood of hazel and currant is desirable. The latter is also good as a previous culture.
The best planting time is spring or early summer.But you can plant it in the fall, 2-3 weeks before the onset of the first frost. 1-3-year-old vines are planted in a permanent place, because an older plant tolerates a transplant very poorly.
Having chosen a place suitable for actinidia, 2 weeks before planting, planting holes are prepared with a depth and diameter of 50-70 cm, or they dig a trench 50-60 cm deep, 40-50 cm wide.A pebble and gravel drainage is laid at the bottom with a layer of 10-15 cm , broken brick or expanded clay, but it is best to use coal slag for this purpose.
Fertile garden soil mixed with mineral fertilizers and humus is poured on top. Into each planting hole, add: 8-10 kg of humus, 200 g of superphosphate, 50 g of ammonium nitrate, 70-80 g of potassium salt. Instead of potassium salt, if possible, it is better to use the same amount of potassium sulfate or 2-3 glasses of wood ash. Once again, we remind you that you cannot add lime, like fresh manure, to the planting pit.
When the earth subsides, they start planting. On top of the filling mixture, 5 cm of fertile soil is poured without fertilizers (in order to avoid burning the tender young roots), a mound is made and a seedling is placed on it, without destroying a clod of earth around its root system.
Before planting, an actinidia seedling with a closed root system must be watered abundantly and only then removed from the container.
After planting, actinidia is watered, carefully tamped around the soil, making sure that the root collar is not buried, but is at ground level. They do not make a hole around so that rainwater does not accumulate there. After watering, the soil is thoroughly mulched. Actinidia seedlings are not pruned either before or after planting, as is often done with other fruit plants. For a while, while the plants take root (10-15 days), they are covered from direct sunlight with a light cloth or paper.
Since the smell of all types of actinidia attracts cats, like the smell of valerian, the plants immediately after planting must be protected with a metal net, digging it into the ground to a depth of 5 cm. Shoots and roots of actinidia polygamous especially suffer from cats.
In dry weather, new plants are mulched several times during the summer in order to preserve a loose, moist surface layer of soil around them, in the morning or in the evening they spray the foliage, if necessary, shade with gauze from hot sunlight, especially the first 2 years of life on the site. Weeds are removed regularly. The soil around is loosened carefully, given that the densely branched root system of actinidia lies at a depth of 30 cm. For winter, the seedlings are covered with fallen leaves (layer 10-15 cm) and protected from rodents with spruce branches.
Read about the further cultivation of actinidia, formation, pruning and care in the article Caring for fruiting actinidia vines.
About the beneficial properties of actinidia fruits - Actinidia fruits: both food and medicine
The material was published in the Library of the newspaper "Gardener World" "Garden. Vegetable garden. Flower garden", No. 12, 2010.