Introduction to Growing Cherries
You can find the information here related to growing cherries.
The Cherries are one among the popular fruits all over the world. All the varieties belong to the same family and genus. The Cherries originated from the genus of Prunus. Cherries belong to the Rosaceae family. The scientific name of sweet cherries is Prunus avium and the scientific name of the sour cherries is Prunus cerasus. There are 150 species of cherries. The name cherry itself refers to the plant of cherries and also the wood. The Cherries that grow naturally are known as wild cherries.
These cherries are popularly used in the preparation of sauces and pastries or can be consumed fresh. We believe that these are native to the Northern Hemisphere, as they grow vigorously in this region. The cherry species recognized are about 10 – 12 varieties in North America and Europe. Years ago these were cultivated only in foreign countries and they were being exported to other countries. But now all over the world the cherries are being cultivated, but the first cultivation was believed to be done in Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
The characteristics may differ for both sweet cherry and sour cherry but the cultivation or growing process will remain the same.
Characteristics of Cherries:
The plant charters tics of both the sweet cherries and sour cherries are different.
Sweet Cherries Characteristics:
Plant: This variety plant reaches upto a height of 15 m. The tree is believed to live upto to 60 years of its age. The bark is gray-brown in colour, which is smooth, glossy in appearance and it peels often. The plant is also considered as ornamental plant.
Leaves: The leaves of these plants are oval in shape, the tree has alternate leaves, the leaves have serrated margins and we can see approximately 8 pairs of veins on them. The length of the leaf is 5 – 13 cm.
Flower: Cherry tree blooms with flowers which are in white colour and the cluster in which they appear is 3 – 5. Often they appear in early spring season and the flower is 1 inch long.
Fruit: Cherry fruit is round in shape, it is dark red in colour, it is ½ – 1 inch, and they mature in early – mid summer season. They are very sweet in taste. They are also referred as mazzard or gean.
Sour Cherries Characteristics:
Plant: Sour Cherry tree reaches up to a height of 4 – 10 m; the tree is grown with twiggy branches which contain bright red – black Cherries.
Leaves: The leaf of this plant refers to the same structure of sweet cherry leaves.
Flower: The flower will also be the same like the sweet Cherries.
Fruit: The fruit is same ½ – 1 inch, but it tastes sour, in this there is another variety of cherry called ground cherry; these ground Cherries are found in turkey, Eastern Europe or Caucasus Mountains. The maturing season is also same like the sweet Cherries.
Properties of Cherries:
Nutrients present in sweet cherries are:
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Protein:1 g
- Fat:2 g
- Energy: 63 kcal
- Vitamins: Vitamin (C and K)
- The minerals that are present in sweet cherries are Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorous
Nutrients present in sour cherries are:
- Carbohydrates:2 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Fat: 3 g
- Energy: 50 kcal
- Vitamins: Vitamin (C and K)
- The minerals that are present in sour cherries are Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorous.
Scope and Importance of Growing Cherries:
The cultivation of Cherries has been increased to the highest level and also the returns are high, than during inception. The industry gets 18.23 million tonnes i.e. 4 % as a contribution of production from the fruits. The average production of Cherries is 3.5 tonnes per hectare of land. In India, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are the largest producers of Cherries.
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Cultivars/varieties of Cherries:
Popular Cultivars or Varieties that are found in India:
- Guigne Noir hative
- White heart
- Black tararian
- Black heart
- Pink early
All these varieties are grown all over the India.
Soil and Climate requirements for Growing Cherries:
For Growing Cherries we need good and perfect soil. The soil, which is more suitable for Growing Cherries is sandy loam soils. The soil pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.0. The soil should have proper nutrients and also the land should have good drainage facilities so that there will be no water logging near the plant. For Growing Cherries heavy soils are not good. Before sowing, the soil should be tested for balance of nutrients.
For Growing Cherries the climate should be ideal, the spring season can be chosen. The land which is selected should be 2500 meters above the sea level. The land should experience the chilling winter season for at least 1200 – 1500 hours. The required rainfall for Growing Cherries should be 100 – 125 cm. The suitable states for Growing Cherries are Jammu, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and also its surroundings.
Land preparation and Planting for Growing Cherries:
Before planting the land should be cleaned and also we should remove all the weeds, pebbles, stone and unwanted material of the previous crop like old roots, stems etc. For easy operation rectangular lands should be chosen; the land should be ploughed to attain fine tilth and smooth texture. After the ploughing, the land should be levelled before digging the pits for planting the seeds.
The best time for Growing Cherries is in between December –January. The suitable place for Growing Cherries in sloppy lands and hilly areas, these can be grown or practiced in terrace systems or contour systems. The general spacing between the plants should be 6 m * 6 m. The pits of dimensions 1 m * 1m * 1 m should be dug. The pits should be filled up with farmyard manure before 4 months of planting.
As soon as the roots develop they should be transplanted from the nursery to the main field. The pit, which is created should be 6 cm deep, and each of the pits should be 15 cm apart from each other. When the seedlings reach up to a 6 cm height these beds should be irrigated regularly and also we should remove the mulch around them.
The rooted cuttings should be placed in the month of December and in the month of March; consequently grafting is done.
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Propagation method for Growing Cherries:
The propagation is done through grafting and budding onto 1 – 2 years for growing the seed to the seedling. These can be grown from the seeds, but it will take long time. In spring season the seedlings from the seeds emerge. For producing the fruits the tree takes 3 – 4 years of time and the tree takes 7 – 8 years of attaining the full maturity.
Manure and Fertilization method in Growing Cherries:
While Growing Cherries, the plant requires high quantity of farmyard manure and fertilizers which should be applied in appropriate quantity. These will help the plant to grow well at the right period of growth. Before fertilizing the planting, the soil test should be conducted so that there will be a proper estimation of required organic matter, fertilizers and nutrients. For better growth sometimes we should provide micro – nutrients and also macro – nutrients. We need to add calcium ammonium nitrate, superphosphate and Muriate of potash occasionally to the plants.
Irrigation methods in Growing Cherries:
If we are growing in an area where the rainfall is irregular, the cherry plant should be irrigated regularly, so that the moisture in the soil is maintained intact. The irrigation should be done on a weekly basis during the fruit development period. These activities will enhance the best quality and the size of the fruit. These activities should continue even in hot weather such as during April and May. The drip irrigation will also be useful for a fruitful yield.
Flowering and Pollination in Growing Cherries:
Sweet Cherries: These sweet Cherries need pollen for producing the fruits.
Sour Cherries: All cherry trees don’t need compatible varieties, as they are self – pollinating variety. Almost all the Cherries are self fruiting and get pollinated by themselves and produce fruit.
The natural pollination is often done through the bees and birds, as they help the flowers in distributing pollen from one flower to another. As bees help by transferring the pollens, the birds help by planting the seeds.
Intercultural methods in Growing Cherries:
Weeding: We should try maximum to keep the soil or the plants weed free all the times. These weeds can be handled manually, mechanically by the use of brush cutters or by chemicals. By applying Diuron in appropriate amount we can control the weeds. The weeding process should be continued for 5 – 6 months.
Pruning: The pruning process should also be conducted while Growing Cherries. It should be done to make the centre of the tree open. During this process, we should clear the all the diseases branches and dead branches for more effective and better growth of the plants.
Mulching: This process helps to conserve the moisture in the soil. As the holding of moisture will help the plant surrounding to be weed free.
Training: These plants can be trained to trellis over walls and fencings.
Pest and Diseases control measures in Growing Cherries:
The pest and disease control is very essential for ensuring good production with high yields. The serious and most frequent diseases that attack the Cherries plant are Brown rot and Powdery mildew. The one major bacterial disease that affects the Cherries plant is Bacterial Canker. Apple maggot and Plum Curulio is the pest that affects the Cherry plant frequently. Birds also can damage the crop so birds nets are must during the fruit setting.
All these pests and diseases can be controlled by:
- Natural method
- Chemical method
Harvesting techniques in Growing Cherries:
Based on the soluble solids and color, when the fruit size is increased to 40 %, then they should be picked alternately until they get ripe. The colour and quality will be attained before harvesting them from the tree. The tree or storage room can’t help the fruit to improve the colour or quality.
Harvesting too early:
- When they are small size
- Poor in colour
Harvesting too late:
- Too soft fruit
- There will be increased decay in the fruit
These fruits should be harvested early in the morning when the climate is cool. The Cherries should be harvested along with the stems. The impact injury should be avoided while harvesting period.
Post harvesting techniques in Growing Cherries:
Cleaning: All the harvested fruits should be cleaned as they may contain traces of fertilizers on them.
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Storage: These should be stored in cold storage room or in a refrigerator.
Sorting: The fruits should be sorted as per the size and shape
Grading: Cherries should be graded by their colour and quantity.
Yield of Cherries per acre:
The yield completely depends upon the management practices and also the care which is taken for the plants. The average yield of the Cherries will be 5.40 tonnes per acre of land in a year. For 80 Cherry trees, we will get an average of 80,000 Cherries.