Blackcurrant Leningrad Giant - Features and characteristics of the variety
The blackcurrant variety Leningradsky Giant is an old-timer of personal plots. Breeders are breeding new varieties with better features. And although the aforementioned variety has long been no longer a leader among berry crops, gardeners' reviews are more positive than the other way around, and they are in no hurry to remove the plant from their gardens.
Description of blackcurrant variety Leningrad Giant
A variety of mid-early ripening. Marked by good winter hardiness. Immunity to diseases and pests is mediocre. In the years of cultivation, the variety was considered the largest-fruited, today its fruits are characterized by medium size. Variety with low self-fertility, barren - about 50%. It is popular in the Leningrad region of Russia, but in other areas it is successfully grown, despite more thorough agricultural technology, in comparison with other varieties of blackcurrant.
Did you know? In popular beliefs, currant berries were considered magical. With their help, the girls divined and predicted their fate.
The Leningrad Giant was obtained by artificial pollination. The work was carried out at the St. Petersburg State Agrarian University (LSHI) by A.I. Potashova and E.I. Glebovoy. Varietal material Stakhanovka Altai was taken as a basis, which was pollinated with pollen of the varieties Non-shedding and Exhibition. In 1974, the variety was recommended for cultivation in three regions of the Non-Black Earth Region of Russia. The variety is currently excluded from the State Register. You can buy plants of the Leningrad Giant only from private gardeners.
Appearance, characteristics of berries, ripening time, yield
- Bush - direct growing, tall, about 160 cm in height. Marked by good early maturity, fruiting begins in the second year of plant cultivation. When the berries ripen, the branches slightly diverge to the sides. Young shoots are thick, green, with pubescence. Adult branches are painted in gray-beige color, thick, with slight pubescence.
- Leaves - large, with five blades, light green. The tops are green with a yellow tint. The sheet plate is matte, wrinkled.
- Kidney - pink in color, similar to an egg, with a blunt tip. On adult branches, several groups are formed in groups.
- The flowers are large, light red in color. Brushes are formed of different lengths, with 6 or more berries.
- Fruit - large (up to 2.2 g). Round, color - black, with shine. The calyx is small, the peel is thin. The pulp is dense structure, juicy. Taste - dessert, sweet and sour, aroma - classic, currant. Berries with a dry margin. Do not crumble. The chemical composition of the fruit depends on the climate and soil quality. Fresh berries contain (minimum): 15.3% solids, 7.1% sugars, 2.4% free acids, 155.2 mg / 100 g ascorbic acid.
Ripening begins on the 20th of July. Productivity - high, up to 4.5 kg per plant per season
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Ideal varieties do not exist, each has positive and negative qualities. Gardeners usually highlight several features that a culture should have., for example - the size of berries and the ripening time, or frost resistance and taste characteristics. The Leningrad Giant has a number of advantages, but the disadvantages did not pass this variety. Whether it suits you personally, judge for yourself.
Did you know? Russia ranks first in the world in terms of growing currants.
- Grade advantages:
- High winter hardiness, which allows growing in regions with harsh winters.
- Good productivity.
- Excellent taste of berries.
- After ripening, the fruits do not crumble.
- Harvested well tolerates transportation.
- It is rarely affected by anthracnosis, terry and kidney mites.
- Mediocre self-fertility, which leads to the need to plant additional pollinating varieties.
- Frequent damage by powdery mildew, regular treatment with fungicides is required, since folk remedies are ineffective.
- Early flowering. Often flowers are affected by spring frosts.
- Fragile branches that break when berries ripen, which requires additional support for the bushes.
It is worth noting that agricultural technology differs significantly from other blackcurrant varieties, which is an additional minus of the Leningrad Giant.
- This the variety is very picky about the soil, it should be highly fertile and well fertilized with organic additives. On podzolic, “weak” soils, it will develop poorly. On soils with a high alkaline index, the variety will not develop at all and die. The Leningrad Giant takes root well and grows on slightly acidic and neutral soils. Loamy and loamy soils will be an excellent option.
- For 100% yield, he needs pollinators. Currants with early or middle ripening periods are planted near the bushes of this variety. Varieties of currants such as Barmaley, Belorusskaya Sweet, Azhurnaya, Viola and Selechenskaya have proved themselves well as pollinators of the Leningrad Giant.
- During fruit ripening branches need support. They are either tied to a support, or all the shoots are tied together, or separate, strongly tilted to the surface of the ground branches are “supported”.
Seat selection and landing
First of all, the site should be well lit by the sun, otherwise the yield will decrease and the berries will be acidic. It is best to plant plants along the fence, this will protect the planting from the cold wind and provide additional support to the branches. It is strictly forbidden to plant currants in the lowlands where water stagnates.
In wetlands, the roots of the plant will rot and the bush will die. The soil for planting must be prepared in advance. Alkaline soils are prepared at least 2 years before the planned work.. If planting is planned in the spring, then the soil is prepared in the fall and vice versa. If this is not possible, the soil is prepared at least two weeks before planting.
To begin with, the site must be dug deep, remove the roots of perennial weeds. Add organic additives. For soil with overestimated alkaline indicators, such components as humus or mullein, coniferous needles, sawdust, horse peat are added.
Landing pits are dug up 7–10 days before planting, during which time the soil will sag, which will protect the root neck from a strong deepening, or, conversely, from exposure. The pit size is 50 × 50 cm, the distance between the bushes is at least 100 cm, and between the rows it is 150-200 cm.
Description of step-by-step landing instructions:
- Dug the ground mixed with compost or humus, about 6-8 kg and two tablespoons of superphosphate.
- At the bottom of each pit lay a thin layer of small stones, this will provide soil drainage.
- Half of the pit is filled with a fertile mixture. Watered with 5-7 liters of water, waiting for complete absorption.
- The seedling is placed in the center of the pit, at an angle of 50-60 ° and sprinkled with earth, densely tamping.
- The root neck should be 5-7 cm below the ground.
- Then a near-stem circle is formed, the planting is watered again and a layer of mulch is placed (sawdust, peat, humus, hay, straw, etc.).
The first time after planting, frequent watering of the bushes is necessary. After rooting, they switch to watering as the soil dries. Planting can be done both in spring, before the start of the growing season, and in early autumn
Further care includes watering, top dressing, trimming and bush formation, prevention and control of pests and diseases.During periods of extreme heat, the bushes need to be watered once a week.. Watering is done in the evening, after sunset. Moreover, both the roots and the leaves of the bushes are watered, making them an impromptu shower.
Bushes are fed in autumn and spring.. In the spring, nitrogen complexes are introduced, in the autumn - mineral complexes. During the ripening period, the bushes of the Leningrad Giant must be sprayed with a contact microfertilizer solution.
It is also worth monitoring the acid-base balance of the soil. Neutralization is carried out once every three years. Alkaline soil is watered with ammonium nitrate or copper sulphate. Acidic soils are treated with “milk” from lime. To prepare it, it is necessary to dilute 0.5 kg of lime in 10 liters of water and let it brew for 48 hours, not forgetting to mix periodically. Then the preform is filtered, and this solution is applied under the bushes. The remaining sediment can be distributed throughout the site, since the increased acidity of the soil is not only under currant plantings.
For currant flowers, the Leningrad Giant is characterized by spring frost damage.. At a temperature of -2 ° C, the flowers die. For protection, cover materials can be used. You can protect plants from freezing with water - in the evening you need to well fill the soil under the bushes and moisten the branches with plenty. In the morning, the branches will be covered with ice, but do not be scared. Under a layer of ice, the temperature is 0 ° C, which is safe for this currant.
In order to protect fragile branches from breaking under the weight of berries, in the spring it is necessary to take care of the support. You can drive a few stakes around the perimeter of the bush, tie them with a twine or wire and fix the branches on such a structure.
Pest and Disease Control
According to gardeners, this the variety is constantly infected with powdery mildew. Therefore, prevention should be started in early spring and carried out with an interval of 2 weeks, several times a season. Bushes are sprayed with preparations containing copper oxychloride.
If damage is detected, plants need to be treated with fungicides. At least two times, and preferably with different drugs, in order to avoid the pathogen getting used to the reagent.
For tick prevention it is necessary in early spring, before the plant begins to live, spray bushes with acaricides. From pests with insecticides.
An excellent prophylactic against viral and fungal diseases is Bordeaux fluid. Bushes are sprayed with this universal preparation three times. The first in early spring, the second time before flowering, the third after it. They are also sprayed with plants in the fall, after pruning.
Important! Chemical treatment should be stopped 3 weeks before harvest.
In general, prevention has not been canceled. And if fungal infections and parasites can still be fought, then when a plant is infected with a viral disease, it is uprooted and burned outside the garden, as there is no cure for the virus. With viral diseases, currant leaves become variegated.
Trimming and shaping a bush
With proper pruning of the bush, productivity increases and the risk of plant diseases decreases.
- The first pruning is carried out immediately after planting, cutting off half the length of the shoots. This will accelerate the rooting of the plant.
- Preventive thinning is carried out in early spring, before the sap flow begins. Careful pruning is done before the onset of cold weather.
- In spring, the frozen shoots are removed, cutting off the entire damaged part to the first "living" kidney. And also dry and curved branches.
- In the fall, old branches that are more than five years old are removed. Doing this is at the very root, without leaving stumps. Branches with signs of infection are cut off too, too thin, deformed and weak.Fruit-bearing branches located near the ground themselves are also pruned.
- Starting from the age of five, bushes need to be rejuvenated. This should be done gradually, removing several old branches every year.
- A properly formed bush has 3-4 healthy, strong branches of different ages, with a total number of 15-16 pcs.
Fig. 1. Currant pruning: a - annual seedling; b - a biennial bush; c, d - shortening of shoots. Fig. 2. Currant bush before anti-aging pruning (a), after it (b) and pruning of a neglected bush (c)
Preparing currants for winter is an important stage for maintaining a healthy plant.
- After autumn pruning all vegetation must be removed from the ground around the bushes. It is advisable to cut off the leaves remaining on the shoots, as they can harm the kidneys. Branches, leaves, berries and an old layer of mulch need to be collected and burned.
- Loosen the earth, make fertilizing. Make a new trunk circle, carefully fill the plants.
- Apply a new mulching layer, but already thicker, at least 10 cm. Spray the bushes with Bordeaux fluid. In especially severe winters - cover with insulation materials. In regions with “mild” winter conditions, it will be enough to throw snow on the branches.
Harvesting and transportation of crops
Berries must be collected in dry weather. Fruits are ready for harvest when they acquire their characteristic, sweet and sour taste. The process is carried out manually or mechanically. The fruits should be removed carefully, the entire brush at once, together with the peduncle.
Important! Watering should be stopped 2 weeks before harvest.
The berries of the Leningrad Giant well tolerate transportation. To do this, they are stacked in a container containing a volume of 2-3 kg of fruit.
- fresh berries in the refrigerator are stored for about three weeks;
- in frozen form - 18 months;
- dried fruits - about three years;
- jams and compotes - 24 months.
The Leningrad Giant "inferior" to modern varietal representatives in yield and mass of berries. But it has an incomparable taste and aroma. Some difficulties in care are not an obstacle for gardeners to grow this variety for personal use and sale. And although the described variety is no longer in the State Register, in the gardens of experienced summer residents "with experience" it can still be found.