Planting Almond Tree

Published: 23rd July 2008
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There are two types, bitter and sweet. Sweet almonds are cultivated as food; bitter almonds, which contain prussic acid, are grown mostly for their rootstocks on which sweet almonds are grafted. They are not sold in this country.

Almonds are raised for ornamental and nutritional reasons. Like other nuts, almonds are high in vitamin B and protein. One cup of shelled almonds contains 26 grams of protein,77 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates,332 milligrams of calcium, and small amounts of vitamins B, and B2, iron, and niacin.

The almond tree is as hardy as the peach but its production is more limited because it blossoms a month earlier, making the flowers more susceptible to spring frosts. The nuts ripen from peach like, fuzzy fruits into the ripe almond and are ready for gathering in late August or September.

The warmer part of the United States is more reliable for almond tree growth. In California almonds are an important crop. California varieties are Nonpareil, IXL, Peer-less, Drake, Texas, and Mission. Two or more varieties must be planted together since all are self-sterile. -

Propagation is by budding named varieties onto peach or almond seedlings. Bitter almond root stocks are usually used since they are less expensive than the sweet almond stocks.

Budding takes place in the early autumn. In the following spring, stock is cut back to the bud, which is permitted to grow for a season. At the end of this period, the one-year tree is ready for planting in the orchard.

The almond requires a sandy, well-drained soil, neutral or tending slightly to the alkaline. Since good drainage is essential, plenty of humus should be present to hold moisture while permitting excess water to drain away.

The roots of the tree run deep. It is advisable to break up the topsoil thoroughly and to as great a depth as possible before planting and then fertilize with plenty of organic matter.

Many commercial growers plant cover crops which are then turned under for green manure, protecting the ground and enriching the soil. This practice should not be necessary on the small homestead where only a few trees are planted.

Compost should be worked in late in the autumn. Place a straw mulch under the tree but not close to the trunk.

Almond trees begin to bear in three or four years and should be in full production in 12 years. Nuts should be harvested when those in the center of the tree are ripe. Nuts which fall to the ground before the regular harvest time should be cleaned up daily to prevent disease.

After harvesting, shell and dry the nuts. The kernels should be spread for drying in a shady location until the meat is crisp. Kernels can be stored in airtight jars and kept in cool places.

If you want to learn about planting apple tree , please visit gardening tips at Family Homes Network

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