Of the nut group, almond is the most valuable garden plant. It has an interesting dual nature: according to biological features, its systematic position it is a stone fruit fruit plant, according to the same product characteristics of the fruit, and its consumption in food is nut-bearing. Therefore, the fruit is usually called almond nut, but in reality it is the bones of the inedible almond fruit. Many people love almonds, the beneficial properties of which lie in the presence of a large amount of nutrients in nuts, which are very necessary for the mental and intellectual development of a person.
- Biological almond characteristic
- almond cultivation
- Almonds - benefits and harms
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Biological almond characteristic
almond genus comprises about forty species, but spread like a garden culture was one species - common( Amygdalus communis L), relatedto the multicolored family.
In our country, the almond culture has been developed recently, it is industrially spread in the Crimea, Central Asia. Although in the Crimea, it was introduced back in the VI century. The origin of the distribution of almonds is Asia Minor.
The ancient Phoenicians in the flowering soft-pink tree saw the image of the beautiful goddess Amigdala, on her behalf came the generic name of this culture - amygdalus. Tajiks call it “baud”, Uzbeks call it “badam.”
As a garden crop, almonds are now common in many countries and continents: in Australia, the USA( California), Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Africa( Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco), Yugoslavia and others.
Depending on the soil, almonds in natural conditions have a height of 2 to 6 meters, that is, it can be in the form of a bush or tree. The crown is wide, oval, spreading, with a broom, rarely cylindrical. Branches without thorns, straight or rejected, with numerous small ramifications.
The winter flower buds are oblong-ovate, slightly pointed at the apex, rounded at the base. Vegetative buds are wide-conic, up to 5 mm long.
The leaves are dark greenish, sometimes with a bluish tinge, soft( leathery in strongly arid areas).Flowers up to 4 cm in diameter, monoecious. Five white petals with a pink tinge, base with carmine color, up to 36 stamens.
Fruit - consists of the outer pericarp, endocarp( bone) - walnut, seed( kernel).The fruit is slightly pubescent( sometimes naked), thick, green, ripening, cracking along the abdominal suture. The bone( nut) is smooth, perforated, brownish-brown( rarely white, straw-light, fawn), varies in shape: compressed or swollen( two-seeded).
The core is protected by a brown thin durable shell - a nutshell, inside is white, ovate-lanceolate or oval, tastes sweet or bitter with a pleasant almond smell.
Almond buds are laid in July on annual shoots. This is clearly visible: small green tubercles are visible in the leaf axils, which by the end of the month become larger buds, from which flowers and vegetative buds will develop.
When harvesting almond nuts, it is advisable not to damage the developing buds, since at this time there is a very active internal development of the flower buds. The soil is moistened( not poured!), Then loosened, fertilizers are applied.
In the spring before flowering pink tips appear future flowers. The flowers consist of five light pink petals, the bases of which are painted in a bright carmine color.up to 30 stamens are located inside the petals.pistil consisting of the ovary at the base, ends with the stigma.
Since almonds have strictly cross-pollination, the presence of insects is necessary. Nature created this plant so that the pollen of its own flower tree could not successfully pollinate the pistils of its own flowers, that is, the plant itself is fruitless. This eliminates the deterioration of offspring, which happens during self-pollination.
Almond forms an amazing number of flowers, but out of tens of thousands of them on an adult plant no more than 5-8% of fruits are formed.
Flowers - the main seed crop reserve. In winter, when the temperature drops to minus 22 degrees, only a part of flower buds die. Even with minus 24 degrees, up to 20% of flower buds remain viable.
Under normal pollination, young almond fruits grow rapidly, and at the same time active growth of new shoots begins. After 2.5 months from the beginning of the growth of the fruit, the amount of fatty oil in the seeds amounts to 50% of its total amount.↑ to content ↑
Cultivation of almonds
Features of almond cultivation - it grows even on stony, slate, light clay, light sandy soils, but prefers deep fertile permeable soils. Almond is undemanding to soils. But does not tolerate heavy clay, high standing of groundwater, saline areas. In home gardens it is easy to improve soil fertility by applying organic fertilizers for deep digging.
This is a light-loving plant, with a lack of light, productivity decreases. It should not be planted in the shade of tall trees, buildings.
Under natural growing conditions, almonds are propagated by seed. To preserve the grade used vegetative propagation - budding. The stock is obtained from the seeds of a bitter seed variety of almond. Seeds are sown under the winter to a depth of 8-10 cm. Already in July, with proper care, seedlings at the root neck reach 1 cm in diameter and are suitable for budding.
Two days before budding, the soil is watered well - after abundant watering, the bark is better exfoliated. At the base of the stambic rootstock from the top down wipe with a piece of damp cloth, and then perform budding. For budding select well-developed direct shoots, which are clearly formed eyes.
In areas where in winter it is up to minus 25 degrees, they do not remove the harness in winter, moreover, it is better to sprinkle the budding site with earth, and in spring to remove the harness, cut just above the vaccination site( cut by eye).Coppice shoots stockings systematically removed.
On poor soils with weak growth of seedlings, fertilizers are applied with fertilizer, but rotted manure is better at the rate of 4-5 kg per 1 sq. Km.meter. In a backyard garden, it is advisable to plant at least 2-3 plants for cross-pollination.
In the first year of planting, plants need particular care: watering, loosening the soil. Watch the plant - it will tell you what it needs.
If the soil in your area is very heavy, you can use peach seedlings, cherry plums, plums as a rootstock. In 3-4 years you will already receive a harvest.
Pruning is carried out forming and thinning. I am a supporter of low treesDwarfism has many advantages: ease of care, a large number of plants in the same area, lack of mutual confusion, much higher yield from the area, the possibility of sheltering plants for the winter.
Almond increases yields to eighteen years, and after twenty-five years yields decrease. Watering during the growing season contribute to a sharp increase in yield. To avoid frequent watering the soil surface can be mulched grass, old sawdust, any mulch material.
The ripening of the almond fruit is determined visually by cracking the pericarp along the abdominal suture. Filmed fruits are cleared of the pericarp, which is used for small livestock feed. Then the nuts are dried.
Despite the peculiarities of cultivation of this crop, it is second only to walnut and hazelnut in production. Who loves almonds, is not afraid of the impending old age. At any age, lovers of this nut feel cheerful, easy, and boldly look into the future!содерж to the content ↑
Almonds - the benefits and harm
Tasty almonds have long been revered as the epitome of well-being and health. Its nucleolus is a highly nourishing dietary, medicinal product. The core contains - 70% fatty oil, up to 15% carbohydrates, up to 35% protein. It is rich in proteins, perhaps it is the most protein-rich plant, not only among walnut. One hundred grams of almonds contain 85 mg of sodium, 228 mg of sulfur, 451 mg of phosphorus, 4 mg of iron, 75 micrograms of vitamin A, 75 - of vitamin B1, 600 vitamin B2.
The benefits of almond, the harmonious composition of the nut kernel give it excellent dietary and medicinal value. In nutritional value, almonds are ahead of meat, milk, fish, all fruits, vegetables of moderate, subtropical zones.
It is a source of many nutrients for the mental and intellectual development of man. It has long been considered one of the most important foods for growing children. Almonds contain two vital substances that are useful for brain function - riboflavin, L-carnitine, which increase brain activity, and as a result - the risk of Alzheimer's disease is reduced. Studies have shown that almonds, as well as almond oil, are an important component for the overall health, functioning of the human nervous system.
This is a fantastic source of many vitamins, minerals, and phosphorus, definitely one of them. Phosphorus affects the strength, durability of bones, teeth, and also prevents the occurrence of age-related diseases such as osteoporosis. Almonds have a high content of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Its value for skin health and beauty is well known. Almond oil massage is often recommended for newborns. Almond milk is added to cosmetic soaps because of its well-established reputation for improving skin condition.
Many people think that the word “fat” means something negative, but in fact, some fatty acids are necessary. They can be very beneficial to our health. The body cannot create its own fatty acids, which is why we must get them from food sources. The benefit of almond is that it contains two very important fatty acids, such as linoleic and linolenic acids. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Fatty acids also help to reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol. They support the health of the skin and hair. The presence of potassium, sodium in the almond helps regulate, control fluctuations in blood pressure. Regular consumption of almonds protects the body against dangerous surges in blood sugar, which diabetics suffer from.
It contains folic acid, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects in newborn babies. It also stimulates the growth of healthy cells, the formation of tissues. Doctors regularly prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the fetus.
Unsweetened Almond Milk can be used if you are trying to lose weight. Monounsaturated fats that contain almond kernels reduce appetite, prevent overeating. Dietary fiber also contributes to a feeling of satiety, despite the fact that you eat a little nuts. Studies have shown that a low-calorie diet, including almonds, is beneficial for obese obese people, helping them get rid of excess weight. Finally, the dietary fiber contained in the cores contributes to consistent bowel movement, which also helps to lose excess weight. Overall health improves, as dietary fiber helps to flush toxins from the body.
A medical emulsion is prepared from the kernel - almond milk. According to Eastern medicine, the beneficial properties of almond are enhanced by figs, superior to ginseng. With sugar, it is very useful in asthma, pleurisy, hemoptysis, intestinal ulcers, bladder, increases male abilities, improves eyesight.
This is an excellent melliferous and valuable wood. Almond is considered one of the earliest cultivated walnut. Throughout history, he has retained religious, ethnic, and social significance. In the Bible, almonds are mentioned ten times, where it is described as "the best among the best fruits."
But even the most useful product can be harmful. Almonds, its nuts are a strong allergen, so it should be very carefully used by allergy sufferers, since an excessive amount can cause not only a strong allergic reaction, but even cause poisoning.
Do not eat unripe almonds - it has a high content of hydrocyanic acid, and this can also cause poisoning.
Well, high calorie content contributes to weight gain - naturally, this is harmful for overweight people.
It is of two kinds, sweet and bitter. Sweet is used in many Asian dishes. Popular use of crushed sweet almond kernels - candy base - marzipan.
Bitter is also used for cooking, but it must first be processed still raw to remove bitterness. Bitter almonds contain a toxic amount of hydrocyanic acid, which can be obtained from the kernels and processed into cyanide poison. Eating a handful of unprocessed raw almond nuts can kill a person.
In addition to the world famous almond cookies, cakes, salted or candied kernels, I recommend two recipes.
Almond cocktail : crush 20 grams of almond nuts with a porcelain mortar or skip through a meat grinder, add 200 ml of milk and 20 g of any fruit syrup, mix with a mixer, the cocktail is ready. Fruit syrup can be replaced with 15-20 g of jam - strawberry, raspberry, fig, unabi.
The almond cocktail will bring special benefit when instead of syrup they use fig jam, raspberries, strawberries, unabi and slightly warmed milk. This cocktail can be a therapeutic drink for colds.
Almond cake. Pounded cookies, almond kernels mix well, pour with condensed milk, put in the form, put in the refrigerator for 35-40 minutes. Then sprinkle with sugar and cocoa on top. The almond kernel for such a cake should not be crushed as much as for a cocktail.