After the planting the work is not over; instead, it has just begun.
Even if we deal with an ancient fruit which does not need much care, we don't have to abandon it,especially during the first years. I often see fruit-bearing plants that have been recently planted and
that are now totally abandoned. I feel sorry, as I know for sure that these plants will never bear
fruits, and I think to the hard work that it takes to reproduce a plant, and the difficulties that I find
sometimes in reaching an old one just to take a little scion to avoid the extinction of that variety.
In Italy there are many passionate nurserymen like me, who pick old varieties. However, there is
also the need for readers and hobbyists who can signalize old varieties of fruit-bearing trees that we
can save through the grafting, this way contributing to preserve a valuable genetic inheritance,
otherwise destined to get wasted.
With ancient fruits you can find well-being by recuperating the past!
So, it is important to take care of your plants for the first 3/4 years. As the “seeds' man” said, a plant
is like a baby: it must be guarded and kept clean by removing weeds and maintaining the soil tilled,
to avoid any cracks through which in summer the heat could penetrate and dehydrate the plant.
You should water it on a frequent basis, basically when you notice that there is the need for water.
In general, it is better to water less than too much, as an excess of water on certain rootstocks can
lead to rot and fungal diseases. If the soil is poor, a handful of fertilizer is always useful since – as
the seeds' man said – the plant needs to feel good, as a man feels good when he sits at table. Those
who love them feel satisfied when looking at their prosperous plant and picking its great fruits.
It is important to remember that any tillage must be superficial (15-20 cm) to avoid damages to the
roots.
For those who hold a row of fruit-bearing trees, I suggest to sow between the rows of the forager,
which do not steal valuable substances to the plant: instead, they favour the fixation of nitrogen and
consequently improve the soil structure.
An excellent fixator is for example the clover, which impedes the growth of weeds.
During the last years there have been many enthusiasts looking for old varieties to be cultivated in
family orchards, as they are characterized by flavours and scents that can not be compared to
standard fruit.
In any region of Italy there are many ancient varieties that are only known by locals and we should
not permit that they disappear.
Nature had selected them for their adaptability, hardiness, resistance to diseases, and they were
cultivated at the side of the fields.