Gardening

Loquat: [Cultivation, Irrigation, Care, Pests and Diseases]

The loquat is a tree that produces a fruit with a thick and sweet pulp known by the same name.

It thrives in a variety of climates and is fairly easy to germinate from seed, making it a great candidate for growing in the garden.

Thanks to the fact that it is a very resistant species, it has become popular around the world.So if you are already determined to enjoy this pleasant fruit tree, write down all the information that we bring you below to be successful.

Important points when sowing medlar

  • When? In spring.
  • Where? A clear space to develop your height well.
  • How do we prepare the land? Plowing the land to give it looseness and ensuring a component that helps in drainage.
  • How should we water? Amount of water according to the stage of growth in which the plant is.
  • How often do you have to water? 2 or 3 times a week in most cases.
  • What care do you need? Fertilizations with organic fertilizer, pruning as needed.
  • What pests and diseases does it have? Aphids, mealybugs, fruit fly, medlar spot, and purple spot.

When to plant a loquat?

In spring, after obtaining ripe fruits from which it is possible to extract the seed.

Where to plant a loquat?

The loquat is a tree that can grow up to 10 meters high, so it is necessary to establish it in a clear area. It adapts well to changes in climate caused by the seasons, resisting up to -10º C.

However, this particularity only works around the structure of the tree. Flowers and fruits are not capable of withstanding such low temperatures.

How to prepare the land?

Loquats adapt well to almost any type of soil that offers good drainage capacity.

To help the seedling establish itself better at the time of transplanting, it is worth plow a little the chosen area days before making the final planting.

This will help the roots spread out better and settle without conflict. Another important detail is that it has a good nutritional level . In excessively poor soils it may take a little more work to develop.

How do we water the loquat?

The loquat is a species capable of withstanding droughts that are not very long, but it is best to keep it with sufficient humidity.

Irrigation must be frequent and with a sufficient quantity of water for the stage in which the plant is. When it is already an established tree, irrigation can be suppressed during rainy days.

How often do we water the loquat?

Irrigation can be established 2 or 3 times a week depending on the corresponding time of year.In the summers, especially when the heat is stronger, they could be increased up to 4 times a week.

However, in winter they could decrease to once a week, especially when the tree is already established outside.

How to plant a loquat step by step?

Loquats grow from the germination of their seeds. It is a tree that can be worked from the seeds obtained from any fruit.

  1. Select the seeds with which you will work, cleaning them very well of any remaining pulp. Ideally, place them under the tap so that the water helps in this process.
  2. Take a piece of absorbent kitchen paper and moisten it with water. Place the seeds and wrap them very well.
  3. Place the absorbent paper with the seeds in a glass and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent the paper from drying out. In case this happens in the following days, a little more liquid can be sprayed.
  4. Wait for the seeds to start to germinate before sowing . This process can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks.
  5. Have a pot of regular size and fill it with universal substrate with some homemade organic matter such as compost to obtain nutrients.
  6. Bury the germinated seed with great care not to damage the roots and shoots that begin to appear.
  7. Water abundantly but without flooding the substrate and place the pot in a well-lit space without receiving direct sunlight.
  8. When the plant has an appropriate size, carry out the transplant to the outside space where you will have it permanently.

It is best to carry out the germination process of the seeds beforehand, although the success rate of planting them directly in the ground is usually very good.

What care does the loquat need?

Fertilizations can be made with organic fertilizer during the months in which flowering and fruit production are registered.

These fertilizations may be distributed every 15 or 30 days depending on the nutritional status of the plant and the progress made in its development.

As for pruning, they can be carried out from their youth in order to improve the growth structure of the tree.It is also recommended as a strategy to keep it healthy, as it will allow you to remove the damaged parts of it.

It is essential that the pruning be administered at the end of summer when the fruit production season has ended.

Loquat pruning

Why prune loquats?

For the medlar plant to be in optimal conditions, it needs annual pruning. These will help:

  1. Maintain an appropriate structure, that does not look messy but above all that helps to better channel the use of energy.
  2. Ensure that the fruit production is of quality, because although it is likely to produce less quantity, these medlars will be larger and with a more exquisite pulp.
  3. Reduce the chances of diseases associated with the lack of light and air inside the canopy.
  4. Prevent the plant from keeping parts that are in poor condition.

When is it better to carry out loquat pruning?

The best time to apply the loquat pruning has a lot to do with the place where it is planted.

For areas that maintain a warm climate throughout the year, autumn is the ideal date.

But in places where winter is cold and there are continuous frosts, it is best to wait for the start of spring.Remember that it will have to be in the first days of spring, before the plant begins its internal work again.

What tools should we use when pruning loquats?

The necessary tools will depend on the characteristics of the tree and its height. The normal thing is the two-handed pruning shears.

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If the tree has very thick branches, you will also have to rely on a saw and, in very specific cases, on an electric saw.

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If it is a very tall specimen, a ladder will be essential or a tall pruner failing that.

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All these implements must be sanitized and sharpened so that the cutting work is clean and safe.

What considerations should we take into account when pruning loquats?

Loquat pruning must answer two basic questions: the status of the tree around its lifetime and the type of pruning to apply.This is because not all medlar trees have the same conditions and therefore need care accordingly.

It is also necessary that you look at the structure of the tree so that you know well which branches you should prune and in what order.

How to prune medlars without damaging the tree?

The work of pruning loquats will have to be done in different stages if you have it since it is small.

The first type of pruning is training and aims to create the general structure of the tree. That is, project what it will be like when it reaches adulthood.

The ideal loquat tree has a pyramid structure, which makes it easier for the fruits to be more attainable when harvesting. To achieve this goal the steps are:

  1. Let the trunk grow to a certain height and then cut at the exact point where you expect the main branches to start.
  2. Allow the tree to develop the main branches and select three or four that you see with more vigor.
  3. Carry out the same procedure with the secondary branches and the twigs that come from them. The idea is that at least 4 floors are formed.

After the tree begins its production stage, it will be time for you to apply production and maintenance pruning. In these cases, the task will be executed like this:

  1. Cut all those branches, leaves and fruits that are in poor condition. These tend to steal the tree’s valuable internal energy without offering benefits. In addition, they add more weight to the cup.
  2. Prune back vigorous branches to maintain tree structure. This cut can be 2/3 of its length. Around the branches that have borne fruit, if they are not very large, you can leave them like this.
  3. Evaluate the rest of the branches and ensure that there is a correct flow of air and light for the internal part, without leaving very large gaps. The idea is that the cup feels balanced.

A final type of pruning is renewal and it is the most drastic. You will have to execute this when the tree is old. The idea is to prune as many old branches as possible to encourage the tree to rejuvenate and be able to offer new crops.

If you do everything as we have explained, your medlar trees will be perfect every year.

What pests and diseases affect the loquat?

Like almost all fruit trees, the loquat is quite prone to attack by pests and diseases due to the production of its sweet fruit .

Mealybugs, fruit flies and aphids are the main representatives in the case of pests.

All are possible to treat with homemade preparations or specific products for these cases, such as neem oil.In the case of diseases, the most common are loquat mottle and purple spot.

The first is caused by the attack of a fungus, while the second arises from a calcium and zinc deficiency.One of the main characteristics of the loquat is that it has an evergreen leaf , but this should not be confused with its ability to produce fruit all year round.

The fruits are highly valued at a nutritional and gastronomic level, since thanks to them it is possible to make many preparations such as jams, preserves and even savory dishes.

How long does a loquat live?

A medlar tree has an estimated lifespan of 50 years when it enjoys the right conditions.

How long does it take to grow a loquat?

The average time it takes for the loquat to develop a good structure is around 6 years.

How long does it take to produce fruit?

After 4 years of life, he will be able to start his productive management.

Can it be grown in a pot?

Yes, it can be grown in a pot, taking care that it is biodegradable so that the roots feel more comfortable.

How many times does a loquat produce fruit?

It is possible to get two harvests of medlar per year in weather conditions that are convenient for you.

Should a loquat be pollinated to obtain fruit?

The medlar self- pollinates.

However, studies have shown that cross-pollination helps to obtain a greater number of fruits.

How cold can a loquat tolerate?

It is not a species that needs the winter cycle to develop its productivity. Still, it is able to keep well down to -3°C.

Frost could turn deadly.

How many loquats can be planted per hectare?

The planting density will vary depending on the characteristics of the land, but it is possible to establish a number that goes from 2 thousand to 2 thousand 500 specimens.

What type of fertilizer does a loquat need?

The medlar needs to enjoy constant doses of fertilizers to be properly fertilized. The ideal is to work with NPK fertilizers.

How much heat and/or drought can a loquat tolerate?

It is resistant to heat, even if it is established above 30 ° C. Of course, it does not tolerate heat strokes.

It does not do well with droughts, especially when it is in full production, so the amounts of moisture to be supplied must be well dosed.

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