The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle Asia and China. Travelers on the way to Silk Road have eaten almonds. In this way, travelers introduced the almond to Turkey, Greece and Middle East. For many years, on the Mediterranean coast, especially in Spain and Italy, almond cultivation is being done. In terms of botany, it is located in the same family with cherry, plum and peach. Some fruit species such as almonds, apricots and peaches were brought to Turkey thousands of years ago. Because it is produced only with seed for years, it has a wide variety. Along with this, almond varieties such as Texas, Nonpareil have been brought from other countries and produced. In Turkey, almonds are grown in every region except coastal region of the Eastern Black Sea. Almond breeding is concentrated in the Aegean Region in our country. Especially in Aegean and Mediterranean regions, two thirds of Turkey's almond production is produced. The most important region in terms of almond cultivation is the Aegean Region, and Datça Peninsula.
Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Unopened blossoms shall withstand cold, but blossoms at petal fall stage are damaged at 0.50 C to 1.1. C. The blossoms can withstand temperature for a short time but if low temperature continuous for long hours they are damaged easily.
Almonds grow in wide range of soils. Almond cultivation is best suitable for loamy, deep and well drained soils.
Tree: The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 6–8 m in height.
Root: Almond root is a taproot.
Leaves: Leave is big, medium and small according to the varieties. The color changes between light and dark green. The edges of the foliage are teeth.
Buds: Flower buds are found in short fruit dips called bouquets, 2-13 cm in length.
Soil Preparation in Almond Farming
Soil is plowed deeper. In strong soils, the planting distance should be 8-9 m, while in weaker and less deep soils it should be 5-6 m. In addition, as the amount of precipitation decreases, it is necessary to increase the planting intervals.
Most of our breeders produce almonds with seeds. As in other fruit varieties, almonds are also produced by budding. The most common budding method for almonds is stagnant eye budding. However, mostly in Datca region, shoot eye are used.
Frequent planting should be avoided because almond is a kind of fruit that develops rapidly. Square planting should be preferred on the gardens. On the sloping surface, cross (contour) planting should be done. Trees should be watered a few times in the summer months. The sapling pits should be 70-80 cm deep and wide.
Almond is a kind of hard shell fruit. In ripe and dried almonds, the outer green shell dries and spontaneously separates from the hard shell.
Almonds are divided into 4 categories according to the characteristics of the crust.
- Hand almonds: They are easily broken by hand.
- Dental almonds: It is hardly broken with hand and easily broken with tooth.
- Hard almonds: Easy to break with a hammer, hard to break with a tooth.
- Stone almonds: The crust is only broken with a hammer.
Annual Maintenance of Almond
The height of the planted seedlings is 70-80 cm. After the planting, the summer trim should be done absolutely. Almond trees are usually trimmed according to the modified leader or goble shapes.
Irrigation: In our country, almond cultivation is done on dry conditions. However, when it is diluted, the yield increases 2-4 times.
Fertilization: The amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other microelements will be applied is most accurately determined by soil and leaf analysis.
Harvest: The almond should be bloomed after the almonds are mature. The almonds are normally harvested by manual plucking. However, foreign countries are also harvested by machine. (Source: Dr. İlhan ÖZKARAKAŞ)
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