Among the cultivated plants that live in domestic areas, there are many varieties of foreign breeding. Unfortunately, information on the overwhelming majority of such varieties is either extremely scarce or unreliable. What has been said in no way refers to the “Polka” reparative raspberry, which among Russian sellers often appears under the name “Shelf”.
Its features are well known to gardeners, because the variety is unusually widespread not only in our country, but also in European countries, where it is considered to be a kind of benchmark both in terms of consumer qualities of fruits and, where possible, to obtain standardized products on a commercial scale. Let's take a closer look at this wonderful plant and begin with its main characteristics:
Origin and Main Benefits
The variety was bred in 1993 in Poland (Brzezna) by the famous breeder Jan Danek. The polka raspberry reviews were positive from the start. In 2003, she was represented at the Fruit and Fruit International Fruit and Vegetable Exhibition, where she made a splash.
Today, Polka occupies a leading position on the European “raspberry” market: it is its plantings that constitute the main part of production plantations, and the fruits are realized much more actively than the berries of other remontant varieties of the crop. In addition, this raspberry is considered exemplary for most consumer parameters and is used in the evaluation of new varieties as a reference.
Commodity and consumer qualities of berries
Berries of raspberry "Polka" in the photos look very presentable: very smooth, dense, with small homogeneous drupes. They have a conical shape, the color is dark red. Fruits are not considered "giant." Their sizes completely correspond to the definition of “optimal”: length 2.5-3 cm, average weight 5-6 g.
Consumer qualities are rated very high. Berries of this variety are considered dessert, one of the most balanced in taste and aroma. The dense consistency of the pulp makes them suitable for all types of processing, as well as for freezing and transportation. Fresh crop can be stored in a cool place for several days without changing the taste and appearance.
Features of fruiting
Raspberry remontant, but most of the fruit ripens on the shoots of the current year, so most gardeners cultivate it in annual crops. In the autumn, they perform a radical pruning: the entire growth is mown “to zero” and the soil is mulched to protect the root system from frost.
In the spring, 6-7 strongest shoots that have appeared are left for further development. In this case, the first berries in the middle lane begin to collect in late July. The period of fruiting is extended to 3 months, often the period of ripening of the fruits that were laid last, coincides with the onset of frosts. Unlike many other remontant varieties, Polka possesses a certain resistance to cold snaps in the autumn: its berries remain on the branches even at a temperature one or two degrees below zero.
With proper care, the yield from one bush can reach 2.5 kg per season.
The variety forms compact bushes with a height of 150-180 cm, consisting of strong, erect stems. Garter to the supports is required during the period of fruiting, as shoots may lean to the ground under the weight of the berries.
Spiked stems are weak, spikes are small and not very hard. They almost do not interfere with the care of raspberries and harvesting. Plants quite actively form root shoots, thickening the planting. Lack of material suitable for breeding varieties, gardeners usually do not exist. Raspberries are considered resistant to most viral and fungal diseases and unattractive for pests.
Lack of variety
Along with numerous advantages, the variety has certain disadvantages:
- sensitivity to high temperatures and drought. In case of prolonged heat, the leaves may dry out and fall off, and the berries may “sinter”. Two or three times a week the plants have to be watered (at least 1.5-2 buckets per bush), if it is not possible to organize drip irrigation,
- low frost resistance. When the air temperature is below −15, there is a high probability of freezing of the root system. Planting this raspberry requires careful mulching for the winter. Usually, a thick layer of peat, humus or dry plant residues acts as mulch, but gardeners sometimes use nonwoven covering material that passes air well and does not create stagnant moisture at the roots,
- excessive "voracity". Plants are very demanding on the content of basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in the soil. Gardeners note that even if the recommended mode of application of top dressings is observed, the bushes already deplete the soil after 3 years, their productivity decreases, the berries become small and tasteless. European farmers familiar with this feature of the variety grow it, separating the rows of adult plants from the rows of young seedlings, in order to be able to periodically “move” the fruiting part of the plantation,
- strong susceptibility to bacterial diseases of the root system (in particular, root cancer). Plantings require regular preventive treatments and control of the chemical composition of the soil, since the deficiency of certain substances contributes to the multiplication of pathogens.
Raspberry "Polka" is productive and gives berries of extremely high quality. It is suitable for production in commercial volumes and is well adapted for cultivation in temperate climates. That is why the variety is so popular in European countries. For Russian summer residents, it can and should be of interest. Plants are quite capricious and require high agrotechnology, but coping with their care is not so difficult, and a wonderful harvest can reward the gardener for all the efforts.
Anna, 35 years old, Volgograd
She refused all remontant raspberries in favor of this. The variety is, indeed, quite capricious: it is afraid of drought, the soil on the site “eats away” for three years, then it is necessary to relocate the raspberries. But the quality of the berries pays for everything: such tasty and “correct” ones are rarely seen. Aligned, plump, sweet. The transport is excellent, it does not fall apart in jam and compotes, after defrosting they look fresh. And the yield is good: if you feed and water properly, I collect 2.5 kg from a bush per season without any problems. The grade is good, I recommend to everyone. Just need to choose the nursery for the purchase of seedlings. I got my Polkas the second time. In the first faced regrading.
Nadezhda, 52 years old, Podolsk
Fuss with this variety is enough, but it is very good berries. Like, that fruiting “long.” My fruits start to ripen in the last week of July, I gather almost until the end of September. If autumn is without early frosts, almost all ovaries grow ripe. I sometimes cut the latest ones along with the stems, and put them in a room in a vase of water. Not to say that the berries ripening in this way are the most delicious, but it is pleasant that they can also be preserved. By winter I mow down all the shoots and thickly mulch with humus. So far, no bush has died out, although they say that the variety is not winter-hardy. And in the summer I feed, water and aisle from the overgrown brush. Without this, the planting quickly overgrows, and yields are falling.
George, 56 years old, Pronsk
He planted several bushes of this variety the year before last. In principle, I was pleased with it. The quality of the berries is very good, and there are not so many worries as they said. The treatment is almost the same as for any remontant raspberry: dressing, watering, pruning to the ground in autumn and mulching. The plants are compact, not prickly, I have not been sick yet. There are many berries (about 2 kg are obtained from the bush). They keep up, however, rather late, but the grandchildren rejoice, eat raspberries from the bushes even in September. I will propagate "Polka", it suits me perfectly.
The following videos tell about the peculiarities of the raspberry variety “Polka”:
Diseases and pests
It was noted above that polka is not susceptible to common "raspberry" diseasessuch as spider mite and gray rot. Worms and other small pests are unrealistic, as the bushes begin to bloom and bear fruit later than the majority of remontant varieties. And pests are known to prefer early fruits. But is everything so cloudless?
To combat it, physiologically acidic phosphate-potassium fertilizers and gypsum are introduced into the soil.
Also, when there is a lack of potassium or high acidity of the soil, the bush may react by reddening the foliage. The same trend is observed with malnutrition. Usually, in order to heal the raspberries in such a case, it is enough to fertilize plants with wood ash before watering.
Reviews gardeners about raspberries
Gardeners usually speak polka only well. This is not surprising, because there is a perception that due to the high quality of berries, resistance to diseases and pests and long-term yield, raspberries the polka was awarded the title of "Favorite gardeners".Harvesting raspberries
Experienced raspberries write: “I have been fond of growing raspberries for many years, but I still haven’t decided which sort is dearer to me - tall or short. I am very grateful to the Polish breeders for "Polka": remontant, high-yielding, large-fruited raspberries. This tall the variety has an incredible raspberry flavor and wonderful taste. " Gardener's notes
The family of agronomists Mikhail and Alla Molovychko share their impressions about Polka: “We have been growing raspberry varieties for a long period, bearing fruit on the second-year shoots in the middle of summer. And now in our raspberry jam appeared Polka raspberry, fruiting on annual shoots from August to the end of the growing season. Late raspberry is not susceptible to pests., has large transportable berries that are highly valued in the market - in the fall they have no competitors. ”LoveDacha
Many connoisseurs have already met and appreciated the polka. After all, what is most important for all summer residents? Of course, a good result with minimal cost. This variety is ideal for growing for commercial purposes, and for their own needs.. Polka does not require super-knowledge in care, it is easily propagated. The berries are tasty, fragrant and have a demand in the market. This is the case when the result justifies the means.