Alternating the different varieties, more or less astringent, it is possible to cover a rather long period of time.
Let’s not forget, moreover, that the plant has an undeniable ornamental value: in November, the leaves take on wonderful orange shades and, when they fall, leave in evidence the magnificent knobs.
Khaki is also very precious for the environment: at its feet, thanks to the leaves that decompose quickly, we will always have soil rich in organic matter.
The fruits born too high to be harvested with the ladder will prove, in winter, a sweet gift for the small and beautiful birds in our garden (tits, titties, robins).
Characteristics of spider khaki
The khaki called “spider” is a variety very common in our country, appreciated for its resistance to cold and for the abundance of production. the fruits are easily recognizable: their special feature is the presence on the bottom of a black spider web that contrasts with the bright color of the skin. From this it is also possible to evaluate the degree of ripeness: they are ready for consumption when it becomes very large causing almost cracks.
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Characteristics of the tree and fruit
Spider khaki is a very vigorous and productive tree, but its initial growth is very slow: to reach the ideal development it is necessary to wait even 8-10 years from the planting. For best results, it is a good idea to choose a warm, well-lit area for him, sheltered from strong winds. The flowers are hermaphrodite and therefore do not need pollination, although this ensures a product immediately sweet and darker pulp.
Harvesting can be done from October onwards, but almost always you will have an astringent fruit, so with good amount of tannins. It is therefore advisable to store the loti on sheets of paper with the petiole facing down, waiting for the pulp to become very soft and assume a bright orange color. The process can be facilitated and speeded up by the presence of ethylene emitting fruits (apples, bananas, pears). Another method is to expose the berries to strong frost.
At the time of consumption the skin will be very thin and can be easily consumed or removed. To avoid the gelatinous consistency, it is advisable to place the persimmon in a bowl and empty it with a teaspoon.
The climate of the spider persimmon
On the market are specimens of about 2 years old, with bare root or in pot, grafted on the species Lotus or Viriginana. Production begins when the plant reaches 4 years of age; growth is fairly slow, developing large and strong side branches and finally exceeding, by a little over 10 m in height. For the planting, autumn or spring, it is important to guarantee a soil, especially well drained and possibly slightly acidic, even if it adapts easily also to higher pH.
The best position is in full sun, maybe close to a wall protecting it from the strong winds. The Italian climate is ideal: it can be grown anywhere (except above 800 m) because the temperatures are never excessively cold (the limit is -15 ° C prolonged) and, thanks to the late flowering, is protected from late frost.
It is important not to cover the collar (to avoid rottenness) and to insert an abundant dose of organic soil improver at the bottom of the hole.
Cultivation of spider khaki
Khaki requires fairly intensive care in the early years: it requires frequent irrigation, but taking care to avoid stagnation. It is useful to insert a strong brace, especially in windy areas. In northern Italy, it is advisable to protect the trunk with insulating material during the winter, at least until the age of ten.
On the other hand, given its slow growth, it is almost never necessary to intervene with pruning. If we want we can give the typical shape of an upside-down vase to increase the sunshine and promote the ripening of the fruits.
Spider persimmons: Fruiting and harvesting persimmons
Khaki are commercially identified as astringent or non-astronomic. The first ones are rich in tannin and cannot be consumed at harvest time because they can tear up the mouth. For this reason it is necessary to wait for their complete maturation: the process is facilitated by putting them together with apples (which emit ethylene) or making them freeze and then thaw.
Non-astringent varieties, on the other hand, are immediately sweet: some, called apple persimmons, have a very firm consistency and can be consumed more easily by simply slicing them.