Thursday, March 30, 2017

Zone 6a - KS - Spring growth in Kansas

Aurora

Both Aurora and Borealis greened up nicely last year and I had 3 berries on Aurora, and 1 on Borealis. Last summer my son landed on Borealis crushing it - it didn't put on new growth after that and hasn't come back this year. Aurora has lots of new greenery this spring.

Arielle, Wichita, KS

Friday, March 17, 2017

Zone 7b - GA - Drought dries up haskap

Last Summer was long and we had a 3 month drought from July 'til September, and the haskap bushes just faded away, no matter how often I watered.  All the Georgia plants survived around them, so I just think it was just too hot for too long.  Obviously Stockbridge, GA is NOT a good place to grow them.  I appreciate being your testing station, and I am sorry I failed :-(.
(Ed. note: Borealis and Honey Bee were planted in June of 2012 Stockbridge is just south of Atlanta)
Carol, Stockbridge, GA

Monday, March 6, 2017

Zone 9b - CA - Trialing haskap in southern California

Aurora fruit set, self pollinated, March 4, 2017

Aurora plant 2-year-old from tissue culture propagation

Honey Bee blossoms forming, March 4, 2017

Honey Bee year-old plant, cutting propagation
I love the way these little plants look, very pleasing green to their foliage accented with the yellow flowers. I'm really happy so far!

I will be up-potting these as they grow, as this is my first time growing haskaps I didn't really know what to expect with growth rates/vigor. My idea was to see what conditions they would tolerate throughout the growing season, and move them in and out of dappled shape when necessary. If I start to see them struggling with the SoCal summer, I will still be able to move them around accordingly. I will definitely be keeping them watered well through the heat. I was able to keep some currants alive over last summer, so I have high hopes.

We live in the foothills of a mountain range east of Santa Ana, CA, but have a pretty unique micro climate to the Southern Ca area. During winter, the canyon blocks a lot of direct sun since it is lower in the sky, which actually keeps the temp 5 degrees cooler than most of our surrounding areas. It's actually pretty nice to grow here, because we probably average 500 chill hours or so, but also get the benefits of early spring temps. Around this time of year the sun starts hitting us for much longer periods of the day and in the summer we get normal full sun. But yeah, officially we are zone 9b ish.

Boreal Blizzard year-old from tissue culture
Solo(TM) 2-year-old from tissue culture

Plants were received bare root in late October, 2017.
Plants were potted, watered, and left outside in shade over winter. No direct sunlight until Jan., a couple hours a day increasing direct sun as the sun becomes higher in the sky.



Potting soil used was a varying mix of:

1) bagged, organic soil from big box store (Kellogg) 

2) vermiculite 

3) coco coir/peat  

4) composted chicken bedding/manure from our coop 

5) rabbit manure



Southern California had a rainy winter, so soil was almost always moist. Temps never got down colder than 30-35 deg F at night. Started seeing growth on Aurora in late Jan and blossoms in early Feb. (I didn't pay too close attention to time frames at the point) 
Honey Bee -March 10, 2017 update

Honey Bee just started showing flowers. Still some Aurora flowers out too, although Aurora looks to be almost done.

Mike, Silverado, Southern California

Friday, March 3, 2017

Zone 6b - TN - Spring haskap blossoms - irrigation and mulch critical for surviving drought

Mulch and drip line irrigation saved haskap from the heat and drought of 2016
I have not lost a single honeyberry plant, (ed. note: out of 64 early blooming varieties Aurora/Borealis/Tundra/Indigo Gem/Berry Smart Blue/Honey Bee planted in late October 2014) although last year the extended drought we experienced here in East Tennessee was a significant.  It was my irrigation system which saved all my plants from severe damage.  That said, the heat we experience here in ET is such that the honeyberries seem to retract into themselves going into summer and not produce further growth. (ed. note: typical of the plant even in more northern zones, but in the north they may experience a small flush of growth or even a few blossoms in the fall after receiving moisture)  Right now the early plants are already blooming because of the unusually warm weather we have been having this year!!  Nothing should be budding or blooming now but I have several fruiting types that are budding and/or blooming; we will have further episodes of cold which will probably kill the now appearing blooms/buds???? (ed. note: haskap blossoms withstand down to 20F/-7C) This is record-breaking heat in both Summer and Winter! 

I have LOTS of birds here and they love my plants!!!  Until the honeyberries begin to make in greater amounts I probably will not get very many!! 

Best regards and thanks for the great plants!!
Robert, Corryton, East Tennessee

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Zone 5b - Aurora Haskap makes an impression

Aurora haskap
WOW!  I bird netted this year and let them reach their max potential and I have to say I've been picking the last 2 weeks and I'm super impressed with production size and taste. (Planted spring 2015 and 2016)
Brian K, Cape Porpoise, ME

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Zone 5a - IA - Happy for Haskap Berries!


Last year I planted a really small Indigo Gem, a similarly small Aurora, and a quite larger bare root Borealis. THAT YEAR (last summer) both the little potted Aurora and the Indigo Gem put on a few berries (in the single digit amounts) and I reluctantly let them remain just to have a little taste. But I mean - come on now..., plant that summer and see a fruit that summer!?!?!
This year these two have a little more fruit set. The Indigo Gem made enough (see picture) for me to toss a good handful down to see what it was all about while leaving some for Fonda and the kids to try as well. Aurora isn't quite ripe, and Borealis I think only has 2-3 berries that I can see.
So the little plants have been get'n er done!
I really like the Indigo Gem flavor, and am glad you recommend I try it out.
I may get this Western Iowa crowd to growing Honeyberries before it's over!
Jerry, Missouri Valley, IA

(Editor's note: Borealis typically is slower to produce fruit and produces a lighter yield than Aurora or Indigo Gem, but also hides its fruit underneath dense foliage. Remember to let berries ripen for 3 weeks after they turn purple on the outside)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Zone 5b - Aurora haskap berries on bush

Aurora berries
Note dried blossom dangling at end of berry
4/23/2016: We have multiple berries on both Aurora plants! (planted in 2015) The Honeybee is now in bloom, but this didn't happen until Sunday. So, I strongly doubt it affected the developing berries on the Auroras.  The Borealis still has not yet bloomed.  We live in a very rural area & I know of no other honeyberries beyond our own in the area so Aurora may be self pollinating. We planted 2 Indigo Gem this spring which will blossom earlier.
Jeannette, Frankfort, OH