Saturday, April 25, 2015

Zone 5b - Spring cleanup

Keeping the grass away from haskap helps a lot. 

While suffering from a few broken branches due to the heavy snow/ice/melt/freeze conditions in the northeast this past winter, this lineup of haskap looks ready to get growing!

Borealis, Tundra and Berry Smart Blue haskap lineup
Planted May 2012

Buds ready to burst forth on April 17
Brian, Cape Porpoise, ME

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Zone 5b - Springville, UT Honey Bee haskap comeback

I thought I needed to order a replacement for what I thought was a dead Honey Bee haskap that I had planted last year. Last fall, my dog whipped the young haskap with her tail and broke it at the base. To my surprise this past week, the Honey Bee has pushed up a new stem and is growing vigorously. It is already about 2-3 inches tall and leafing profusely. Kevin, Springville, UT Elevation 4,577 ft

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zone 1 - Ester, AK (Fairbanks area)

Report regarding last summer: "The haskaps seem to be immune to our winters, and the kids love them. I find them lying on their backs under the bushes grazing away." Steve, Ester, Alaska

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Zone 4b-5a New Mexico Highlands

I'm trying a couple of plants at 5,000 ft. Albuquerque, and 8-plants at 7,500 ft. Taos. I have:
1 plant left at 7,800 ft. Costilla (-23F. No snow cover. Summer high 85-90F. Last spring frost, 2014, May 27. 13" precipitation per year)
3 plants at 8,200 ft. Amalia

I've not had any success with the Siberian/Russian varieties and am now trying a few Japanese varieties. Of the first two original orders I put in, about half have died and the rest are about 4-6 inches tall after a few years. I find that the sun is too much for them here. I'm moving what I have into a shaded apple orchard to see if they fare better. Also, they don't seem to tolerate drought conditions well at all. Unless you can get them some plants with 8-10" roots they are going to struggle and the sun scalded leaves just don't help. Another grower I work with in New Mexico has reported similar results with their haskap/honeyberry trials. Ron, New Mexico, member of NAFEX (North American Fruit Explorers).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Zones 4 Minnesota - Survivor Haskap

This haskap has hardly grown over the past three years (see 2011 blog entry). Planted in rich black dirt next to a garage and just beyond the edge of a black walnut tree, we're not sure what are the most detrimental factors that have stunted the growth. Our relatives reported that the garage wall had been covered with insects this summer and they may have eaten all the leaves, but by September, new shoots were thrusting forth in an effort to make a come-back. The Berry Blue honeyberry bush planted a few feet away looked the same.
Haskap sends out new shoots in fall after a bad summer
We conclude that not all locations are ideal for haskap, but yes, the bushes do make a tremendous effort to stay alive. We did decide that after three years it was time to give the bushes a new home so brought them back to The Honeyberry FarmBernis, reporting on bushes at Albert Lea, MN

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Zone 5b - Maine - Borealis and Tundra Haskap update

Borealis blossoms, May 12, 2014
(planted spring 2012)
Same Borealis bush June 3, 2014
It has been a very cold/late spring in Maine and many of my thornless blackberries and even red raspberries experienced moderate to severe  winter die back.... Haskaps loved it! and I also believe around 95% of the flowers put out were pollinated thanks to mr bumble bee! 

Tundra blossoms May 12, 2014
Same Tundra bush June 3, 2014

I was worried the interior of my plants would remain un-pollinated  due to how thick they are but the bumble bees would just land on the plants and walk their way through the plants from flower to flower (average time a bumble bee would spend on each bush was well over 2 minutes) then just fly to the next haskap plant in the row, ignoring all other flowers in-between in the process. At one point I had a highway of bumble bees going up and down my haskap row.

June 3, 2014 Haskap berries
I have only ever pruned one Tundra while it was in growth (late April) as a personal growth experiment and found it to be extremely detrimental. Instead of spurring new shoot growth it seemed to dramatically slow the plants growth for the rest of the year. I think pruning late fall is the way to go. (Editor's note: A Polish study reports pruning is not recommended until bush is mature, after six years).

The first 2 years the deer really ate all 6 of them back heavily during the fall, this is why I think why the Tundra plants I have seem just as bushy as the Borealis. (Editor's note: Borealis and Tundra are difficult to distinguish the first couple of years anyways, but as they mature, Tundra is significantly more open and sprawling, while Borealis forms a dense dome of branches and leaves. Deer or rabbit pruning does encourage more shoots from the roots. Whether this is recommended in the long term, we don't know, as it takes awhile for the bush to catch up to its unpruned state. Borealis seems bushy enough as it is, while maybe it is beneficial to Tundra to encourage more shoots from the roots.)

Berry Smart Blue fall 2013
(Planted spring 2012)
Berry Smart Blue grows upwards a lot faster and blooms a fair bit sooner then the other two leaving not much overlap but enough (2 weeks this year only 1 last). (Editor's Note: Berry Smart Blue, (aka Czech No. 17) is a Russian cultivar that pollinates with Borealis and Tundra. It has slightly smaller and tarter tubular berries, with some berry drop and leaves turn color earlier as well, but a productive and vigorous bush that fills out more solidly with maturity.)

Brian, coastal Maine

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Zone 4 - Minneapolis, MN

May 15, 2014 Haskap blossoms

May 15, 2014 Haskap blossoms
Thanks to Joseph Wehrman: Wildcard Photographic for these fotos of haskap blossoms that he planted the end of October, 2013. Late spring all over the northern states this year, but these berries should be ripe by the end of June.