Friday, August 10, 2012

Haskap Across the USA

Haskap Across the USA (based in part on this blog) was presented on July 20 at the 2012 U of S Haskap Day in Saskatoon, SK. Based on feedback from across the USA, scorching heat is hard (and sometimes deadly) on Borealis and Tundra haskap, but this is not reflected in the USDA plant zones. One grower is in zone 10b due to warm winter temps, but did not have the scorching summer heat that say OK, zone 7b, had last year.

It is possible to get berries without a non-related variety nearby for pollination, but the fruit will not be as plentiful or as large. Josh in KS (zone 5b) reported "The bad news is the Berry Blue never leafed out. The good is that I have 10 small berries on my Borealis."(Both bushes from year-old stock, planted end of March 2012)

Borealis blossoms in Kansas on year-old plant Apr 15, 2012

Borealis berry in Kansas on year-old plant May 15, 2012

Dean from zone 10b in CA reports, "The average summertime high temp where we are in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles is in the high 80’s, low 90’s, and dry, and in the winter daytime temps can be in the 50’s and 60’s.

The Berry Blue is doing very well since planting in April 2011. It's gotten much larger and is sprouting new growth. I'm guessing that the plant is about 18-24" tall now. It has not sprouted fruit, but I didn't necessarily expect that it would as I've only had both plants about 1-1/2 year. The Borealis is doing OK, but has barely grown at all and there's no new growth that I can see, possibly due to transplanting from my garden to the raised bed.

Both plants have developed an odd problem. All of the leaves other than the new growth on the Berry Blue is covered in what look like water spots but are the only leaves in the yard to display such markings, and I water under the foliage."

Two year old Borealis in CA, July 4, 2012
Spotting and drying edges on Borealis leaves in CA is not pretty but plant is surviving.
Might want to check the spots for mycelium. July 4, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Zone 3 - Forest Tent Caterpillars dine on haskap leaves

Every ten years or so the forest tent catepillars arrive en masse and this year there is a new item on the menu - haskap leaves!

Forest tent caterpillar munching on haskap leaf
Folded leaf makes cozy home for tent caterpillar larvae.
Morning dew still on leaves.
Pried open haskap leaf reveals forest tent caterpillar larvae in cocoon
So far there are a couple of caterpillars per plant on one end of the orchard. Most of the growth has occurred already (12-24") and the berries are starting to turn purple.

Borealis haskap berries turning purple
They seem to turn purple overnight, and yes, you will just have to taste one before it's ready, but the sourness will definitely encourage you to wait another 3 weeks for the rest to ripen to a more palatable taste!

Tundra haskap
Potted haskap will ripen a good week or two prior to the ones planted in the ground. These Tundra berries look like they are ready to eat, but still need a couple more weeks to turn sweet.

Borealis and Tundra blossom over the span of a week or two, so we probably want to wait a good month from the time the first berries turn dark blue until harvest. However, Chris in CT reports, "My kids ate the berries before they fully ripened. They liked their tartness."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Zone 7 - Georgia - Tundra Haskap Berries

I bought 2 Borealis and 2 Tundra haskap/honeyberryplants in the spring of 2011. I planted them at my cabin in the north Georgia mountains. We had a long and *very* dry summer (1 inch of rain over three months), and I was surprised actually to have only lost one of my four honeyberries (one of the Borealis). The other plants are actually thriving in part sun it seems. Considering how hot and dry the summer was here, that's pretty good for a plant that is supposed to live in the frigid north!

Berries from 2 year old Tundra

Berries on 2 year old Tundra

Two year old Tundra growing in part sun, north Georgia mountains
Anyway, this email was just to send you pictures of my first harvest (from the Tundra plants). Not a lot yet, and I'm pretty sure these weren't even pollinated (my pollinator plants are still too small). But let me tell you they sure were delicious :)  Kevin, Georgia

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Zone 5b - Maine - Borealis and Tundra Haskap Blossoms

2 year old Borealis

2 year old Tundra
They did well their first year with most more than doubling in size, and by the beginning of winter I was super psyched for this spring and the possible berries it would bring. Well they didn't disappoint as the plants have not just already doubled in size again (in just 3-4 weeks) but they are loaded with little berries with plenty more flowers out and forming. Brian, coastal Maine