Monday, March 18, 2019

Zone 7a - TN - Early bloomers blooming

Just a picture of the two former twigs!!  Borealis in Athens, TN.   The Japanese varieties bloom at the end of March! And helpful hint to people in Southern States, 40 percent shade cloth in July, August helps and lots of mulch!! They typically look like they are dead in August because they turn brown and wither, but don’t pull them out!!! In October, you will see them leaf out again!

The first one to bloom was the Aurora. Then Borealis and Indigo gem. Aurora is the one that is covered in flowers and usually has the most berries.  The others are in the sun for about 8 hours per day.  The sunny one is in the sun for about 11 hours per day (which may explain why it blooms first).  They are labeled correctly!!  :-)  But, I'm learning a lot since they have been a little bit different than what I've been reading. And getting them to survive the hot, humid summers has been a challenge. But, so far so good! 

Sandra, Athens, TN 

Borealis March 17, 2019

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zone 7a - TN - Early bloomers doing just fine

Plenty of bloom overlap on the early ones. We are in Athens, TN zone 7A. (from spring 2017 planting) Aurora bloomed first in late February followed by Borealis, which is our most prolific producer and Sugar Mountain Blue. Since they were the only plants with early blooms, the bees were all over them. I ended up with a quart of berries on each of the two Borealis. And a small handful on the Aurora.

I have already harvested the berries this year. In TN the berries are ready in early May.

Since we have a long growing season, we had two bloom times. Once in spring when they were small twigs and once in fall. The growth that took place in February and March of this year was amazing! So in the plants in their second year of growth are taking off!

The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was that honeyberries go dormant in the summer (they look dead, brown and withered), but then leaf out when the weather cools down in Zone 7.  Honeyberries in the Deep South do better under a 40 percent shade cloth in July/August. 

I take pictures and map the growth and production on everything. Including the berries under shade cloth and those that aren’t. And plants that are mulched and plants that aren’t! Hoping to figure out the best way to grow them in the south!
Sandra, Athens, TN

Friday, March 23, 2018

Zone 7b - NC - Spring growth in Apex, NC - March 5, 2018

Boreal Beauty 3/5/2018

Boreal Blizzard  3/5/2018 needs replacing

Solo(TM) 3/5/2018
Maxie(TM) 3/5/2018
"I received these plants in November, 2017 and potted them up over winter in 10 gallon pot in mix of: 1/3 potting mix, 1/3 daddy pete's planting mix (pine bark mulch/cow manure) and 1/3 un-composted leaf mulch, amended heavily with holly-tone a high acidity fertilizer (ed. note - honeyberries prefer a range of 5.5 - 8.5 pH) and a medium amount of diatomaceous earth. They have all bloomed and overlap periods between them being very similar. I hand pollinated and unsure of fruit set this year. A few immature blossoms in early winter and a few more full bloom probably starting mid Feb. and ending now in early March, receiving sun for the first half of the day and dappled shade for the second half. They seem to be doing very well and have already put out a lot of new growth."
Lane, Apex, NC

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Zone 6a - KS - Spring growth in Kansas


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