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."

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    Well that is a bad one. I don't want them. The growth has been good and there seems to be a good set of fruit even though the pollinators seem to be few and far between.