Honeysuckle: the old variety does not spoil the garden
Edible honeysuckle stands out among berry bushes for its high winter hardiness and unusually early fruiting. She successfully fit into our difficult climate, annually gives a crop, despite the cold winters and spring frosts. In our family everyone loves honeysuckle berries - for their excellent taste, for healing properties.
Edible honeysuckle (Lonicera venulosa subsp. Edulis, syn. Lonicera edulis), or Turchaninov Honeysuckle - a bush with edible fruits, a species of the genus Honeysuckle (Lonicera) of the family Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae). It grows in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, as well as in Korea and China.
We have been growing honeysuckle for three decades. It all started with a trip to the summer village of Vyritsa near St. Petersburg, where I met the famous Leningrad breeder Philip Kuzmich Teterev. He literally infected me with his interest in Far Eastern plants, and spoke about honeysuckle with special love, ironically calling it “shameless” because of the biological feature of the plant “strip”, peeling off thin strips of bark.
The basis of our collection of honeysuckle was varieties created by F.K. Teterev at the Pavlovskaya experimental station. In my opinion, some of them are not inferior to the novelties of selection at all.
For example, grade Pavlovskaya medium early ripening. Its berries are cylindrical in shape, of good taste, and do not show off much. The bush is medium tall, the old branches tend to fall apart. The beloved strikes with large (up to 3.6 cm) elongated-cylindrical berries of excellent taste, they do not crumble for a long time. The bush is compact, with a height of not more than 1.5 m.
Most cultivated edible honeysuckle varieties derived from Edible honeysuckle and Honeysuckle blue (Lonicera caerulea), Kamchatka.
Of the modern varieties of honeysuckle, the Pavlovsk experimental station is especially good Nymph average maturity. Its large spindle-shaped berries of dessert taste have a pleasant aroma and almost do not crumble. In my opinion, this is one of the most productive varieties. Berries ripen a little earlier Moraine, in shape they resemble a jug and also of good taste.
Recently, I purchased honeysuckle varieties from other breeding institutions: Long-fruited, Indigo, their berries are large, sweet and sour, and Strawberry have, in accordance with the name, a delicate strawberry flavor. The fruits of the variety are original. Cherry - they are round in shape and dark cherry in color, hanging on bushes almost until autumn.
Among the advantages of honeysuckle is its resistance to diseases, I have not noticed any signs of any ailment on the bushes for all the years that I have been growing honeysuckle. Until recently, there were no pests except bullfinches; in winter, they sometimes peck flower buds. Feathered birds can be scared away by hanging shiny objects, such as old laser discs.
However, the damage from bullfinches is small. More honeysuckle troubles deliver willow scale insects. This pest is very small, and in some nurseries where I get new products, they apparently do not notice it, sending infected seedlings. Meanwhile, scabies can cause noticeable damage: weakened shoots freeze in the winter or give small berries. From this misfortune, the drug Aktara helps well.
Caring for the honeysuckle is not difficult: after it hardens, I loosen the soil dug during the harvest and mulch it with humus. Plants are very responsive to organics.
Honeysuckle has this feature: it branches strongly, with planting age thicken. Therefore, I definitely thin them out. I do this in the fall every 2-3 years.
I cut 4-5-year-old wood, and remove lodging branches at the bottom of the crown. This simple operation helps maintain high yields for many years.
I propagate honeysuckle with green cuttings. Cuttings in the morning in the ripening period of berries. With good drainage, shading, and regular spraying, cuttings take root quite well. Cuttings do the minimum height. F. Teterev emphasized that the distance between the soil and the shelter (glass, film) should be no more than 10 cm.
Green grafting is a painstaking process, and in some regions grafts of good grades are also difficult to obtain. Therefore, I believe that with a shortage of planting material, seed propagation of honeysuckle is justified.
Varietal traits are not completely transmitted, however, seedlings quickly begin to bear fruit (in the 2-3rd year) and plants with the best qualities can be selected. It is also important that the seeds do not require stratification and can be sown both in autumn and spring.
In the past, I often used this method, several successful seedlings still bear fruit in my area. At the same time, some varietal plants that did not live up to expectations had to be parted. Of course, it makes sense to sow only seeds of large-fruited dessert varieties.
Author: I. Pechurin, Yaroslavl Region, Rybinsk