Honeysuckle Boreal Best: characteristics and cultivation of the variety
Honeysuckle is grown on personal plots not only for decorative purposes, but also as a fruit crop, since its berries are distinguished by excellent taste. This characteristic is also relevant for the late variety Boreal Best, grown in almost any region. What you need to know about the features of its cultivation on the site, and what characteristics deserve primary attention, read the article.
Description of a variety of honeysuckle Boreal Best (Boreal Beast)
Honeysuckle plants Boreal Best (other names - Boreal Bist, Borealis, Northern Monster) are one of the most prominent representatives of the edible variety of this culture. In addition to the attractive appearance of the bushes, they bring a considerable number of tasteful berries that can be used for a variety of culinary purposes. Both the plant itself and its berries have features that will be of interest to the gardener.
Honeysuckle Northern Monster - a young variety, Canadian breeding 2016. It was bred at the University of Saskatchewan, the author of the new culture is the famous local breeder Bob Bars. It is noteworthy that in just a few years they learned about the new variety in many countries of the world.
Did you know? Title «Northern monster» the plant received due to the need for cross-pollination with another similar variety - Northern Beauty. This combination (beauty and the beast) helps people remember that both options should be grown together.
Appearance, characteristics of berries, ripening time, yield
Bushes of honeysuckle Boreal Best are represented by one and a half meter plants with a rounded apex, which quickly increase the vegetative mass. Shoots are thick and durable, and differ from other varieties of honeysuckle by the late appearance of flowers and the same late fruiting, which is usually stretched from late June to September.
Ripening berries reach 3 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter, weighing 2–3.5 g.
The shape of the fruit is broadly oval, slightly flattened from the sides (resembles a thick heart or a thick oval). The color of the berries is black-violet, with a lighter, denser and fleshy pulp inside. Fully ripened fruits have an exquisite sweet-sour taste, with a light fruity aftertaste and an unusual aroma for standard honeysuckle.
All of them are tightly held on the stalks and even after the leaves fall, they can remain on the bush, which significantly prolongs the timing of the consumption of tasty and healthy products. The yield of the variety is average, so from one adult bush usually harvest no more than 5 kg of fruits.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Any honeysuckle variety has strengths and weaknesses, so it is not surprising that it is useful for a gardener to know about them before planting the Northern Monster.
- The list of advantages of Boreal Best include:
- compact size of the bush and its attractive appearance;
- prolonged fruiting;
- high resistance to various ailments, especially to mildew;
- high density of berries, which makes them suitable for long transportation;
- good dessert qualities of fruits and the possibility of their use for different purposes.
- Cons of the variety:
- relatively late onset of flowering and fruiting;
- the need for shelter in the cold season;
- the need for planting other plants for cross pollination and higher yields.
Agrotechnical measures for the cultivation of honeysuckle Boreal Best are based on proper planting and appropriate further care for the bushes: watering, fertilizing the soil under plantings, forming or sanitary pruning of shoots.There are no special problems with planting and further care of the bushes, therefore, observing the standard requirements for the cultivation of honeysuckle, you can get a rich harvest of fruits.
Choosing a landing place
In order for the honeysuckle to please the appearance and bring the most abundant harvest, it is important to select the most suitable place in the garden for planting bushes, taking into account the level of illumination, soil composition and its moisture.
Important! If the homestead territory is located in a lowland, and there is no alternative option for planting a plant, organize 30-cm embankments from the ground and place bushes on them already. A drainage layer of broken brick, expanded clay or crushed stone is also necessary.
- The selected area should be as protected as possible from cold gusts of wind, especially in the autumn-winter period.
- Sun rays need honeysuckle, so they should fall on the crown, leaving a slight shadow under it (this will help to control the optimal level of soil moisture).
- If there is a choice, it is better to give preference to sandy or loamy soils, with good air and moisture permeability.
- The level of groundwater in the area with honeysuckle should not exceed 1.5 m, otherwise constant flooding of the root system of the culture will lead to rapid decay of the bush.
Landing and care
The specific timing of honeysuckle planting depends on the climatic conditions of the region and the personal preferences of the gardener, since several options are always possible in this matter. In the southern regions, both spring and summer or even autumn planting is allowed, but in the central regions and especially in the northern regions it is more reasonable to land in the warm season, without delaying until the fall. So the young honeysuckle Boreal Best will have more chances for successful adaptation in a new place and further wintering.
Did you know? Distinguish edible and poisonous species of honeysuckle can be on the color of berries. Blue and black are safe for humans and animals, and red and orange are poisonous. The exception is black wolf berries, which, although they have a dark color, are poisonous.
A pit for bushes is prepared in advance (at least a month before the intended planting), digging holes in a selected area, the width and depth of which will correspond to 50 cm.A mixture of humus and removed soil can be filled into the bottom of the hole, adding a small amount of superphosphate fertilizer. The landing itself does not take much time, because it consists of standard events:
- Seedling placement on a nutrient soil cushion.
- The uniform distribution of the rhizome of the plant throughout the volume of the planting hole.
- Soil sealing (so that there are no airy places between individual roots).
- Soil compaction and irrigation.
If desired, you can additionally mulch the soil surface with sawdust or a layer of peat, which will help to retain moisture for a long time.
Further care of the planted bushes includes the following actions.
- Watering. Humidification of the substrate is carried out taking into account weather conditions and natural precipitation. Boreal Best responds positively to sufficient hydration, which is especially important before flowering and the formation of fruit ovaries. In a dry summer, the frequency of irrigation should be at least once every 3-4 days, but on average they moisten the honeysuckle once every 10 days.
- Top dressing. The most effective and affordable fertilizer option for growing honeysuckle will be traditional organics: infusion of mullein, bird droppings or compost. Mineral compounds are used less frequently, since many of them can cause excessive thickening of the bush. Organic feeding begins to be used no sooner than after 3 years of growing young honeysuckle, and in the initial stages it is enough to scatter 1 bucket of humus or compost under each plant.At the end of summer, the soil is sprinkled with wood ash, at the rate of ½ a half-liter can for one adult plant. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are applied to the soil in early spring until the snow melts completely (at the very beginning of vegetation processes in the body of the bush). The nutrient mixture is prepared at the rate of 1 tbsp. urea in 10 liters of water, which is enough to feed one bush.
- Soil cultivation and weed control. It is easier to perform these actions shortly after the next wetting of the substrate, when it completely absorbs water, it becomes soft and supple. The soil preparation tool is deepened no more than 10 cm, being careful not to damage the young roots. Simultaneously with the loosening of the substrate, weeds can be removed, and at the end of the process, mulch the trunk zone, which will protect the bush from drying out and limit the re-growth of weeds.
Boreal Best honeysuckle is able to grow and bear fruit without pollinators in the territory, however, in order to improve the productivity of the bushes, it is better to plant them next to other popular varieties of honeysuckle breeder Bob Bors - Beauty (Boreal Beauty) and Buran (Boreal Blizzard). In addition, a general Honey Bee pollinator will be a good option for pollination. The remaining varieties will be an inappropriate alternative for use for these purposes, since the pollination of the Northern Monster with their participation is only 50% or less.
Pest and Disease Control
Honeysuckle Boreal Best has few natural “enemies”, and for the most part these are leaf-eating insects and spider mites. During the pouring of berries, bushes attack the caterpillars of the leaf and aphids, the first of which eat young shoots and leaves, and the second suck out the juice from them, thereby contributing to yellowing and falling of leaf plates. To combat such pests, it is better to use insecticidal drugs like Iskra, Agrovertina, or Fitoverma. Spraying plants should be performed in the evening, with a possible repetition after 10 days.Subject to agrotechnical requirements, the honeysuckle disease is not terrible, but in some years it can still suffer from powdery mildew, which manifests itself in the form of a gray-white coating on any part of the plant. Having discovered the first signs of a disease, it is worth using a solution of the drug "Fitosporin", which is of biological origin and, thanks to this, is not toxic. The same drug will help to cope with other ailments of fungal origin in the garden.
Cropping and shaping the crown
In the first 5 years after planting on the site, the honeysuckle Boreal Best does not need forming or special pruning of the bush. On young plants, it is enough to cut off only dried, broken and incorrectly growing shoots, thereby performing sanitary cleaning of the bush. With 6- or 7-year-old honeysuckle, detailed pruning begins, with the removal of more weakened branches.
About 13–15 years after planting a bush on the site, anti-aging pruning is performed to prevent crushing of berries and a sharp decrease in plant productivity. In this case, there are two possible options for performing the procedure: radical, with full cutting of root shoots (carried out in October) and more sparing, with the preservation of several young basal shoots and severe thinning of the crown. In the latter case, if you did not have time to perform the procedure in the autumn, you can trim in the spring, but be sure to start sap flow (in April).
After any pruning, it is necessary to feed the honeysuckle with nutritious compounds that will help increase the productivity of the shrub and prepare the culture for the upcoming cold season (if we are talking about autumn cutting of extra shoots). Of fertilizers, it is better to give preference to organic substances in the form of ripened compost or rotted humus.
Important! When performing organic dressing using manure or humus, make sure that they do not come into contact with the roots or young shoots of honeysuckle. Active substances in their composition can trigger a burn of delicate plant tissues.
Like all honeysuckle varieties, Boreal Best requires shelter for the winter season, especially if bushes are grown in central or northern regions. Shelter can be organized in several ways: by mulching the trunk area and wrapping the central part of the bush with burlap (more typical for areas with mild winters) or by completely covering the plant with agrofiber (artificial material is spread over the entire bush). Sometimes the long shoots of the bush are removed from the supports and, bending to the ground, covered with a likeness of a box made of frame construction and spunbond, reliably protecting the plant from low temperatures.
Harvesting and transportation of the crop, shelf life of berries
The first fruits of honeysuckle can be tasted already at the end of July, although mass harvesting usually occurs in early or mid-August. Removing the fruits is done manually, after which the berries can be stacked in a low wooden box, with small ventilation holes on the sides.
Thanks to the dense covering layer of honeysuckle berries, they are transported without problems over long distances, without fear of loss of commercial qualities. Fresh fruits are stored for up to 3-5 days, however, for this, the harvested crop will have to be placed in a cool place (for example, in a cellar or on the bottom shelf of a refrigerator).
According to gardeners, the maximum shelf life of fresh honeysuckle berries is 7 days, but often the fruits are processed for preserves and jams much earlier. Only in this way can their shelf life be extended to several years.
Honeysuckle varieties Boreal Best - a worthy option for planting in the central and southern regions, because in addition to ease of care, the plant bushes are characterized by an attractive appearance. Ripened fruits have high palatability.