Honeysuckle varieties Zest: characteristics and features of cultivation
Honeysuckle can increasingly be found in personal plots. Even novice gardeners will cope with planting and caring for the plant, but in order to obtain the desired result, some rules of agricultural technology should be observed. Below are the characteristic features of the promising variety Zest, as well as the basics of growing a culture and ways of propagating it.
The Variety Zest was created at the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Higher Educational Institutions of Law, YuNIISK (Yekaterinburg, Russia), entered in the State Register in 1999 and approved for cultivation in all regions of the country. Obtained as a result of free pollination of the Kamchatka honeysuckle.
Zest is classified as a medium-ripening variety, the plant has the following characteristics:
- the bush is medium-tall, slightly spreading;
- purple shoots with pubescence, thin;
- leaves are light green, medium size;
- pale flowers, medium;
- berries weighing about 1.1 g, length 1.8–2.7 cm;
- the shape of the berries is elongated-oval, the surface is tuberous;
- the color of berries is blue, with a bluish coating, without pubescence;
- fibrous, aromatic pulp;
- the taste is sweet and sour, without bitterness.
Assessment of the taste of fruits by professional tasters varies significantly depending on the region in which the crop ripened. In the conditions of the northwestern regions of Russia, it is 4 points, while in Ukraine it reaches 4.8 points out of 5 possible.
The highlight has many advantages, but there are also disadvantages that should be considered when choosing a variety.
Did you know? In addition to edible, there is also decorative honeysuckle, whose fruits are unsuitable for consumption. In total there are about 190 species of this creeping shrub. One of the most famous representatives of culture with inedible fruits is the wolfberry.
Frost and drought resistance
This honeysuckle has demonstrated high frost resistance, while there is no information on how the variety tolerates drought.
Fruiting begins already in the 3-4th year of plant life. The start of harvesting in some regions begins in May, which makes honeysuckle one of the first berries of the season. Productivity of the variety is low, but stable, and is about 27 kg / ha or 0.9–1.4 kg per bush. From the shoots the berries show off weakly.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The main advantages of the Highlight can be considered:
- stable harvest;
- large tasty berries;
- insoluble fruits;
- resistance to frost;
- disease resistance;
- unpretentiousness in cultivation.
The minor disadvantages of the variety include relatively low productivity and the need for pollinators.
The variety is self-infertile, and in order to set fruit, it needs proximity to other varieties. It is recommended to plant 2 more bushes of the same group nearby, for example, varieties Zarnitsa, Goryanka or Atlant.
In order to provide the plant with the most comfortable conditions, it is necessary to allocate a suitable place for the plant and plant in the optimal time.
Did you know? The bark of some species of honeysuckle peels and exposes the trunk, which is why it received the popular name "shameless".
Due to the early start of spring vegetation, it is advisable to choose the autumn period for planting. Optimal is the end of September or the first week of October. If you need to plant a seedling in spring, do this immediately after thawing the soil, until the buds wake up.
Site selection, well preparation
The place for honeysuckle should be bright and protected from the north wind. Since the plant reaches considerable size, it is necessary to provide enough space for an adult bush and make a support.Adult honeysuckle can reach a diameter of 1.5–2 m, so an area of about 2 × 2.5 m is allocated for it.
In general, the culture does not impose special requirements on the land, but the best result is shown on sandy and loamy soils with a slightly acidic reaction. The permissible groundwater level is 0.5 m. For planting one seedling, you will need a pit with dimensions 40 × 40 × 40 cm.
Important! If the land on the plot is acidic, every 4 years it is necessary to bring in 200-300 g of lime per 1 m² of the trunk circle.
To prepare the nutrient mixture you will need:
- 2 buckets of humus or compost;
- 200 g of double superphosphate and potassium salt or 1-2 tbsp. ashes.
Selection and preparation of planting material
The most suitable are seedlings at the age of two years, which already in the next season will allow you to get the first crop. They should have 2–4 elastic shoots 30–40 cm long, as well as a branched root system. Before planting, seedlings carefully examine and remove damaged parts. Long roots should be cut to 30 cm.
The process of planting a seedling is performed according to the following scheme:
- A mound of fertile mixture is formed at the bottom of the pit.
- A sapling is placed on the knoll and its root system is straightened, checking that the roots do not bend up.
- Fill the pit with earth and compact it. The root neck should eventually be deepened 3-4 cm.
- Honeysuckle is abundantly watered (about 10 liters of water per bush) and the trunk circle is mulched with sawdust, dry straw or humus about 4 cm thick.
A feature of the culture is a slow growth in the first 3-4 years after planting. So, in the 4th year, the bush can reach only 1 m in height. This behavior should not be considered problematic; it does not require additional fertilizing or special pruning.
Watering and mulching
Active growth of crop shoots is only about 10 days and stops already in early summer. Such an early start requires attention to the plant during this period. TOthe mouth needs regular watering until fruiting is completed. Lack of moisture these days will significantly reduce yields, reduce size and degrade the taste of berries.After watering, to save moisture and reduce the number of weeds, the trunk circle must be mulched.
With a sufficient amount of fertilizer in the planting pit, the plant will not need other top dressing for 2 years.As soon as the bush begins to bear fruit, with the onset of spring, nitrogen fertilizer (ammonium nitrate or urea) should be applied, diluting 30 g in 10 liters of water and pouring 1–1.5 liters of solution under the bush.
Often used and a solution of mullein (1: 6) or bird droppings (1:10). It is recommended to observe the interval of 14 days and stop feeding in the early days of July. When the crop is already harvested, a solution of nitroammophoski or nitrophoska is added, at the rate of 25-30 g per bucket of water. A slurry solution (1: 4) is also suitable.
In the autumn, the bush is recommended such a mixture (per 1 m²):
- 5 kg of compost;
- 100 g of ash;
- 40 g of double superphosphate.
In the first spring, it is recommended to cut the seedling by 7-10 cm, for growing the basic skeleton of the bush. The first 2-3 seasons after planting, the plant does not need pruning. If in the future the plant does not show excessive thickening, pruning is also not carried out.
If pruning has become necessary, it is prescribed for the fall. To dilute the bush, several “zero” shoots are grown that grow directly from the ground. Dry, damaged shoots are cut out, as well as short branches. The old branches are removed, the fruiting of which has fallen significantly, as well as shoots located at the very bottom. This will allow access to the near-stem circle for soil cultivation. Spring pruning is carried out by sanitary cutting, removing the tips of shoots affected by frost or disease.
Important! The shoots of the current year should not be shortened, since it is on them that the ovaries will form in the next season.
Harvesting and storage
The collection of berries is carried out after reaching full color. The highlight practically does not fall from the bush, therefore, after gaining color, you can wait about 7 days. Berries are collected in small containers in 1-2 layers.
Honeysuckle is stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. It is suitable for freezing and drying, and is also used for making jam and other preparations.
The culture tolerates a drop in temperature to -50 ° C without significant losses, and in the flowering phase it will survive the return frosts to -8 ° C. Moreover, if prolonged warming occurs in winter, the plant may wake up and open fruiting buds, which will damage the returning severe frosts. Despite this, additional shelter for the bush is not used, only mulching of the root system is used.
To obtain a full crop and preserve the bush in a healthy state, it is recommended to perform the following measures:
- remove all fallen leaves and trim, if necessary, pruning the plant, and you should also remove the organic mulch used during the season in the trunk circle;
- close the ground under the bush with a new layer of mulch.
Propagating honeysuckle is quite easy. Usually, cuttings, layering or a bush dividing method is used for this. Seeds also sprout well, but they do not retain the varietal characteristics of the mother plant. Seed breeding is mainly used in breeding work.
Important! When planting by dividing the bush, the honeysuckle shoots must be cut by a third.
Cuttings should be prepared in early spring, before the kidneys open. Annual strong shoots with a minimum diameter of 7–8 mm are selected for them. There should be 2-3 buds on the handle, about 3 cm left to be buried in the soil, therefore the total length of the handle is about 7-12 cm. The cuttings are soaked for a day soaked in water with the addition of a rooting agent, small cuts can be made on the bark on the bottom.
Lignified cuttings are cut in the fall, after leaf fall. The shoots of annual growth are selected for them, which, after cutting, are stored in the basement, in wet sand until spring. With their spring planting, only 1 kidney is left on the soil surface.
For rooting, it is best to use peat-sand substrate in equal proportions. You can plant the cuttings in the garden or in a small greenhouse. In any case, the landing should be covered with a film or other material. The average period for rooting is approximately 1 month.
This is the easiest way to get a few new bushes for the infield. In the early spring, while the plant is still sleeping, several shallow cuts are made on the bark of a low horizontal shoot. The shoot is bent to the ground and fixed, then instilled and watered. After rooting, the shoot is separated from the main plant and transplanted to a selected location.
If there are no shoots below, use the "air lay" method. A layer of bark is removed from the top of the annual growth (in the form of a ring 1 cm wide), departing from the top 15–20 cm, and the section is covered with wet moss. Then they wrap this place with film and fix it with tape. When root formation occurs, cuttings are cut and transplanted into the ground.
Dividing the bush
For this method, honeysuckle that has reached the age of 6 years is suitable. The plant is dug up in the early spring, before the buds open, or in the fall, with the beginning of the dormant period. The bush is divided by a tool with a sharp blade, and the place of cut is disinfected. Parts of the bush are planted in prepared planting pits and watered abundantly.
Diseases and Pests
Honeysuckle is quite resistant to disease, but under adverse conditions it can become sensitive to powdery mildew and various spotting, drying out and some other fungal diseases. For their treatment, it is recommended to use early spring treatment with a solution of copper sulfate, Fundazol (2%) or Topaz. Culture of viral diseases practically does not get sick.
The pest resistance of the plant is also high, however, honeysuckle fingerworm, honeysuckle aphid, scale insects, leafworms and other pests can attack the bush. To combat them, the bushes after harvesting are treated with a solution of “Karbofos” (0.3%) or “Chlorophos” (0.2%).
Among the special drugs, you can recommend:
- “Decis”, “Eleksar” or “Inta-Vir” - from leaf-eating pests;
- “Actellik”, “Confidor” or “Rogor-S” - from sucking insects.
It is recommended to have healthy and tasty honeysuckle fruits in every garden. Variety Zest can be grown in all regions of the country due to its high frost resistance. Its berries have an attractive appearance and taste, and the unpretentiousness of the culture in the care will appeal to most gardeners.