Honeysuckle Blue spindle: variety description, cultivation features
The blue spindle is a Siberian variety of honeysuckle, known to gardeners for four decades. Due to its resistance to drought and frost, it has spread to all regions of Russia. The taste of the fruit is highly dependent on climatic conditions, therefore some gardeners call it pleasant sweet and sour, others - unleavened with bitterness. But everyone agrees that the Blue Spindle, with minimal maintenance, gives a good harvest of large berries.
History of Honeysuckle Cultivation Blue Spindle
The variety appeared thanks to the workers of the Siberian Research Institute of Horticulture named after the Soviet scientist M.A. Lisavenko (Barnaul). After free pollination of winter-hardy and early Kamchatka honeysuckle, seedlings were obtained, differing in more compact, but no less productive bushes. For the color and shape of the berries, the variety was named Blue Spindle. In 1980, honeysuckle was tested at all state variety sites in Siberia, and in 1989 it was included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements and recommended for cultivation in all regions of Russia.
Description of the variety
The Blue Spindle bush is medium-sized - 1–1.5 m, has a rounded shape, the crown is sparse. Because of this feature, the shoots are well illuminated by the sun and, under its rays, acquire a color, which, depending on the acidity of the soil, can change from bright crimson to dark purple. The leaves are large, dark green, with a pointed base and apex.
In the sun, the shoots of the Blue Spindle take on an anthocyanin color
Honeysuckle is distinguished by its early maturity, the next year after planting it gives the first few berries. The yield of an adult plant is 2 kg, the indicator is considered one of the best for this culture. The variety belongs to the early, blooms at the first thaw, flowers are resistant to spring frosts. Harvesting dates depend on the region: in the south - in May, in the middle lane - in early to mid-June.
The fruits of this variety are large: 2.7 cm long, about 1 cm in diameter, weight - 0.9 g, some specimens - 1.5 g. The shape of the berries resembles a spindle: they expand towards the middle and taper towards the top. The surface is lumpy, covered with a bluish bloom. The pulp is juicy and tender. The taste of fresh berries, sweet and sour with a noticeable bitterness, is estimated at 3.7 points, and desserts and winter preparations from them are good and excellent.
Video: Blue spindle during fruiting
Table: Advantages and Disadvantages of Blue Spindle Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle loves sunny areas. Groundwater should not rise to the soil surface above 1–1.5 m. Planting pattern - 1–1.2 m between bushes and 2 m - between rows. The variety is self-fertile, it needs cross-pollination, that is, you need to plant at least 2-3 bushes, moreover, different varieties. Other forms of Kamchatka honeysuckle are good pollinators: Cinderella, Azure, Kamchadalka, as well as any varieties blooming at the same time.
The best time for planting seedlings with an open root system is autumn, a month before the onset of cold weather. Young Blue Spindle plants tolerate very well even the most severe frosts - down to -45⁰C. It is undesirable to plant in spring, since honeysuckle dissolves its buds very early. At the beginning of the season, she needs a lot of strength to develop leaves, flowers and shoots, and a newly planted plant needs to gain a foothold in the ground, restore and develop roots. The bush also does not have enough strength to build up greenery, it can get sick for a long time and even die.
But this does not apply to seedlings grown in containers, they can be transplanted by transshipment throughout the warm season.
Seedlings are transferred from containers to a permanent place without disturbing the roots
Honeysuckle planting stages:
- Dig a hole 40-50 cm deep and in diameter.
- Pour a bucket of humus or compost, 100 g of superphosphate, 30 g of potassium sulfate and 300 g of wood ash into the pit. Mix everything well.
- Make the hole larger than the root. The lower part of the shoots (5–7 cm) should be underground, that is, the honeysuckle is planted with a deepening of the root collar. The roots must be straightened out, they must not bend and twist. If the seedling is in a container, carefully remove it with a clod of earth and also plant it 5–7 cm deeper than it grew before.
- Fill the hole with soil, tamp with your hands.
- Pour 5-10 liters of water and apply light and breathable mulch, such as fallen leaves, in a layer of 5-7 cm.
Trimming and shaping
Shaping the Blue Spindle is easy. Firstly, the bush of this variety is not too dense, and secondly, any honeysuckle does not like pruning. Berries are formed on annual, not yet lignified growths. If you shorten the branches, you will lose your harvest. Therefore, the formation consists of only two stages:
- The first 3 years after planting, the bush should grow as it wants.
- Then cut 2-3 of the oldest branches off the ground on a stump each year, or shorten them to a strong vertical shoot.
Old branches differ from young ones: they are thicker, coarser, their bark has a dark shade, but the main feature is that weak (short) growths grow on such branches, or they do not exist at all.
Many people mistake the bark that is cracked and hanging in ribbons as a sign of aging or illness. However, this is a biological feature of honeysuckle, it also manifests itself on young branches.
Rejuvenating honeysuckle pruning: old branches are shortened to strong vertical growth
Ease of formation does not negate annual sanitary pruning and thinning. Each spring, trim off any twigs growing inward and down to the ground. If the branches cross, interfere with each other, shade, cut out the most gnarled, spoiling the appearance of the bush. You need to remove it in parts, that is, by cutting it into pieces. If you pull the whole crooked branches out of the bush, you will damage the rest. When pruning, try to give the bush a beautiful look, that is, leave the shoots equidistant from each other, directed in different directions and up. Cut those growing low along the ground. Such branches are good for propagation in horizontal layers, but they usually do not have berries.
Video: basic principles of pruning honeysuckle
The blue spindle is a drought tolerant variety. You may not water the bush at all, but if you have the opportunity and desire, especially when there is no rain for a long time, moisten the ground under the honeysuckle every 1-2 weeks (2-3 buckets under an adult bush). The berries will be larger, and the bitterness in them will be less. It is important to know that the roots of this culture are shallow, the ground under the bush cannot be loosened. To prevent cracks from forming, cover the trunk circle with hay, straw, rotted sawdust.
If the soil under the honeysuckle was not covered, it was compressed, then pierce it in several places with a pitchfork and only then lay the mulch.
All fruiting perennial crops need to be fed, and honeysuckle is no exception. To give you a crop, the bush takes out a lot of nutrients from the soil that need to be returned.
- In early spring, as soon as the ground thaws, or late in autumn, when the leaves have flown around, scatter half a bucket of humus under the bush, mix it with mulch.
- During flowering and in August, when the buds of the future harvest are laid, sprinkle a glass of wood ash and mix with mulch.
- In autumn, in September-October, along the periphery of the crown, make an annular groove 20 cm deep, evenly scatter 1 tbsp. l. superphosphate, pour and level.
Humus is a natural source of nitrogen, it is fertilized with honeysuckle in early spring or before winter
Harvesting and processing
The fruits of this variety do not ripen well, crumble, so you will have to come to the bush for the harvest every 2-3 days. While you are picking some berries, others will crumble due to the fact that you wiggle the branches. Therefore, before picking, lay a light cloth under the bush, all fallen fruits will be whole and clean.
Fresh Blue Spindle Berries are not for those with a sweet tooth. They are low in sugar - 4.9%, but a lot of vitamin C - 18.5 mg for every 100 g of weight. The most delicious is fresh honeysuckle, ground with sugar, and jelly is also made from it and fruit drinks are made. In the refrigerator, the fruits are stored for no more than 5 days, and for the winter you can freeze, dry, cook jam or jam from them.
Honeysuckle is added to assorted compotes, wines and liqueurs to give the drinks a special color and unusual piquant taste.
Video: recipe for muffins with honeysuckle
Reviews of Honeysuckle Blue Spindle
The main advantages of the Blue Spindle honeysuckle: undemanding care, resistance to frost and drought, early maturity. To get good yields of large berries every year, you just need to plant a bush next to other varieties. The main disadvantage is the sour taste with bitterness, but if the honeysuckle grows in a sunny area, then the berries will be tastier.
I live in Siberia. I have my own house and my own plot) In the articles I share my experience, I learn something myself with you)
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