Honeysuckle edible Gourmand: main characteristics
Not every gardener can boast of deep knowledge about the benefits of honeysuckle, but many appreciated its taste qualities, which are manifested both in fresh fruits and in winter preparations. If a free corner has appeared on your site, be sure to use it for planting this plant by choosing one of its edible varieties, for example, Gourmet.
Description of a variety of honeysuckle Gourmand
The variety of honeysuckle Gourmand can be called elite - it has a lot of positive qualities, claiming a place in every horticulture. The plant is unpretentious, requires minimal care from the person, but at the same time gives a stable harvest of tasty and healthy berries.
The honeysuckle variety Lakomka is a new representative of the Nizhny Novgorod selection (Russia). Famous breeder V.A. Fefelov worked on his breeding. For the first time, he crossed the Ural forms of Turchinov’s honeysuckle with sweet-fruit species. The experiment resulted in a culture with a pleasant dessert taste of berries without bitterness and astringency.
The date of birth of the variety is 1998, when it was officially registered, but until that moment more than 10 years have passed, during which work was carried out to develop the culture and test its characteristics.
Appearance, characteristics of berries, ripening time, yield
Honeysuckle Gourmand is a compact bush about 1.5 m high. It has an oval crown with slightly spreading shoots and light green elongated foliage.
The berries of the shrub are dark blue fruits with a slight cloudy coating, a waxy shade (similar in color to blueberries). The shape of the fruit is elongated, with oval-drop shapes.
The berries reach a length of 2–2.8 cm, are characterized by a pleasant dessert sweet taste without bitterness (like many varieties of honeysuckle), on a tasting scale, the fruits have won 4.9 points out of 5 possible.
According to gardeners, pleasant refreshing notes of aftertaste perfectly quench thirst. The weight of the fruit often depends on growing conditions and varies between 08, –1.3 g.
Separately, it is worth noting the benefits of the product, because edible honeysuckle is a real storehouse of nutrients needed by the human body.
Important! Fresh berries have a therapeutic effect in diseases such as hypertension, metabolic disorders, disruptions in the digestive system, and also significantly increase immunity.
The fruits contain:
- sugar - 9.8%;
- vitamin C - 30%;
- B vitamins - 6 mg;
- potassium - 70 mg;
- calcium - 19 mg;
- sodium - 35 mg;
- magnesium - 21 mg;
- phosphorus - 35 mg;
- iron - 0.8 mg.
The first harvest after planting, Gourmand honeysuckle gives for 3-4 years. The variety is early ripe. Fruiting is quite extended and lasts from mid-June to mid-late July, so the berries are harvested in 3-4 stages. At this time, from one well-groomed bush you can collect up to 5 kg of berries, which is an excellent indicator for the crop.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Speaking about the merits of the variety, it is first of all necessary to note the sweet dessert taste of berries without bitterness, as in many other types of honeysuckle.
- In addition, the advantages of growing Gourmands include the following:
- early fruiting - the culture yields tasty, healthy fruits at a time when most crops are still in the ripening stage, so owners of honeysuckle can begin healing the body from the beginning of summer;
- stable yield;
- universal use of berries - they can be eaten fresh, as well as frozen, dried, cooked stewed fruit and preparations for the winter in the form of jam, jam;
- fruit benefits;
- high winter hardiness - the variety tolerates winter frosts down to -50 ° C and spring return frosts;
- slow growth of root shoots;
- decorativeness - the compact spherical shape of garden shrubs makes Honeysuckle Honeysuckle suitable for creating landscape compositions, hedges.
It is difficult to dispute such a large number of advantages, but do not be silent about the disadvantages that are also inherent.
- crumbling fruit;
- long ripening.
Both of these problems relate more to breeding crops on an industrial scale. If you grow honeysuckle for fresh consumption or preparing blanks, the disadvantages turn into advantages: picking berries is much easier, while the plant allows you to enjoy the fruits for a longer period.
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Honeysuckle is an unpretentious culture, and the Gourmand variety does not at all require unnecessary fuss around itself. However, the best yield is achieved if the plant is properly planted and simple rules of care are implemented, the description of which is presented below.
It is better to choose a shaded place for landing - honeysuckle does not like direct sunlight. The most favorable conditions are growth in the shade of tall trees.
The landing site should be well ventilated, but drafts and strong gusts of wind should not interfere with the development of a culture, a safe wintering. In the summer, they will contribute to the shedding of fruits.
Honeysuckle Gourmand, like, by the way, and most varieties of this fruit and berry culture, has a positive attitude to moist soils, but is afraid of swampiness. When choosing a landing platform, you should check that the groundwater is at a depth of at least 70 cm. It is better if a young bush is planted on a hill.
Preferably, the soil on the site is fertile. Honeysuckle can develop and give a good harvest on other types of soil (except sandy), but before planting, they must be carefully fed, not sparing organic matter and mineral compounds.
Be careful about the choice of planting material - you need to plant several varieties blooming at the same time at the same time to ensure pollination.
Important! For planting, choose two-year-old seedlings having a developed underground part with a rhizome length of about 25 cm, as well as several overhead shoots with buds, about 30 cm high.
Landing and care
To plant seedlings on the site, dig holes with a depth of 50 cm and a diameter of 40 cm. Formation of deep holes is necessary so that there is a place for laying drainage and fertilizers.
A drainage layer of crushed stone or chipped brick is laid to the bottom, then a mixture of fertilizers consisting of a bucket of humus, 200 g of wood ash and 30 g of superphosphate is poured (it is advisable to pre-mix all components with 2-3 shovels of soil).
When the pit with a “pillow” of drainage and fertilizer is ready, a small hill is formed in the center, on which a seedling is set, straightening the rhizome along the edges.
The pit is covered with soil and watered abundantly (1 bucket of water per 1 bush). After watering, the earth will sag a little, and the soil will need to be sprinkled. Finally, the soil is mulched with peat.
Now the plant will need care, in particular, it is necessary to carry out regularly such procedures as:
- Watering . Honeysuckle loves moist soil, so good watering should be regular, especially at the stage of ovary development and fruit ripening. In spring and summer, the normal dose is 1 bucket per 1 bush every 2 days. If the weather turned out to be too hot, arid, you can increase the one-time volume to 2 buckets. In the fall, watering is stopped.
- Top dressing . The shrub consumes a lot of nutrients during its development, as a result of which the soil becomes poorer over time. If the soil was fertilized before planting, it should be saturated not earlier than after 2-3 years. In spring, humus is added at the rate of 5-7 kg per bush. In autumn, it is advisable to feed the culture with formulations containing potassium and phosphorus.
- Loosening . Throughout the season, the soil must be loosened, especially after irrigation - this way oxygen will better penetrate the root system of the bushes. In parallel with loosening, the site is weeded with the removal of weeds, which can provoke increased moisture and diseases.
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Honeysuckle Gourmand needs cross-pollination. On the territory of one site, several varieties that can bloom in one period of time need to be planted simultaneously. It is important to choose a good "company".
In spring, the bushes let out a riotous color, attractive for bees and bumblebees. Thanks to these tiny representatives of the fauna, pollination takes place, and as a result, the bushes give an excellent harvest.
Pest and Disease Control
Based on the studies of the Gourmand honeysuckle cultivar, it was found that the plant is very rarely exposed to diseases and attacks of harmful insects.
Theoretically, the plant is characterized by such ailments as cercosporosis, powdery mildew, mosaic .
The best solution to problems associated with diseases is prevention. Density of planting, waterlogging of the soil, and clogging of the site should not be allowed. Bushes need to be regularly fed, loosened and thinned. In the autumn, they are treated with 1% Bordeaux liquid.
Did you know? Insects are one of the first inhabitants of the planet. They appeared about 400 million years ago and due to their ability to survive various disasters to this day are one of the most numerous representatives of the fauna.
Some insects (aphids, ticks) cause considerable harm to honeysuckle, which consists not only in the fact that pests feed on the sap of the crop, devour leaves, lay larvae, but are also able to transfer diseases from neighboring plants.
As a prophylaxis, “Lepidocide”, “Confidor” preparations are used, and for treatment - insecticides “Eleksar”, “Aktara”, etc.
Cropping and shaping the crown
A planted plant in autumn needs to be pruned for the first time in spring. Then, every year after awakening, the bushes are inspected for frozen and weakened stems, which are immediately removed.
Young growth can be trimmed by 8–10 cm to provoke its best growth. It should be noted that honeysuckle “wakes up” quite early, so work must be done before the sap flow in the bushes (late March), otherwise the plant can be damaged.
The second major pruning for the season is carried out in the autumn period - in early September. They remove shoots directed deep into the bush, as well as "youth", which probably will not have time to get stronger before frost.
As the shrub grows older, after 3-4 years you can spend a rejuvenating haircut, completely removing all the stems or leaving several strong healthy shoots.
In addition to the two main prunings, it is necessary to form the crown of the bush throughout the season - thin out the thickened areas, remove old, non-fruiting shoots, and also shorten the young ones to achieve better branching.
Important! Honeysuckle pruning is carried out with garden shears - secateurs. It must be well ground. Cutting branches with blunt blades will cause serious damage.
With the onset of autumn, the preparation of shrubs for wintering begins. During this period, watering should be minimized so that the plant stops growing and safely enters a dormant state.
The bushes must be trimmed, and then remove all cut fragments from the site and burn. The site is also weeded and cleaned of weed grass. If you leave this biological “garbage” on the territory of shrubs, it will become a haven for insect pests and will provoke the appearance of fungus.
When the site is cleared, it is dug up, but not deeply - the rhizomes of plants are located high to the surface of the earth, and they can be easily injured. Together with digging, fertilizing is carried out, as well as shrubs are treated from pests and diseases.
Most varieties of honeysuckle tolerate frosts, including Gourmand. The shrub is able to safely overwinter at temperatures up to -45 ... -50 ° C, so you can not hide it in the winter.
One of the threats is forest birds, which with the onset of cold weather often change their location, moving closer to garden plots. They can eat the buds on the branches, so the owners often cover the bushes with cloth or bags.
Video: Preparing honeysuckle for winter
Harvesting and transportation of the crop, shelf life of berries
In private households, berries are picked manually, while in industrial households harvesting is possible with a combine harvester, since the density of the skin allows mechanized assembly. Well-ripened fruits can crumble, so gardeners put synthetic fabric under the bushes on which the berries fall - this ensures the safety of the crop.
It is better to collect berries in a spacious container, stacking them in several layers. Harvest can be saved for about 3 days in the refrigerator or dried, frozen for a longer period. Excellent jams and preserves are made from honeysuckle, which taste like cherry desserts. Good, undamaged fruits are suitable for transportation.
Honeysuckle Gourmand is an excellent choice for those who want to delight their family with delicious, healthy berries at a time when other fruit and berry crops have not yet ripened. Without requiring special attention, even for a little bit of care, the culture is ready to reward its owners with a stable, luxurious harvest.