Honeysuckle edible Nightingale - main characteristics
Honeysuckle, which for a long time was only a decorative decoration of gardens and household plots, has recently been actively re-qualified as a supplier of vitamin products to a person’s table. Among the many varieties of edible honeysuckle, bred by breeders in the present century, the Nightingale variety remains among the leaders in some respects - more on this later in the article.
Description of the variety Nightingale Honeysuckle
While the berries of many varieties of edible honeysuckle show a tendency to involuntary shedding from bushes, the Nightingale is devoid of this drawback. This honeysuckle also has other positive qualities.
Breeders from the Pavlovsk experimental station, located in the Leningrad region, received a promising medium-ripening variety by crossing the edible honeysuckle from Primorye with the local variety Pavlovskaya. In 2002, the Nightingale variety was listed in the State Register of Russia, but soon enough became widespread outside it.
Did you know? According to experts, the etymology of the word “honeysuckle” goes back to the words “life” and “youth”. This is easy to believe, given that in traditional medicine, unlike all other berries, absolutely all this plant is used, starting with berries and ending with roots and bark.
Appearance, characteristics of berries, ripening time, yield
The edible honeysuckle of the Nightingale cultivar has a medium-tall bush with a dense crown, consisting of green oval-elongated leaves. Light blue spindle-shaped fruits reach an average weight of 0.92 g. Their delicate flesh is covered with a fairly strong skin, has a sweet and sour taste and delicate aroma. Tasters rate the taste of berries at 4.6 out of 5 points. The Nightingale blooms in mid-latitudes in early May, and the berries ripen in late June. The productivity of 1 bush ranges from 1.1 to 2.5 kg. The energy value of 100 g of fruit is 42 kcal.
Nutrients are represented by such vitamins:
- retinol (A);
- beta carotene;
- thiamine (B1);
- riboflavin (B2);
- ascorbic acid (C).
Read also how to grow honeysuckle from seeds. The mineral composition of berries is quite impressive, represented by macro- and microelements in the form of:
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- According to the descriptions of experts and reviews of amateur gardeners, the Nightingale variety is characterized by such positive qualities:
- great resistance to diseases and pests;
- good gastronomic qualities of the fruit;
- the universality of the use of berries;
- winter hardiness;
- good adaptive properties at sharp temperature changes;
- ability not to crumble;
- unpretentiousness in leaving;
- decent yield;
- suitability for use in garden landscape design.
The only noticeable drawback of the variety is its self-fertility, which is why it is necessary to plant third-party pollinators nearby.
The unpretentiousness of the honeysuckle in question does not imply any excessive efforts to grow it, but elementary agrotechnical rules should be adhered to.
Did you know? There are both edible species of honeysuckle that are extremely useful to humans, and poisonous species of the “wolfberry” type, which are frankly dangerous for them. But to understand among the existing 250 species of this plant is easy: berries of red or orange color are poisonous, and black and blue fruits are quite edible.
Like all honeysuckles, the Nightingale perceives well-lit areas that are reliably protected from strong winds. Fertile loamy and sandy loam soils of sufficient moisture are preferred. However, it is important to avoid the excessive presence of moisture in the root system of the plant, as this can lead to its decay. The best predecessors of honeysuckle on the site are potatoes, vegetables, and other row crops.
Landing and care
Most often, honeysuckle is planted in the ground in the fall. This planting period is associated with the early onset of sap flow in it. According to agricultural technical requirements, the plant should be planted before it begins, and since this rule is very often difficult to combine with stable thawing of the soil, it is much more reliable to plant seedlings in the fall. As practice shows, the implementation of this procedure for honeysuckle bushes from late September to early October guarantees almost 100% success in relation to survival.
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Seedlings of edible honeysuckle Nightingale are planted in the ground in a permanent place as follows:
- Dig holes with a diameter of 0.8 m and a depth of 0.4 m. The distance between them should be at least 1.5 m.
- Part of the top layer of the earth selected when digging holes is loaded onto the bottom. It is mixed with the same amount of humus.
- To the resulting mixture add 2 tbsp. l potassium sulfate and superphosphate and a glass of wood ash.
- Having mixed fertilizers with soil substrate, low mounds are made of it.
- On their tops, the spreading roots of seedlings are placed and covered with the remaining soil.
- After easy tampering, the seedlings are watered - a bucket of water for each instance.
- To prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture, the poured soil is mulched using sawdust, chopped peat or dry humus.
Since Nightingale honeysuckle prefers moist soil, in dry weather it should be watered so regularly that the soil does not have time to dry out. With a moisture deficit, the fruits acquire bitterness and are able to sprinkle even in green. Also, one should not forget about the water balance, which does not allow an excessive concentration of moisture in the root system. In warm summers with regular rains, honeysuckle is enough to water 3 times per season.
The preplant seed pit fertilizer, which was discussed above, provides seedlings with nutrients for 2 seasons. In the third season in the spring, for a more active growth of green mass, the plant is fed with nitrogen as part of organic fertilizers, a solution of urea (1 tbsp. Per bucket of water) or ammonium nitrate (15 g per m²).
Being a self-infertile variety, Nightingale requires the presence of third-party pollinators nearby. The following varieties have proven themselves best:
- Blue bird;
- Blue spindle;
Important! To ensure full pollination, it is recommended to place pollinator plants no further than 15 m from the bush of the honeysuckle of the Nightingale variety.
Pest and Disease Control
The Nightingale variety possesses innate good immunity, which allows it to successfully resist most of the diseases characteristic of honeysuckle, as well as many pests. However, if the agrotechnical rules of cultivating the crop are seriously violated or an unsuccessful season with a cold and rainy summer has turned out, the plant may weaken and undergo diseases and pest attacks.
Honeysuckle can get sick:
- Brown spotting, forming on the leaf surfaces necrotic spots of brown-brown color, which lead to premature falling of leaves. This fungal disease is cured by treating the bush with a 1% Bordeaux mixture or with Abiga-Peak and HOM preparations .
- Powdery mildew, which creates a white coating on the foliage, reminiscent of cotton wool, which ultimately leads to early fall of leaves and a sharp decrease in frost resistance of the bush. To combat this fungal disease, bush treatment is used with the help of " Purebloom ", " SCOR ", " Rayka " or " Tiovit Jet ".
- Light-gray spotting of honeysuckle, forming on the leaf surfaces gray spots with black bordering, which ultimately leads to early leaf fall. The methods for controlling this fungal disease are similar to brown spotting.
Pests especially annoying honeysuckle are represented by:
- Striped honeysuckle sawfly, whose false caterpillars eat foliage and ripening fruits.
- Variable honeysuckle sawfly, whose false caterpillars cause similar damage to the bush.
- Gall midge of honeysuckle leaf, whose larvae deprive foliage of nutritious juices.
- A biennial leafworm, which, together with its larvae, damages young shoots, flowers and berries.
They destroy the listed pests with the help of such insecticides as Fufanon, Inta-Vir, Actellik, Kemifos or Kinmiks .
Learn more about how honeysuckle tolerates spring frost.
Cropping and shaping the crown
As a rule, honeysuckle bushes in the first 2-3 years of their life are not pruned. If necessary, only sanitary pruning in the spring is used. Most often, the bush is thinned out only 6-7 years after planting in the ground. However, in the case of the Nightingale variety, which has a dense crown, the bush is thinned out earlier. In this case, zero shoots growing directly from the soil are removed. In addition, dried out, damaged by weather and diseases, as well as too short shoots are eliminated. Scheduled pruning is done in the fall.
Preparing for the winter
The ability of wood and leaf buds of the Nightingale variety to withstand low temperatures up to –45 ° С, and the root system and flower buds to withstand frosts down to –40 ° С allows not to use any shelters during wintering.
Important! To make the culture easier to tolerate harsh wintering, it is useful to feed it with potash fertilizers in autumn , which significantly strengthen the plant’s immune system.
Harvesting and transportation of the crop, shelf life of berries
Berries on the honeysuckle bush do not ripen in unison. First, the fruits ripen from above, then the ripening process moves into the depth of the bush, and then ends on the lower shoots. In the case of the Nightingale variety, the situation is facilitated by the ability of ripe berries not to fall spontaneously, but to stay on the bush for some time. This makes possible the simultaneous collection of fruits.
After harvesting, the berries are not stored for long: their shelf life reaches a maximum of 4 days. In the refrigerator, their shelf life is extended to 10 days. The strong skin covering the berries allows them to be transported without prejudice if the terms of transportation fit into the terms of storage.
Longer storage of honeysuckle fruits provide :
- canning in the form of jam, juice or compote.
Tasty and nutritious honeysuckle berries enrich and decorate a person’s table, and honeysuckle bushes decorate his garden. Such versatile benefits do not go unnoticed: more and more honeysuckle bushes of various varieties, including Nightingale, are planted in gardens and household plots in different climatic zones of Europe and Asia.