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Selection Of Varieties, Reproduction And Cultivation Of Edible Honeysuckle In Gardens And Nurseries (part 2)
Selection Of Varieties, Reproduction And Cultivation Of Edible Honeysuckle In Gardens And Nurseries (part 2)

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Green cuttings of honeysuckle in a greenhouse
Green cuttings of honeysuckle in a greenhouse

Honeysuckle propagation - green cuttings

The ripening period of edible honeysuckle berrie

coincides with such agrotechnical measures as

green cuttings. It is the main and effective way of propagation of this culture.

Work on the reproduction of honeysuckle in this way is carried out at VNIIS them. I.V. Michurin since the nineties of the last century, when the laying of mother plants with varieties of the first generation began (

Blue Spindle, Blue Bird, Kamchadalka, Lazurnaya). At the present time, the laying of uterine plantings with modern varieties has been carried out.

The most important elements of the green cuttings technology are the selection of the optimal pruning height of the bushes, which allows to achieve the maximum yield of green cuttings, as well as the development of the cuttings terms, which are economically profitable for nursery culture. The growth of honeysuckle shoots in the central part of Russia ends by the middle of the first decade of June, when the optimal yield of green cuttings from the mother plant is achieved.

The main types of cultivation facilities for green cuttings of honeysuckle are hangar-type greenhouses, modern polycarbonate greenhouses, tunnels and boxes with an automatic irrigation system of the "Fog" type. Honeysuckle is an easily rooted crop. Despite this, the regenerative capacity may not be high. This is due not only to the varietal characteristics of the plant, but also, first of all, the timing of cuttings.

Many researchers recommend starting green cuttings of honeysuckle when the first ripe berries appear. In the conditions of Michurinsk, where the VNIIS im. I.V. Michurin, this period begins on May 25. According to our experience, the most expedient period for cuttings is the first ten days of June, when the berries are fully ripe, and the productivity of mother plants reaches its peak. The rooting rate of green cuttings during this period exceeds 90%. In the earlier periods of propagation by cuttings, the regenerative capacity decreases by 10-15%. It is best to harvest cuttings early in the morning before the onset of heat or late in the evening, and in cool weather they can be harvested during the day.

Well-developed shoots of the current year with a diameter of 4-5 mm are cut from the mother bush, from its lower or lateral part. They are cut into lengths from 7 to 12 cm so that there are at least two nodes (two pairs of leaves) and one internode. It is important that they have well-formed buds and leaf plates. The upper cut of the cutting is made horizontal, departing from the buds by 1-1.5 cm, and the lower cut is oblique. In cuttings obtained from the apical shoot, only the lower oblique cut is made. The lower leaves are removed, and the upper ones are cut in half.

This is what a green honeysuckle stalk should look like
This is what a green honeysuckle stalk should look like

It is advisable to place the prepared cuttings for 8-10 hours with an oblique cut down in a solution of heteroauxin or another drug to stimulate root growth to a depth of 1.5 cm, but the leaves of the cuttings should not come into contact with this solution. Before planting, the cuttings must be thoroughly rinsed with water. Before this, it is advisable to shed the soil with manganese-acid potassium (0.2-0.5%).

Cuttings are planted in the ground vertically or obliquely at an angle of 45o to a depth of 4-6 centimeters. After planting, the soil around them is compacted with your fingers.

During rooting, cuttings receive water through the leaves, so their surface must be constantly moist. To do this, they are sprayed with a hand-held spray gun with a fine spray 5-6 times a day. It is important not to overmoisten the soil in which the cuttings are planted.

If there are a lot of cuttings, then they are planted in rows, maintaining a distance between the rows of 10 cm, and the cuttings are placed in a row every 6 cm, in a checkerboard pattern.

Everything will be much easier if you want to get not dozens, but only a few honeysuckle plants. In this case, the cuttings are rooted using plastic bottles with a cut bottom. The stalk is rooted in the soil, sprayed with leaves and covered with such a transparent plastic cap. It is easier to maintain a favorable microclimate there. Rooting of cuttings lasts from 10 days to 4 weeks. All this time, the plants need to provide high humidity.

After rooting the cuttings, you can feed them for the first time with nitrogen fertilizers (urea or ammonium nitrate). The fertilizer dose should be three times lower than for adult plants. At the end of summer, the seedlings are fed again with potassium-phosphorus fertilizers.

Rooted cuttings of edible honeysuckle in the first year remain at the rooting site. Then the rooted cuttings are dived and grown in the nursery for one to two years after the digging. Modern consumers know little about the quality indicators that two-year-old seedlings of edible honeysuckle should have. They are as follows: their height should not be less than 40 cm, the diameter of the root collar is not less than 0.7 cm. The seedlings should have two or more branches, a well-developed root system. There should be no infection of plants with diseases and pests.

Honeysuckle can also be propagated by lignified cuttings, layering and dividing the bush, but the yield of planting material in these cases will be much lower.

The biological feature of honeysuckle is the autumn release of plants from dormancy. This is observed during the warm autumn-winter period and late onset of frost. During this period, flowers may bloom at the tops of the shoots, and part of the next year's harvest will be lost. Therefore, it is not recommended to grow honeysuckle in the south of Russia. Or you need to use varieties that are resistant to this negative trait.

Honeysuckle cultivar Northern Lights
Honeysuckle cultivar Northern Lights

Honeysuckle harvest

High and stable yields of honeysuckle directly depend on the growth activity of the bushes. By provoking the growth of annual branches using nitrogen fertilizers during the period of the beginning of shoot growth, it is possible to increase the next year's harvest several times.

A characteristic feature of edible honeysuckle is that it gives the earliest berries. They come in a variety of shapes - round, elongated - spindle-shaped, bumpy. The color of Iago is mainly blue and purple with a touch. They taste a little like blueberries, while different varieties give berries of a sweet, sweet and sour taste or with bitterness, there are varieties with the aroma of strawberries, pineapple. And since they are not only tasty, but also have a large amount of vitamins and biologically active substances, helping to eliminate the vitamin hunger that has accumulated over the long winter months. For this, honeysuckle is edible and appreciated by gardeners who consume them fresh.

If we talk about the time of entry into fruiting, then it should be noted that the varieties of the first generation, created by breeders in the 80-90s of the twentieth century, are characterized by a late return of the harvest after planting. When growing modern varieties, it is possible to obtain the first industrial harvests in the fourth or fifth year after planting, which contributes to the payback of plantations already in the sixth or seventh year.

Collecting honeysuckle fruits is not difficult. By picking berries by hand, the picker can pick 7-10 kg of berries per day, and using the method of shaking berries onto plastic wrap, the daily harvest can be increased to 25-30 kg.

Dmitry Bryksin

Senior Researcher,

Berry Crops Department, FGBNU VNIIS named after I.V. Michurin,

candidate of agricultural sciences, member of the ANIIR,

member of the All-Union Society of Geneticists and Breeders,

Russia, Michurinsk

Photo by the author

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