The blue spindle is a Siberian honeysuckle variety known to gardeners for the fourth decade. Due to its resistance to drought and frost, it has spread to all regions of Russia. The taste of the fruit depends heavily on climatic conditions, so some gardeners call it pleasant sweet and sour, others - fresh with bitterness. But everyone agrees that the Blue Spindle with minimal care gives a good harvest of large berries.
The history of growing honeysuckle Blue spindle
The variety appeared thanks to the employees of the Research Institute of Horticulture in Siberia named after the Soviet scientist M.A. Lisavenko (Barnaul). After free pollination of winter-hardy and early Kamchatka honeysuckle, seedlings were obtained that are distinguished by more compact, but no less productive bushes. For the color and shape of the berries, the variety was called the Blue Spindle. In 1980, honeysuckle was tested in all state cultivars of Siberia, and in 1989 it was included in the State Register of Selection Achievements and recommended for cultivation in all regions of Russia.
The bush of the Blue spindle is medium-sized - 1-1.5 m, has a rounded shape, a rare crown. Because of this feature, the shoots are well lit by the sun and under its rays acquire a color, which, depending on the acidity of the soil, can vary from bright raspberry to dark violet. The leaves are large, dark green, with a pointed base and apex.
Honeysuckle is characterized by early maturity, the very 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 crop. The variety belongs to the early ones, blooms at the first thaw, the flowers are resistant to spring frost. The timing of the harvest depends on the region: in the south - in May, in the middle lane - in the beginning and middle of June.
The fruits of this variety are large: 2.7 cm long, about 1 cm in diameter, 0.9 g in weight, some specimens are 1.5 g. The berries are shaped like a spindle: they expand to the middle and taper to the top. The surface is tuberous, covered with a bluish coating. 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 Honeysuckle Blue Spindle
|Early and early.||Need pollinators.|
|Large berries.||Taste with bitterness.|
|Harvest.||When ripe, the berries crumble.|
|It is not damaged by diseases and pests.|
|Crohn does not thicken.|
Honeysuckle loves sunny areas. Ground water should not rise above the soil surface above 1-1.5 m. Planting pattern - 1-1.2 m between the bushes and 2 m - between the rows. The variety is self-fertile, it requires cross-pollination, that is, it needs to plant at least 2-3 bushes, and of different varieties. Other forms of Kamchatka honeysuckle are good pollinators: Cinderella, Azure, Kamchadalka, as well as any varieties that bloom 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 plants of the Blue Spindle tolerate very well even the most severe frosts - up to -45⁰C. In the spring, planting is undesirable, since honeysuckle dissolves the buds very early. At the beginning of the season, she needs a lot of energy to develop leaves, flowers and shoots, and the newly planted plant needs to gain a foothold in the ground, restore and develop the roots. The bush does not have enough strength to build greenery, it can be 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.
Honeysuckle planting stages:
- Dig a hole with a depth and diameter of 40-50 cm.
- 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 a hole larger than the root size. The lower part of the shoots (5-7 cm) should be underground, that is, the honeysuckle is planted with a deepening of the root neck. The roots must be straightened, they should not be bent and twisted. If the seedling is in the container, carefully take it out with a lump of earth and plant it 5–7 cm deeper than it was before.
- Fill the pit with soil, ram with your hands.
- Pour 5-10 liters of water and lay light and breathing mulch, for example, fallen leaves, with a layer of 5-7 cm.
Cropping and shaping
Shaping the Blue Spindle is easy. Firstly, the bush of this variety is not too thick, and secondly, any honeysuckle does not like pruning. Berries are formed on annual, not yet lignified growths. If you shorten the branches, then deprive yourself of the crop. Therefore, the formation consists of only two stages:
- The first 3 years after planting, the bush should grow as he wants.
- Then annually cut 2-3 of the oldest branches near the ground for a stump 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 symptom is that weak (short) growths grow on such branches, or they do not exist at all.
Many take 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 appears on young branches.
Ease of formation does not cancel the annual sanitary pruning and thinning. Every spring, cut all the knots growing inside the crown and down to the ground. If the branches cross, interfere with each other, shade, cut the most clumsy, spoiling view of the bush. It must be removed in parts, that is, cut into pieces. If you pull the whole branches out of the bush, then damage the rest. During pruning, try to give the bush a beautiful look, that is, leave the shoots equally spaced from each other, directed in different directions and up. Cut growing low along the ground. Such branches are good for propagation by horizontal layering, but usually there are no berries on them.
Video: Honeysuckle pruning guidelines
Blue spindle is a drought tolerant variety. You may not water the bush at all, but if there is a possibility and desire, especially when there is no rain for a long time, moisten the ground under honeysuckle every 1-2 weeks (2-3 buckets for an adult bush). Berries will be larger, and bitterness in them - less. It is important to know that the roots of this culture are superficial, the ground under the bush cannot be loosened. In order not to form cracks, cover the near-trunk circle with hay, straw, and rotted sawdust.
If the soil under the honeysuckle was not covered, compressed, then pierce it in several places with a pitchfork and only then lay the mulch.
All fruitful perennial crops need to be fed, and honeysuckle is no exception. To give you a crop, the bush takes out many nutrients from the soil that need to be returned.
- Early in the spring, as soon as the ground thaws, or late in the autumn, when the leaves have spread around, scatter half a bucket of humus under a 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 the fall, in September-October, on the periphery of the crown, make an annular groove 20 cm deep, evenly sprinkle 1 tbsp. l superphosphate, water and level.
Harvesting and Processing
The fruits of this variety ripen not easily, crumble, so you have to approach the bush for harvest every 2-3 days. While picking some berries, others will crumble due to the fact that you move the branches. Therefore, before starting the collection, lay a light cloth under the bush, all fallen fruits will be whole and clean.
Fresh blue spindle berries are not for the sweet tooth. They have little sugar - 4.9%, but a lot of vitamin C - 18.5 mg for every 100 g of weight. The most delicious is fresh honeysuckle, grated with sugar, and it is also used for boiling jelly and making fruit drinks. 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 tinctures to give drinks a special color and unusual piquant taste.
Video: honeysuckle muffins recipe
Honeysuckle reviews Blue spindle
I don’t know how other varieties are bitter, but Cinderella and the Blue Spindle have a small bitterness in me, this is noticeable when you make jam, because I love a little bitterness, then I like it.Mandrake
I grow 2 varieties: Blue spindle and Gourmand. Still small, they wintered only once, but the berries are already quite large, though still green.Ryabinkina
I had - Blue spindle. Not bad, by the way. But do not say that delighted. I would like the berries sweeter.Tina47
The main advantages of the honeysuckle Blue spindle: low maintenance, resistance to frost and drought, early maturity. To annually get good yields of large berries, you just need to plant a bush next to other varieties. The main minus is the sour taste with bitterness, but if the honeysuckle grows in a sunny area, then the berries will be tastier.