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Types and berries of edible honeysuckle

Photo of edible honeysuckle berries

The types and berries of edible honeysuckle vary in color and shape. In total, there are more than 200 species of this plant, but only a small number are edible. The fruits of edible honeysuckle are usually dark blue in color with a slight bluish bloom. The shape of the fruit, depending on the variety, can be elliptical, round or cylindrical. The average weight of the berries is 1.5 g. The taste of the berries is sweet and sour, pleasant. Sometimes there may be a slight bitterness.

To increase the yield and improve the taste of the berries, it is necessary to plant the shrub on the sunny side and regularly water and feed it. If honeysuckle grows in the shade, the fruits will be small and the yield will be low.

Honeysuckle tolerates frost well and is practically immune to diseases and pests. The plant is not afraid of drought and can grow in one place for a long time. Garden honeysuckle varieties come from two species: edible honeysuckle and blue honeysuckle.

Fruiting of honeysuckle begins earlier than many other berries: in June-July.

Important: If the berries have turned blue, this does not always mean the end of ripening. You need to wait a few more days for them to absorb the taste and aroma and become more juicy. Basically, this point depends on the edible honeysuckle variety, so it is better to familiarize yourself with its characteristics in advance.

The shape and size of honeysuckle berries may vary depending on the selected variety. Many of them have an unusual appearance. Some varieties, such as: Nymph, Amphora, Morena and others have an elongated berry shape, sometimes slightly twisted.

The cylindrical shape of berries is also often found, for example in the Long-fruited variety.

Many honeysuckle berries are not only elongated, but also have a tuberosity similar to that of the Leningrad Giant variety.

Most often, honeysuckle berries are irregular in shape: the Violet variety has curved fruits with a pointed base.

Varieties such as Kingfisher, Viola, Volkhova, Dessertnaya have round-oval berries.

Berry picking is carried out depending on the plant variety. Honeysuckle, which has a denser skin, is suitable for mechanical harvesting. The remaining varieties are collected by hand. It must be taken into account that crumbling berries will not hang on the branches for a long time. It is best to collect such fruits by shaking them onto a previously laid cloth. The collection container should be shallow so that the berries are placed in a thin layer.

The storage of honeysuckle is short, so the collected berries are used either in their pure form or frozen. The sweet and sour taste of the berries allows them to be used in cooking. The berries are used to make drinks, dessert dishes, add to baked goods and make delicious jam.

Where to plant edible honeysuckle

Gardeners often wonder where to plant edible honeysuckle. First you need to decide on a landing site. It is preferable to plant honeysuckle in a well-lit area, not shaded by other plantings and buildings. This will allow you to get a high yield and increase the weight of the fruit. In nature, honeysuckle often grows in shaded areas, which makes the berries small and bitter. The landing site should be windless.

When a footprint is selected — you need to decide on the soil for the plant. Honeysuckle grows well in light, slightly acidic soil with good drainage. The soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5. If the acidity of the soil is increased — You can add lime to it. The soil should be fertile and moist. However, close proximity of groundwater to shrubs is unacceptable.

Tip: Honeysuckle does not grow well in sandy soils and at higher elevations.

The plant should be planted in early autumn, and for a better harvest, several varieties can be planted at once.

Where to buy honeysuckle for planting

Once you have decided on the choice of variety, the question arises - where to buy honeysuckle for planting. Planting material can be found even from a gardener you know, but there is a risk of getting an unhealthy plant whose fruit quality will be low.

When purchasing seedlings, you need to pay attention to their appearance. The bush should be two years old, up to 40 cm high, with several branches. The branches should be pliable, without damage and with buds. The root system of a healthy plant is represented by branched roots.

For better pollination, it is necessary to purchase pollinator plants, which may differ depending on the selected variety.

It is best to purchase honeysuckle seedlings from a nursery where only high-quality material is used for growing. Modern methods and the latest technologies make it possible to obtain a healthy plant that is completely ready for planting. Such seedlings have 100% survival rate on the site and good resistance to diseases and pests.

Protecting honeysuckle seedlings for the winter

When protecting seedlings for the winter, it is necessary to take into account that the plant is not only easy to care for, but also tolerates even harsh winters well. The adaptability of honeysuckle to the external environment is high. In order for the plant to survive the winter well, it is necessary to follow all the rules of care in the autumn.

Applying fertilizers will help the plant grow stronger and gain strength before the winter cold.

Tip: Humus or compost should be added every three years.

In autumn, preference is given to potassium-phosphorus fertilizers. Fertilizing with nitrogen is not used during this period, since it provokes additional growth of the bush.
To prepare the plant for winter, you need to clear the soil of old mulch and add new mulch.

Many varieties of honeysuckle require additional shelter - these are mainly ornamental plants. Honeysuckle in the form of a vine is bent to the ground and covered with dry sawdust. In the event of precipitation, snow will provide additional protection from frost, which can also be used to cover the plant.

To protect honeysuckle from rodent pests, the plant is covered with a net for the winter.

If there are strong winds, the plant may need tying to prevent the branches from being damaged by heavy rainfall and bad weather.

In most cases, honeysuckle does not require special methods of protection for the winter, since the plant tolerates frosts down to -50°C and temperature changes in the spring. Honeysuckle seedlings can be covered with burlap or spruce branches. The plant needs to be covered when the temperature drops below -5 °C, otherwise there is a risk that the bushes will smear.

Honeysuckle - the best recipes for making jam

The best recipes for making honeysuckle jam will help you prepare a delicious treat. There are many cooking options and every housewife has her own tricks and proven methods. It is important to preserve and increase the beneficial properties of berries. To make jam, use recipes that do not require heat treatment, as well as with processing. In addition, in addition to honeysuckle, other ingredients are often added to improve the taste of the product.

Fresh berry jam

For preparation you need 1 kg of freshly picked berries, 1 kg of sugar and 250 ml of water. In a non-stick container, syrup is boiled from water and sugar. Then you need to add fresh berries to it and bring to a boil. Then cool the container and let it brew for several hours. After this, the mixture must be brought to a boil again and cooked for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Jam without cooking

For this jam, you need to mix 1 kg of honeysuckle with 1 kg of sugar and pass through a blender or meat grinder. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the sugar dissolves. For better storage, add 2 grams of citric acid to this jam. But if the jam will not be stored for a long time, the ingredient can be omitted. This jam will retain maximum beneficial properties.

Jam with orange

Refreshing notes of orange will help diversify honeysuckle jam. For jam, you need to prepare a syrup from 1 glass of water and 1 glass of sugar. Then add honeysuckle and peeled orange slices. Bring the jam to a boil, then cool. Then repeat boiling two more times.

Honeysuckle has very tasty and healthy berries that are successfully used in cooking and can strengthen the immune system for a long time.