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Blue berry

Which berry ripens the very first in the garden? Honeysuckle. Not so long ago, this berry shrub was known as a curiosity in garden plots. But the early ripening of the berries - already at the beginning of June - served him well, and today honeysuckle is firmly registered in our gardens.

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fefelov, head of the Department of Botany and Plant Physiology of the Novosibirsk State Agricultural Academy, Associate Professor, Candidate of Sciences will tell the readers about this interesting plant. And most importantly - a scientist-breeder, author of sixteen varieties included in the State Register of the Russian Federation, of fruit and berry crops, of which fourteen are sea buckthorn and two varieties - Nizhegorodskaya early honeysuckle, Lakomka. V. A. Fefelov is the owner of the silver medal of the Exhibition Center in Moscow (former VDNKh) for varieties of sea buckthorn. Two of its varieties of honeysuckle and one of the sea buckthorn are zoned in Belarus. A breeder who has been working with honeysuckle for almost thirty years knows literally everything about it.

- Vladimir Alexandrovich, so what has honeysuckle filled with that you have been devoted to it for so many years?

- In the first place, of course, the main advantage is the early ripening of berries. In addition, honeysuckle contains many vitamins and other biologically active substances. She is one of the few valuable berries that have the ability to remove waste products from the body. Berries contain a lot of vitamin P, which helps to strengthen and cleanse blood vessels.

- How long has honeysuckle been introduced into culture?

- Honeysuckle began to be practiced in the USSR in the 30s. IV Michurin drew the attention of his student FK Terent'ev to her. I happened to meet this most interesting person. He brought honeysuckle from an expedition from the Far East. Although more than 200 varieties are known, there are only a few with edible fruits, and their range is located only in Russia. Therefore, we were the first in the world to cultivate honeysuckle. By the way, in the northern forests of the Nizhny Novgorod region, blue honeysuckle grows, its fruits are edible, but bitter. Breeding began with low-yielding forms, with bitterness. Therefore, gardeners were in no hurry to plant shrubs in their plots, from which at the age of ten you can collect 600 - 900 grams of berries. But domestic varieties of the first generation (Altai - "Blue Bird", "Blue Spindle", "Start", Leningradskaya - "Chosen", "Dessertnaya", "Vitaminnaya") with their low yield, one might say, yesterday.

My varieties "Nizhegorodskaya early", "Lakomka" give 3.5 - 5.5 kg of berries from a bush at the age of ten. They are not only more productive, sweet-fruiting, but also early-growing. As early as 3-4 years after planting, the plant begins to bear fruit. True, there is also a drawback - a strong crumbling of berries when ripe. Therefore, it is important not to overlook the honeysuckle, to collect it 2 - 3 times per season. Honeysuckle has a prolonged ripening period, which is associated with early flowering.

- Vladimir Alexandrovich, is honeysuckle a capricious or picky bush? How should a gardener behave with him?

- This is one of the few unpretentious plants. Very frost-resistant, not without reason some of its species grow in Yakutia. Not very responsive to shading. On our experimental field at the NSAA, I once had an opportunity to conduct an unplanned experiment. He brought saplings of honeysuckle, black currant, sea buckthorn from Leningrad and planted them in one place, placing cherries in front of them. The cherry quickly gained growth, obscured the sun for the rest, the sea buckthorn withered away, honeysuckle and black currant felt great in the shade.

But if you want to have a high yield, large sweet berries, early ripening - take honeysuckle a sunny place, fertile land. In agricultural technology, honeysuckle is similar to black currant. Although in our experimental field, where the soils are heavy and no one but rain is watered by the bush, we collect 3-5 kg ​​of elite forms, albeit small, berries.

- Are there any peculiarities in agricultural technology?

- There is one point in the cultivation technology that is not similar to black currant.The latter can be cultivated in one place for up to 8 - 10 years, cut off in the 4th - 5th year. Honeysuckle is more durable. Her life span is 20 - 25 years. So that the harvest does not shrink, you need to cut the shrub from 10 to 12 years old. There is one more feature of this berry bush. In warm autumn weather, honeysuckle comes out of dormancy very early: well-formed apical buds can bloom. Then frost will destroy them, and the next year part of the harvest will be lost. One of my students studied this feature of honeysuckle while preparing a dissertation. And it turned out that the phenomenon does not cause much damage to the crop, in addition, there are varieties that do not fall under this feature. For example, “Amphora”, two forms of our selection “81”, “Memory to Silaev”.

Gardeners should not be afraid of peeling the bark - this is not a disease, but a normal physiological phenomenon inherent in culture. Since the plant is self-fertile, it is necessary to plant on less than 2 varieties on the site. The minimum planting distance is 1.5 m, the maximum is throughout the garden. According to my observations, bumblebees and some other insects pollinate honeysuckle. I have never seen bees on it.

- How to propagate honeysuckle?

- Honeysuckle is propagated by green cuttings, dividing the bush and lignified cuttings. The shrub is not grafted. By the way, the lack of planting varietal material is associated precisely with the peculiarities of cuttings. The technology of propagation by lignified cuttings is not mastered, it is mainly propagated by green cuttings. And this process, so to speak, is troublesome. To obtain high-quality seedlings, certain conditions are required, for example, constant air humidity. The cuttings have to be sprayed every 30 to 40 minutes.

- Vladimir Alexandrovich, what pests and diseases does this berry bush have?

- For a long time, honeysuckle was in excellent condition, because traditional diseases and pests did not touch it. But over time, they "mastered" and honeysuckle, and in the Non-Black Earth Region, more often the plant suffers from pests: honeysuckle aphid and fingerwing, rose and currant leaf rollers. For the fight, it is better to use vegetable infusions of tomato, potato tops, tobacco with the addition of laundry soap.

- Vladimir Alexandrovich, do you grow honeysuckle on your plot?

- I have a plot of 4 hundred square meters, so there are only three bushes of my varieties "Nizhegorodskaya early", "Lakomka", as well as a new variety, which I am preparing for inclusion in the G, registry "Memory Silaevu". I named the variety in honor of my friend since my student days, Vasily Petrovich Silaev, the former director of Pavlovsk agricultural machinery, an interesting person who, unfortunately, died early.

Honeysuckle is very fond of my grandchildren, and everyone in the family. The wife makes only "live" jam from berries, that is. grinds the berry with sugar to preserve all the nutrients. You can freeze honeysuckle, just choose varieties with thicker skin.

- Are they interested in our miracle berry abroad?

- This year an international symposium on honeysuckle was held in Michurinsk. One of the co-chairs was a Canadian, with reports from Swedes, Poles, Balts.

P.S. Together with Fefelov, I went to the experimental site of the NSAA, where the breeder showed me three of his new varieties, preparing for registration: "Memory to Silaev", "Nizhegorodsky dessert", "Gift to Dergunov". Vladimir Alexandrovich treated with berries of one of the varieties - delicious food!

There is a version that the name "honeysuckle" originated from the words "lived" and "pave", i.e. curl, rise. It is the beautiful curly types of decorative honeysuckle - honeysuckle, Tatar - that correspond to this name.

Honeysuckle has a very hard wood. In the past, canes, billiard balls, account bones, weaving shuttles, rake teeth were made from it.

Honeysuckle berries contain a rich set of macro- and microelements. Honeysuckle has no equal in terms of magnesium content, potassium in the berry is twice as much as in currants, raspberries, blackberries.Honeysuckle also contains a rare "trace element of youth" - selenium.

There are practically no honeysuckle recipes in the cookbook. Don't be alarmed, any blueberry recipe will work for honeysuckle too.