Haskap Blossoms in May

Back in November I wrote a post called “Introduction to Haskap Berries (aka Honeyberries)“. Currently, this post is the most viewed post on this site – by far. And so I thought it would be appropriate to give you all an update on how my haskap are growing this year.

Actually, they’re doing quite nicely. In fact, they’ve been blossoming for about three days now.

Haskap Blossom

Haskap Blossom

I have my haskap growing in two locations. The flowers above are from the bushes on the west side of the house. They are a little more protected, have pine bark mulch around them, and seem to have the most flowers – or perhaps just the earliest flowers.

The other haskaps pictured below are on an east-facing hill with no shelter and are mulched in old hay. I don’t see as many flowers on them, but they are doing well none the less.

Haskap on May 17th

There should be honeyberries (haskap berries) ready to pick by mid to late June. I’ll hopefully get a chance to update you before then – perhaps when I put on my bird netting a couple of weeks prior to picking.

Any other good haskap pictures out there? I’d love to see ’em. Drop me a line!

Hints, Tips, and How Tos

Protecting Your Tender Plants From A Spring Freeze

Last spring I bought six kiwi seedlings. Within a couple days of getting planted, they were promptly destroyed by a fierce hail storm. This year I thought I’d try again. I order a few more kiwis and they arrived yesterday. So not wanting them to linger in the box any longer than they needed to, I planted them promptly. However, this morning the weather forecast tells me to expect -6° C overnight. True, the kiwis I ordered were the ‘Arctic Beauty’ variety, but I didn’t really want to push them. I needed to protect them from freezing somehow.

So what to do?

After doing a little research, I discovered a couple of ways I could go about preserving them. Bringing them inside wasn’t an option I wanted to entertain (digging them up, bringing them indoors, planting them in a pot, and three days later transplanting them back in the ground just didn’t seem like a good idea). Putting a tent up over top of them with a little electric heater inside would be tricky (as the rain had already deeply puddled around my new seedlings and I’ve never liked the idea of being electrocuted). So the logical step was just to put an upside down bucket over top of the plants. I had built my trellises with enough clearance underneath to fit a three gallon bucket.

Rumors have it that the temperature under the bucket should stay 3-4° warmer than the air outside. If this is the case, my kiwis should be ok. But time will tell. If it didn’t work I’ll be sure to put an update at the end of this post.

Just one note: If you try this method, be sure to take the bucket off in the morning and put it back in the evening if you suspect cold temperature. Your plants will need the light and the fresh air.


Why It’s So Difficult To Be An Alberta Gardener

A picture is worth a thousand words, so let me just say this:

April 12, 2008

+24° Celsius. (75° F.)

Beautiful warm day - April 12


April 21, 2008

-11° Celsius (12° F)

Miserable Cold Day - April 21


And that is why it is so hard to be an Alberta Gardener!