Honeyberries

Preparation

Honeyberries will grow well in most soils but loose & free-draining soil. They do not mind acidic or alkaline soil which makes them a great alternative for people who struggle to grow blueberries. Ideally, plant in spring when there is no risk of frost, this allows the plant to get established over the following summer. Plant on a site in full sun to help increase fruit yield as the sun will ripen the wood.

Planting

Plant 1.5m (5ft) – 2m (7ft) apart, in rows 4ft (14ft) apart. Dig a hole approx 50cm deep & wide, line the bottom of the hole with fresh compost or well rotted manure. If using manure, also ensure it is well mixed in with the soil. Replace the soil by gently treading it back in and it is a good idea to apply a general purpose fertiliser mixed in with the soil at this time, ensuring the plants get the best possible start. Water in well.

Pruning

Pruning is best done in early spring as the plant breaks into bud, however it is recommended to keep pruning to a
minimum to maximise fruit yield. Young plants only need dead material removed for the first
three years while they get established. For more established honeyberries, pruning should be done in early to mid-summer after harvesting;

  • Remove straggly weak and damaged growth.
  • Thin out any overcrowded shoots by removing several down to the base to encourage
    new strong shoots to replace the old.
  • Also, remove the tips of young shoots as this encourages more flowering laterals.
    Onward Care

A yearly application of a balanced fertilizer such as blood, fish and bone in the spring is all they need. Too much feed will produce lots of lush green growth and not many flowers and fruit. A mulch of well-composted organic matter will help retain moisture and improve soil conditions. It may be worth considering pollination by hand to increase yield of fruit. They flower late winter to very early spring when there is little pollinating insect activity. Hand pollination can be done by lightly brushing over the flowers with a small, soft paint brush.

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