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The Basics of Haskap Pollination - Planting Schemes, Planting Material and More.

In the previous blog, the University of Saskatchewan’s haskap varieties and their parental lineages were introduced and discussed. Prior to selecting the appropriate haskap varieties for your location, it’s important to know the basics of haskap pollination so you can choose the planting schemes and planting material that’s right for you.

Why haskap is a cross-pollinated crop?

Haskap requires cross-pollination of a compatible variety to produce fruit, meaning that at least two varieties are needed for cross-pollination. Scientifically speaking, two varieties with different compatibility genes are needed for cross pollination. The variety that primarily contributes pollen to a producing variety is called a ‘pollinizer’ or ‘companion plant’.

There are two main requirements for successful cross-pollination:

  1. Both varieties (pollinator and a producing variety) must bloom at the same time.

  2. The presence of pollinating agents like bees, preferably bumble bees.

Which variety to choose as pollinizers

Honeybee is the designated U o S pollinizer for all early ripening varieties. Boreal Beast is the designated UoS pollinizer for both mid and late ripening varieties.

Which planting scheme shall I choose for a commercial orchard?

Haskap has been in the commercial fruit industry for just a short while. Growers are still experimenting with haskap planting schemes and deciding on the number of pollinators needed for a successful crop. Some have planted pollinators every 4th/5th or 6th plant in a row of producing variety, while others have planted separate rows of pollinators alternating with producing varieties. It also depends upon the bee population in the area. Field growers maintain 8-10 feet inter-row distance and 3-4 feet between plants within rows. We strongly advise growers to incorporate their own ideas and experience with other cross-pollinated fruit crops when planning a haskap orchard. A good starting point are the three schemes below recommended by the University of Saskatchewan.

What about small-space gardening?

For the hobbyist, planting haskap varieties in ‘duos’ and ‘trios’ in your home garden or in containers on a patio is ideal. A duo is a combination of any two compatible early ripening varieties needed for successful pollination while a Trio is combination of three mid and late ripening varieties.

Haskap Duo

We recommend Honeybee to be planted with Aurora, the Indigo series, Borealis, and Tundra. For hobbyists Aurora planted with any early variety other than Honeybee is recommended, because Honeybee does not taste as sweet but the yield may be lower. Similarly Boreal beast can be planted with either Boreal Beauty or Boreal Blizzard.

Haskap Trio

We recommend Aurora to be planted with Indigo series, Tundra or Borealis. Similarly, Boreal Beast must be planted with Boreal Blizzard (mid ripening variety) and/or Boreal Beauty (late ripening variety).

Having all three Boreals in your trio will extend the fruiting period due to Beast's overlapping bloom times.

What type of starter plants do I need?

Whether you are interested in planting a haskap orchard or you are a hobby gardener, we can help you select the right type of starter plant.

1.5” starter plug

(Ideal for 4” pot or gallon pot)

2.5” starter plug (Ideal for direct field planting)

Please feel free to give us a call or send an email to learn more on the selection of haskap varieties, planting schemes and planting ideas.

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