Frequently Ask Questions
In BC our members are growing over 12 varieties but some of the more common ones are Indigo, Boreal, Aurora and the Honey Bee pollinator all which were developed by the University of Saskatchewan’s cold climate fruit program.
Haskaps grow best in cold-climates and in heavier soil that can hold some water. Their roots grow outward more than down. A mature bush is 4-5 feet tall and about as wide. A wide range of pH is recommended between pH 5-7. This is a hearty plant tolerant to minus 40 degrees below Celcius and budding begins often under snow cover.
Berries are tested for Brix levels and are commonly harvested after reaching at least 15 brix. A mature bush can produce 3-5 kilos of berry and remain productive for decades. Fresh market berries are handpicked and cooled off the field. Berries for processing can be mechanically harvested with machines like those used in commercial blueberry operations.
Haskap require the help of wild pollinators such as mason bees and bumblebees. Honeybees are also drawn to the soft yellow bell-shaped flower and sweet nectar. At least two unrelated varieties, that flower about the same time are needed in order for pollination to develop into a berry.
Currently there is no reason to spray Haskap plants. The only disease reported is powdery mildew which occurs well after harvest. Many of the bugs that plague other crops are too late for Haskap berries which are harvested in early summer. In some areas, birds like Cedar Waxwing, Robins and Starlings are proving to be the biggest pests. The birds arrive in flocks and can strip an orchard right before the berries are quite ripe. Netting has proven an effective method to protect crops and some growers with larger fields are experimenting with drones.
Have a Question?
Do you have a question about Haskap berries? Send them our way and one of our knowledgeable members would be more than happy to provide more information.