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Garden honeysuckle is grown for its early and very useful berries. It is bred on the basis of edible species growing in the Far East, Western Siberia, China and Korea. In regions close to their natural habitat, the shrub needs minimal maintenance. But recently, just as grapes are "moving" to the North, honeysuckle is being planted in the southern regions. And there the culture suffers from the heat, grows poorly and bears fruit. Adaptation to the unfamiliar climate continues, and the soil for honeysuckle plays an important role in this process.
Edible honeysuckle is easily recognizable by its blue berries
What soil does honeysuckle prefer?
In harsh climates, honeysuckle is an unpretentious plant that can withstand some shading, frost and does not require special care. In the south, most varieties are withering away. Many gardeners attribute this to the composition of the soil, but they are only partly right.
In various, even very authoritative sources, one can find seemingly opposite recommendations regarding the preparation of a planting mixture for honeysuckle. Some advise bringing lime or a large amount of ash into the pit, which in itself alkalizes the soil. Others argue that honeysuckle loves acidic soil.
In fact, the culture is very undemanding to the composition of the soil. The pH of the soil for honeysuckle varies in a wide range - 4.5-7.5, that is, it can have a reaction from moderately acidic to slightly alkaline.
Usually, residents of the Northwest, Siberia, the Far East do not even think about its composition when planting honeysuckle in open ground. But the southerners complain: honeysuckle grows poorly in black soil.
Chernozem is different. Yes, it contains a lot of humus and is highly fertile. But, for example, loamy, the richest in composition, turns into plasticine during rains, and in drought it becomes hard as stone and cracks. No wonder the inhabitants of the black earth zone also improve their soils.
The soil for garden honeysuckle should be loose, well-permeable to air and water. Short-term wetting or drought should not disturb its structure.
And what happens when honeysuckle is planted in black soil? The root of the culture, although it is pivotal, is short - only 50 cm.And there are many lateral processes. During a drought, the hardened and cracked soil literally tears thin fibrous roots. And during the period of rains or active watering, it turns into a heavy sticky mass impermeable to air.
This presents a problem not only for honeysuckle. Sometimes the owners, having brought clean loamy black soil to the site, which is indeed the most fertile, believe that they were deceived. And they don't know what to do with the land. It is necessary to improve its structure from season to season. And honeysuckle simply suffers more than other crops, because it is absolutely not adapted to such soil conditions.
Loamy chernozem is the most fertile, but needs structuring
It is possible to improve the structure of loamy chernozem by regular, once every few years, the introduction of lime. Or additives that increase the permeability of the soil, for example, humus and sour peat, which has a fibrous structure.
Honeysuckle does grow better if one of these additives is present in the planting pit. But not because of the acidity correction. Lime, humus and sour peat improve the structure of the soil. And this is of great importance for culture.
Important! Of course, lime cannot be added to an already alkaline soil, and sour soil cannot be “improved” with red peat. It will be too much even for honeysuckle.
Soil composition for honeysuckle
The soil for garden honeysuckle must be well structured. To check if it needs improvement, you need to cut off the fertile layer with a shovel at least 10 cm and toss it up. Inspect the fallen layer carefully:
- there is a whole pancake on the ground, from which several pieces bounced off on impact - a lot of clay;
- the reservoir has completely crumbled - too much sand;
- the top layer of the soil broke up into lumps of different sizes, grains, grains - a good structure.
Heavy clayey soils are poorly permeable to moisture and air. After watering and rains, a crust forms on the surface, water stagnates in the root area. This is unacceptable for honeysuckle. This is what happens on rich black soil. That is why they are not suitable for growing crops.
Sandy soil dries out quickly, nutrients are washed out of it. Water-soluble fertilizers go to the lower layers without having time to act.
Important! On sandy loams and heavy loams (even fertile ones), honeysuckle will not grow.
If the soil is not suitable for the culture, you need to prepare a fertile mixture yourself. For honeysuckle, one of the options is suitable:
- humus and middle (black) peat in equal proportions;
- sod land, peat (sand), humus, proportions - 3: 1: 1.
On alkaline soils, it will be useful to add horse (red) peat to the planting pit. For acidic soils, ash or lime are good additions.
How to prepare the soil for honeysuckle
In the area of natural growth of culture, it is enough to plant a bush in an ordinary land in a sunny place. If the soil gets blocked, drain the water or arrange good drainage. To improve fertility, a bucket of humus is added to each planting hole, 50 g of potash and phosphorus fertilizers each. On well-structured, but poor soils, organic matter is applied in 2 times more.
It is more difficult on too dense soils, including chernozems, as well as sandy loam. Here you need to dig a planting hole with a depth and diameter of at least 50 cm.It is better to replace the earth completely with one of the soil mixture options presented above.
On unsuitable soils, the planting hole is filled with a self-prepared substrate
Experienced gardening tips
Practitioners who grow honeysuckle in areas unfavorable to culture advise:
- When improving the structure of heavy soils, only coarse-grained sand can be used. The small one glues the earth himself and will only aggravate the situation.
- When preparing a soil mixture, you cannot simply mix the components. It is recommended to sift them through a large sieve, add fertilizers. And only then fill the landing pit. Many gardeners neglect this rule, and then they cannot understand what went wrong. For honeysuckle, the operation is of great importance.
- When sifting the components of the soil mixture, you can use a net from an old armor bed. It is installed on supports, peat, sand, humus, turf soil are thrown. If large lumps come across, they can be broken up immediately by striking them flat with a shovel.
- Humus is taken from horse and cattle. Pig access to the garden should be closed. Poultry droppings are suitable for liquid feeding; they are not placed in the planting pit.
- If in regions with a cool climate, honeysuckle is planted in a sunny place, then in the south the culture requires shading. She is already too hot there, and in direct sunlight the bush will try to survive, and there will simply be no strength left to set fruit. It is good if a tree with an openwork crown is located on the south side of the honeysuckle, there is a trellis, a trellis arbor, or a net with a climbing plant planted next to it is stretched.
The farmer talks about the autumn planting of honeysuckle and blueberries, and also shows the preparation of soil mixture using a shell mesh:
The soil for honeysuckle should be fertile and structured. The culture is undemanding to acidity, it can grow with a pH reaction from 4.5 to 7.5. Soil that is not suitable for honeysuckle must be removed from the planting pit and filled with a self-prepared mixture.