Research is currently underway as to the optimal fertility program for Haskap production. Phytocultures’ approach follows the natural growth and life cycle of Haskap plants: over the course of our R & D, we have developed and implemented a fertility program based on the growth rate and biological realities inherent to Haskap bushes.
Haskap thrive in fertile soil with high organic matter, but they can be sensitive to over-fertilization – in their natural habitat, Haskap are accustomed to low levels of available nutrients. Though they tolerate a wide pH range, we recommend a pH of 5.6-6.5 for best results. Although actual recommendations for Haskap fertility programs are limited, growers are relying on comparable crops to develop appropriate measures. For example, based on growth habit and other characteristics, it is likely that Highbush blueberries can be used as a comparison crop for general fertility requirements (with the exception of pH requirements). Potato and tomato programs have also been recommended as transferable for Haskap fertility. In all cases, anlayzing the vitality of your soil is key to understanding nutrient requirements; therefore we recommend conducting a soil test analysis as a starting point for determining fertility requirements specific to your soil.
Phytocultures’ fertility recommendations stem from our knowledge that Haskap plants are not strong natural competitors in their natural environment; rather, their specialization is an ability to tolerate cold temperatures and to leaf out and flower while the risk of frost is extremely high. This hardiness and extreme frost tolerance of the bushes, leaves, and flowers is a true adaptation to our climate in Canada and the northern United States. This trait permits Haskap plants to have an earlier spring lifecycle, producing flowers and berries before other forest plants have even developed leaves. Haskap compete successfully and thrive by completing their lifecycle early in the season.
We have adopted a measured approach to fertility applications in our trial plots with the objective being to feed the plants regularly but avoid overly lush foliar growth. Contact us for more up-to-date information, including recommendations gleaned from our clients across North America.