Honey Berries – Easy to Grow
You might not know it but, edible landscaping is a thing.
Eight years ago, when we purchased our home, the landscaping was in dire need of some fixing. There were a few flowers, an ornamental cherry tree, and one tenacious long line of hummingbird vines, but other than that, there wasn’t really much growing. And certainly less that gave us something we could eat.
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My husband and I decided that every time we purchased a new flower, bush, or tree, that it would be something that had a purpose. That purpose being something we could eat, use as medicine, or something that we held in value.
Mostly we just wanted to nibble our way through the yard.
One of the more interesting types of bushes that we purchased was the three different varieties of honeyberry bushes. I had an area that needed to be filled behind the garage and didn’t want a low-growing plant there that would easily get trampled.
So I scoured the internet looking for something edible and found out that honeyberry bushes might be something that would fill the area nicely and have fruit that we could eat.
I didn’t exactly know what to expect because I had never tasted honeyberries, or seen them growing. Tiny sticks about 6 inches tall arrived, and I seriously questioned whether they’d make it.
Make it they did.
The second-year after planting we got a couple berries, enough for us to decide if we wanted to eat the berries, or let the birds have them if they weren’t palatable. They were indeed palatable, tasty even. Kind of like blueberries, only a wee bit drier.
The third-year is when the bushes became full of blossoms and we had a hard time keeping the birds out. I highly recommend bird nets to keep birds out, or they will eat every single berry before you get home from work.
Just what are honeyberries? They’re from the honeysuckle family, so they’re sweet. They also attract bumblebees on the chilliest of mornings before you even know that bees have come out of hibernation. Honeyberry blossoms are some of the earliest forms of food for bees.
My bushes barely receive any daylight, maybe 3 hours maximum per day, as they are on the north side of the garage. The 3 hours that they get is from the early morning sun. We also live in zone 5b, but honeyberry bushes can survive zone 2-8 depending on which variety you choose.
Honeyberry bushes are similar to blueberries, needing at least two varieties to fruit. That’s why I chose 3 different varieties. I wasn’t sure if one variety would make it, so I chose 3 different kinds right away.
Honeyberries are extremely low maintenance when it comes to pruning or litter from the bushes. They are an extremely good choice if you don’t want to invest a lot of time taking care of the plants. I don’t even cover or mulch my bushes during the winter.