Jostaberry healthy but no fruit

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Lalitha Lalitha, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Lalitha Lalitha

    Lalitha Lalitha New Member

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    I have an organic food-forest-in-progress which includes about 5 large Jostaberry plants. We are a zone 4, 750 mtrs elevation near Lumby BC in Trinity Valley. These plants get great care, full sun, good water, no bugs or diseases, increase in size each year but set almost no fruit. Plants are at least 5 years old. Are they even worth growing? My red and black currants do very well.
    Lalitha
    Rasa Creek Organic Garlic Farm
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting — I know a bit of Vernon and the west side road down to westbank ... but certainly not much about the surrounding areas such as your valley

    Do the currants flower at same time as Jostaberry?

    We have Saskatoons on wild acreage nr Penticton up above on the hills - i forget when they flower - May?

    Here is some info fr NY state

    'Why are there no berries on my jostaberry and currant bushes?'


    Your website is very interesting — so much garlic info .... I had no idea (the chart you show re: trend back to growing on Canadian soil - if only all the commercial uses like on pasta and pizza sauces used Cdn)
    Garlic Store - Organic Seed Garlic: Rasa Creek Farm - BC, Canada
     
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  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    When you say they set almost no fruit -- are they flowering well?
     
  4. Lalitha Lalitha

    Lalitha Lalitha New Member

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    There are some flowers but not nearly what I expected compared to other berries here. For example I am also growing black and red currants nearby and those currants flower and produce profusely which is what I had expected for the Jostas. I also have red and yellow raspberries which flower and produce well. Starting with Josta plants from a nursery I have had the Jostas since the summer of 2014, and later in 2015 I seem to remember much more flowering but still not a memorable harvest and I thought I had to wait for more maturity. I see not signs of insects or disease. When I do get some ripe berries I really like them so I keep trying to tweak things for improvement. They are on a drip system, they get organic fertilizer and composted chicken manure suited to my soil test both foliar and soil. This year was "better" than last which means I got maybe one or two cups of berries tops from a 5' x 5' bush and on the other bushes maybe a handful each. I have four or five Jostas in my developing food forest project and they leaf out and look quite healthy otherwise. The other odd possible clue I have been observing is that my Haskaps also produce sporadically and never abundantly. I thought maybe it was poor pollination but my berries and trees are getting lots of bees in the same area. In spite of my am fertilizing I am wondering what nutrient might be in common with, and deficient in, both the Haskaps and Jostas. Foliar liquid calcium is one choice.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Growing up in small holdings at the coast - mixed farms - old pioneer farms (with usually son or grandson of original European settler) - they always said NO to chicken manure

    I think it was because it “burned” even with composting for a couple of years

    Ideally they wanted happy sheep manure - meaning sheep that pastured and explored and had good care.
    (And never horse manure due to all the seeds etc... cow manure was ok)

    So what I am wondering is if the chicken manure is a factor

    (The farms described above grew a wide range of flowers to vegetables to strawberries and raspberries (Willamette, I recall) ... there was a black currant farm nearby too.)

    EDIT - I meant to say that as far as I know, chicken manure is high in nitrogen so maybe you get lots of nice green foliage ... but few flowers and resulting fruit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  6. Lalitha Lalitha

    Lalitha Lalitha New Member

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    Thanks for this clue about chicken manure. Maybe too much nitrogen but it seems to be working well for all the other things and my soil test shows significant lack of nitrogen so I didn't hesitate -- really old chicken manure. Also I am learning that I may need more aggressive pruning. I appreciate your help.
    Lalitha
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, I am wondering about over-fertilization as well.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    I think reliable contributor Ron B recently posted a brief comment about consumer-use test kits — it’s on the outdoor gardening Pac NW forum and soil is on subject line I think.

    There have been other discussions too

    ——
    Meanwhile I checked at a distance w good farmer friend in similar climate as you in BC but a bit further north

    And she is a devout backyard farmer (having been raised on big farms up north)

    Many many years experience

    And she said yes she uses hen manure but -
    1. Composted 2 yr minimum
    AND
    2. Well blended at the beginning of rot process w at least 50:50 old lawn grass clippings and other non-animal waste.
     

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