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If you have a green thumb, you would surely have mastered the art of growing various types of plants in your backyard. Cranberries are dwarf-sized shrubs that are found in the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Cranberries are used for a variety of products today. Cranberry sauce remains to be the most important accompaniment with many meals in the traditional American menus. So, have you always loved the sweet taste of cranberries and wondered how are cranberries grown? Here’s a look at tips for growing cranberries so that you can enjoy making loads of cranberry goodies at home!
How are Cranberries Grown?
While growing cranberries, there are certain factors you would need to consider. Here are a few of them. Cranberries are preferably grown in sandy soil or even acidic soil. These shrubs would benefit by being close to the water but it does not mean that the soil should be waterlogged.
If you add a layer of sand to the bed during the springtime for a couple of years, it will help in the growth of the cranberry shrub and also prevent the growth of weeds. Always ensure the soil is moist and well-drained.
Cranberry shrubs require full sunlight. If you have picked the shrub from a nursery, ensure you dig the plant hole around 2-3 times the width of the shrub’s container, and the same goes for the depth as well. Once you plant the shrub, you must note the root ball of this plant should be even with the ground.
When you add the shrub into the pit, also add a small portion of the original soil to secure the plant. Then, fill the plant hole with some amount of water and let the soil along with the root ball absorb the water.
You would also need to spread a layer of mulch around 4 inches deep around the shrub. This mulch helps to prevent the loss of moisture and also prevents the growth of weeds and helps to keep the roots cool.
Fertilizers generally need to be used between the months of mid-May and late August. Since these shrubs are wetland plants, they require minimal nutrient supplements.
Cranberries need to be harvested in autumn. This is the time when the fruit has a distinctive red color from the months of late September to October. To harvest these shrubs, the beds need to be flooded with water, approximately 6-8 inches above the vines. A harvester needs to be driven through the beds in order to remove the fruits from the vines. The harvested cranberries then float in the water, which can then be pumped from the bed.
Be careful about frost while growing cranberries. In that case, sprinkle plants and soil with water immediately after a frost or else the harvest may suffer.
To prevent damage caused by insects or pests, you would need to apply certain insecticides and fungicides during the summer months. This helps to control the damage done or even prevent it for that matter.
Generally, there has been one misconception about growing cranberries – which is the beds need to be flooded throughout the year. Beds need not be flooded always; they need to be irrigated regularly to be able to maintain the soil moisture. In many farms, many beds are flooded in autumn to help in the process of harvest and this is repeated again in the winter season as a way of protection against the low temperatures.
Always preferably grow cranberries in an open site to help in the process of pollination.