blueberries

How to Grow – Cranberries (part 2)

You Can Grow That!

You know you can.

You Can Grow That is a campaign started by C. L. Fornari to encourage Garden Bloggers to get more people interested in growing – it doesn’t matter what, to just get started.

What a great idea – I’m in.

On the 4th. day of each month garden bloggers will post something that can be answered with “You can grow that!”
“Do you love fresh basil? You can grow that!” You get the idea.

Unfortunately I found this out just after the 4th of last month, so for these past few weeks I’ve been trying to decide what to post about.
After all, I do this pretty regularly.

There’s been posts about growing Gourds to make Birdhouses, Vases Bowls and Fairy Gardens, and we expect to be growing Broom Corn come season.
Veggies? Don’t get me started.

Then it came to me. Literally.

cranberry plants

inspiration by mail

4 new Cranberry plants.

Now of all the things I grow, Cranberries surprise people the most.
“Really? I thought you needed a bog!”
“No bog needed…” I tell them “you can grow that!”

cranberry plants

ready for planting

Part 1 is linked below, but here’s the basics:

-No bog needed.
-They like acidic soil, good moisture and grow as a ground cover.
-They are perfect planted with blueberries.
-It’ll be 3 years before you start to get cranberries in the fall.

Like many of you addicted to gardening, this year I decided to expand.

blueberry and cranberry bed

ready to transplant blueberries

The 6 Blueberry bushes were moved to a new bed, and a walkway was built so I will have plenty of room to harvest my abundant crop (you got to have hope).
The one and only cranberry now shares the same bed- after all, they both like acidic soil, and well- they’re family.

blueberry and cranberry bed

And a little prayer never hurts.

The only problem?
Now I need more cranberries and more blueberry bushes to fill the bed.
So 4 cranberries have already arrived and a few more are on their way- and a couple of blueberry bushes to keep them company while they grow.

Bad planning on my part?
I don’t think so! :-)

The links (so you don’t need to go back and look for them)

How to Grow Cranberries, Pt. 1
Birdhouses, Vases, Bowls and Fairy Gardens
C. L. Fornari’s Blog- Whole Life Gardening
You Can Grow That!

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Categories: blueberries, cranberries, you can grow that

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How to Grow – Blueberries

baby blueberry bush

baby blueberry bush

You would think putting a stick in the ground; one with roots that is, would be simple enough.

And it is.

If you want a productive stick, however, there a just a few things you should know:

1. Blueberries like coffee.
Well, actually, they like acidic soil. Check yours to see what the ph. is, most likely you will want to add coffee grounds or blueberry feed to improve it. You will want it in the mid to high 4′s. Really, this is definitely a case where it’s worth the effort.
2. Blueberry’s like it wet.
Dig a hole about 12” in diameter and fill it with water until the water stops draining. Don’t make a lake, just enough to sop it. Then add the bush and cover with the soil it came in and a good healthy composted soil. Mulching helps give your blueberries the moisture they like.
3. Blueberries like interesting company.
Not just like, they require it. You need at least 2 different varieties of blueberries for them to produce. I have 2 early, 2 mid-season, and 2 late. It doesn’t matter what kind, you just need at least 2 different varieties.
4. Blueberries take their time.
It’s best, like strawberries, to pinch off the flowers the first season to help them establish a good root system. Blueberries usually produce starting their 3rd year. You can buy 1 and 2 year old bushes, so you won’t have to wait too long.
5. Blueberries like the sun.
Give them a good location; they’ll thank you for it. A healthy Blueberry bush can live a decade and monre.

Botanical name: Vaccinium
Yield: Prolific perennial.
Spacing: 4-6 ft.
Days to maturity: 3 years
Harvest: As the berries ripen.
Storage: Dehydrate, freeze or can.

Categories: blueberries, How to Grow

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My Pet Shrubberies

A number of years back I transplanted 3 healthy blueberry bushes out of harm’s way (construction on our house) and into the recently built new garden area. They didn’t take well to the move and within two years were gone. I was heartbroken.
Now this was through no fault of their own, rather the blame is all mine. I unknowingly made two fatal mistakes:
1. I planted them way too close together
2. I didn’t test nor amend the soil
Bluntly, they starved to death.
It has been a long time since and this year I feel I am ready to try again.
I know you need at least two varieties of blueberry for successful pollination so I ordered 4 bushes of 3 different types (one early, 2 mid-season, and 1 late season). I dug the holes 5 ft. apart. I added Blueberry Food (a natural supplement to make the soil acidic, the way blueberries like it), water, and a little organic matter. I put the little guys in and filled the remaining area with some good top soil. I read the pruning tips pamphlet that came with them (basically, after a few years growth be sure you don’t let them crowd or be crowded) and tucked it into my notebook. I plan on pinching any flowers the first year as recommended, to allow the plants to put their energy into their root growth.
I’m so excited-I feel like I have a few new pets-just very quiet ones.

Categories: blueberries, gardening, How to Grow

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