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Cranberries: planting, care and protection from diseases

Photo of the cranberry harvest

Planting cranberries and caring for them are not very different from the technologies of the same lingonberries. Cranberry is a plant that maintains its green color all year round. The bush has not very wide and low branches. Their length is approximately 25 to 30 centimeters. Cranberry fruits are round, small and rich red berries. There are also varieties whose berries can even be compared to gooseberries. The flowering period occurs in the summer, usually at the beginning. And ripe berries can be picked in the fall, starting in September. Wild cranberries ripen 2 weeks later than planted ones. Cranberries also have the ability to retain their properties until mid-spring.

Proper planting of cranberries

Before you start growing cranberries, you need to learn about proper planting technologies. In its natural environment, cranberries grow mainly where it is humid, namely: coniferous forests, swampy banks near reservoirs, sphagnum swamps, and the like. But such conditions can be created on your own site.

The first step is to take care of the place where the berries are planted. The ideal place should be lighted, open and with groundwater at a level of 20 centimeters below the ground. It will be very good if you have a body of water on your site, such as a small pond or river, places on the banks will contribute to the successful growth of cranberries.

Then you must take care of suitable soil for the cranberries. Remember that this crop grows mainly in acidic soils, which can be understood from the locations in the natural environment. The ideal acidity of cranberry soil is pH 3-6, large varieties are pH 4-5. The soil composition should include peat or sphagnum moss. But there may not be such places on the site, then you should make a small depression of 25 centimeters and fill it with a suitable mixture of forest humus, peat, forest soil and sand — 1:2:1:1 (mixture ratio). You can also add slightly decomposed forest needles, this will only improve the growth of cranberries.

The best period for planting cranberries is spring, when thawing will be more intense. All the same, before planting the seedlings in the ground, you will need to spill the finished area with warm water. After which, holes are dug for planting, approximately 10 centimeters deep and up to 20 centimeters away. Planting involves 2 seedlings in one hole, without compacting the soil. Cranberry seedlings should be at least 15 centimeters in height for best rooting. However, the first harvest from cranberries will only be in 2 years.

Cranberry care

Caring for cranberries is an important part of the work for getting a good harvest. It must be remembered that near cranberries you need to constantly weed the ground, especially if the seedlings were taken from the forest. The thing is that cranberries always need moist soil. The first time after seedlings, the seedlings will still need to be fertilized with “minerals” for shrubs to stimulate the growth of branches. Fertilizers are applied twice per season, namely in early spring and towards the end of summer. The amount of feeding needs to be reduced over time. After planting, fertilizing is done for only three years. By the 4th year, soil fertilization stops altogether.

You can also start forming a cranberry bush in the first years after planting, if you grow this crop for decorative purposes. If you lightly prune the branches that hang vertically in the spring, you will notice how the cranberries will begin to grow very luxuriantly. When pruning horizontally, you will end up with spreading bushes. The main thing to remember is that pruning is best done on cranberries that are no more than 4 years old.

How to protect cranberries from diseases and pests

To protect cranberries from diseases and pests, you need to draw up a clear work plan and strictly follow it. Protection against various ailments is divided into seasons, months or stages.

At the beginning of spring, before the buds begin to swell, it is imperative to dig up and burn plants that have the unpleasant sign of visible “dwarfism.” And also mulch the soil with sand for the cranberries.

In mid-spring, when the buds began to bloom, mulch, if not done in early spring, and also treat the cranberries as a preventive measure with Bordeaux mixture or other medicine against diseases that affect berry bushes.

By the end of spring, you will definitely need to treat the bushes with Medex in a ratio of 100 grams / 10 liters of water. Then use Bordeaux liquid, “Skor” in a ratio of 4 milliliters / 10 liters of water and “Horus” in a ratio of 4 grams / 10 liters of water to combat gray mold, as well as spotting. Do not forget to observe the treatment interval - at least 8 days.

After the plant has already bloomed, you need to treat the cranberries against spotting and mold with sulfur, if necessary.

When you have already harvested your cranberries, you need to treat the bushes with the drug “Medex” against gray mold and spotting. If you don’t have Medex, use Bordeaux liquid, Skor or Horus in the same ratio.

After the onset of autumn, you need to treat the bushes with a suitable fungicide and mulch the soil with a small layer under the cranberry bushes using sand.

Large-fruited cranberry varieties

Varieties of large-fruited cranberries are becoming more and more popular and there are quite a lot of them. The varieties are divided into early ripening, mid ripening and late ripening.

Early ripening varieties of large-fruited cranberries

  • Variety “Black Vale” - this variety of cranberries has oval-shaped and medium-sized berries, about 17 mm in diameter. Ripening begins in the fall, at the very beginning. This variety is used both for further processing and in its natural form.
  • Variety “Ben Lear” — has large and round berries, about 19 mm in diameter. Ripening begins in late summer or early autumn. Berries of this variety can be stored for up to 2 weeks. It is usually used for further processing or simply frozen. There is quite a lot of harvest.

Mid-ripening varieties of large-fruited cranberries

  • Variety “Dar Kostroma” — The berries of this variety are the largest of all varieties (weight - 2 grams). The fruits have a clean sour taste. Resistant to pests
  • Variety “Sazonovskaya” — This variety has medium-sized fruits (weight - 0.6 grams). The berries have a round shape, ribbed edges and a slightly sweet taste, with a slight sourness.
  • Variety “Severyanka” — this variety has large berries (weight - 1.2 grams). The fruits are sour and red. The shrub tolerates winter well.
  • Variety “Sominskaya” — has relatively large berries (weight - 0.9 grams). The fruits have a shape similar to a lemon and are bright red in color. The bush tolerates winter well, but can be affected by a small number of diseases.
  • Variety “Khotavitskaya” — This variety has well-defined red berries, round in shape and relatively large (0.9 grams). The fruits have a clean, sour taste. Tolerates winter well, but is affected by a small number of diseases.

Late-ripening varieties of large-fruited cranberries

  • Variety "Wilcox" — This variety has medium-sized berries, 21 mm in diameter. The fruits are bright, red, and oval in shape. Ripening occurs in mid-autumn. The variety is usually used in its natural form or processed. Productivity is good.
  • Variety “Franklin” — has medium-sized fruits, 14 mm in diameter. The berry is red, dark. Ripening begins in mid-autumn. The variety can be stored for up to 4 months. Resists well against common diseases. Used in their natural form or processed.
  • Variety “Searles” — this variety has very long fruits (about 24 mm). The berries are red, dark, without gloss, but with thick pulp. Ripening begins in mid-autumn. Used in their natural form or processed. The variety cannot be stored for a very long time.