sadiplod - everything about berries and their cultivation

Did you want to know everything about growing cranberries?

Photo of growing cranberries

Any novice gardener who has decided to plant such a healthy berry as cranberry on his plot, first of all, needs to learn everything about growing this crop. To begin with, remember that it grows and bears an excellent harvest only on the most acidic soils (about 5 pH). Also, during watering, the moisture must be oxidized by a reaction (about 4.5 pH), because otherwise your plant will begin to show the first signs of the disease “chlorosis” on the foliage, and later the cranberry will stop growing altogether and die.

Due to the fact that cranberries grow in swamps, many might think that they need a huge amount of water. The volume of watering, of course, is greater than that of any other berry crop, but nevertheless, a certain measure must be observed and not flooding the root system. The top of the soil must always be moistened, because that is where the cranberry roots are located.

Don’t forget about soil permeability, so use sandy loam, sand or peat to provide the necessary conditions. Cranberries, like many plants, prefer a well-lit and level place. Depressions, depressions and all sorts of places where the temperature will always be lower due to air retention in them are not suitable.

Soil for planting cranberries

In order for cranberries to be healthy and grow without any problems, the soil for planting it must be properly formed. Even on the heaviest and clayey soils, you can always grow cranberries thanks to a bed of high-moor peat. To make a bed, you need to remove the top layers of soil (25 centimeters) and fill this entire part with peat. High peat can be replaced with a special mixture. It should consist of any peat, pine needles, sawdust and forest litter in an arbitrary ratio. The mixture can also be supplemented with a small amount of sand.

After filling the bed with high peat or a mixture, you need to sprinkle it with a small amount of sulfur, mix the entire substrate and compact it. After this, carry out the usual mulching with sand. Next, you will need to slightly acidify the soil with water. For this task, you can use malic, acetic, oxalic or citric acid. After this, the next step is landing.

The best cranberry seedlings are considered to be those with a closed root system. You can only purchase such seedlings in a nursery.

For planting, as a rule, small holes are used (depth - 10 centimeters, diameter - 9 centimeters, distance between holes - 25 centimeters). After planting, the area is watered abundantly and sprinkled with sand. The next week after planting, you need to carefully monitor the top of the soil and moisten it as necessary.

Humidity levels must be maintained taking into account the ambient temperature and precipitation. When summer comes, the shrub will need additional cooling watering, which is preferably done every day until the drought ends. You also need to carry out irrigation, which can be stopped when the layer of soil with cranberry roots is completely filled with the required amount of moisture.

Cranberries need additional care not only during dry periods, but also during periods of high humidity. After all, flooding can greatly harm or even destroy the plant. In such a situation, you need to come up with a method for releasing excess water from the ground.

Pruning and caring for cranberries

In the process of growing cranberries, proper care plays an extremely important role, and especially pruning. Like any other plant, cranberries are very dependent on light. From the sixth year of life, the plant forms a large layer on itself, which will be so dense that it will significantly worsen the lighting of the entire bush. This slows down ripening, and the fruits become dull, as they receive a limited amount of nutrients. For this reason, you must ensure that the bush is well formed. At the beginning of spring or autumn, it is imperative to trim the growing branches that stand out from the very top of the bush. You can do pruning using scissors, pruning shears and a knife. This process is carried out as needed; you determine for yourself when the upper tier becomes so overgrown that light stops penetrating through it.

Feeding cranberries after planting

In order for cranberries to grow properly after planting, they must be fed. Cranberry, as a cultivated plant, very well accepts small dosages of fertilizers, especially mineral ones, like the “Universal” complex.

After planting cranberries, fertilizers are applied for the first time only after three weeks. Feeding is applied in small doses, about half a spoon (tablespoon) should be enough for 1 meter of area. The same fertilizer is applied to the beds every two weeks, until the beginning of August. Towards the end of this month, you need to apply 1/3 of a spoon, but this time fertilizer called “Autumn”. The last dose of fertilizer is applied in mid-autumn.

When the second and third year comes, after planting the cranberries, you will need to apply fertilizer with the same frequency, with the same doses, but only starting in mid-spring. But starting from the fourth year, the dosage of feeding should be sharply reduced. Thus, during the growing season, you will only need to apply 6 doses for cranberries. Namely, 1/3 spoon of “Universal” in the spring, in May and April, in the summer, in June and July. “Autumn” is introduced only in mid-autumn and late summer.

Mulching is also a very important process in growing cranberries. It is carried out using sand, which, in turn, helps stimulate the development and growth of the plant. This process is carried out only once every two years, at the beginning of spring.

Protecting cranberries from various factors

Before you start growing cranberries, you should know how to protect them from various natural factors. When cold weather sets in, cranberries may need your help protecting them from frost. Of course, a natural method, like a cover of snow, can insulate cranberries from extreme cold, but at the same time, the snow can suddenly melt or fly off the bed due to gusts of wind. This is why cranberries need to be covered with burlap or spunbond at the end of autumn. This cold cover is removed after the soil has completely thawed.

But frozen soil is not the only threat to the plant. Winter wind can also have a detrimental effect on the growth and development of cranberries, drying out and killing defenseless shoots. The whole point of this problem is that water from the soil cannot flow and nourish the upper part of the plant. Because of this, the branches begin to die not only from lack of water, but also from weathering. The solution to this problem will be the shelter mentioned above.

The autumn and spring periods are also quite dangerous, and cranberries at this time will also need protection from the cold. Only this time the method will be different: it is called “sprinkling”. At night, when the temperature drops to 0 degrees Celsius, begin the irrigation process. If you cannot do this at night, then try to do everything late in the evening by watering the beds with water and covering them with burlap, spunbond, foam rubber, film or other material overnight.