Friday, February 15, 2013

American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Pilgrim American Cranberry:   The brightest red and largest fruited variety, with many fruits larger than a nickel.  Easy to harvest, the fruits ripen late in the season on vigorous and attractive bushy ground covers.  Plant in moist soil enriched with peat.  Feed to maintain acidic soil.  These are offered in our tree sale, and are in 4" pots.
If your ground is not naturally moist and acidic, then you can grow them in a large container filled with a peat based compost without lime or nutrients. Another  solution would be to construct a sunken bed some 6-8 inches below the surrounding surface.  The bed should be dug to about 2 feet deep, and back filled with a mixture of soil and peat. Water well with lime free water, such as rainwater collected in a rain barrel. After planting your cranberry plants at 12 spacing, cover the bed with about an inch of coarse, lime-free sand to prevent the peat drying out too quickly and to help the cranberry stems root into the ground. During late spring, apply an acidic plant food as instructed by the manufacturer.

Tiny cranberry flowers

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