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Harvest just in time for Thanksgiving! This hardy, low-maintenance, evergreen ground cover produces large, tart berries that are perfect for making holiday meals, cookies, muffins and more. The plant can also be enjoyed in spring, when it features lovely, pink flowers. Cold-tolerant. Requires acidic soil. Ripens in late fall. Self-pollinating. Vaccinium macrocarpon.
Plants grown in a greenhouse must be acclimated carefully before planting or placing them outdoors. This is especially true in hot or sunny locations. Many species should never be grown in full sun. Before purchasing a plant, learn about its sun requirements. Knowing the plants requirements can avoid any damage to the plant by incorrectly giving it the wrong conditions.
If your plant has been grown in a greenhouse, here are a few steps we recommend you follow:
These are general guide recommendations. Some plants take longer than others to acclimate.
The best way to succeed is to plan before you plant. Let’s discuss location: Do you know where you want to locate your new plant? Avoid many future problems by considering all aspects of the planting spot, such as:
Is a pollinator variety present? Cross-pollination by a different variety, of the same type of plant, is key to the success of many plants. In most cases, its absence is why the plant doesn’t bear fruit or produces poorly. Most berry plants are self-pollinating, but for a larger fruit and crop plant more than one variety.
Your plant would love a sunny place with well-drained, fertile soil. But it will be quite satisfied with six to eight hours of sunlight. Good drainage is required to keep your plant “happy.” If your soil has high clay content, use our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or add one-third peat to the soil at planting time. We do not recommend planting in heavy, pure clay soils.
Even if your yard isn’t the most ideal location, take heart. Most berry plants are very adaptable and respond well to fertilizers, so they can get along well even where the soil is nutritionally poor. Just steer clear of sites with extremely heavy soils or very poor drainage.
Once you’ve found out about fruit growing goodness firsthand, you’ll want to expand your home orchard. It’s important to plan so that the future growth areas will be ready when you are.
Few things are as delicious as homegrown cranberries, and the success of your harvest begins right with the planting site and method. For maximum growth and yields later on, give your plants the best foundation possible.
Before you plant, check your soil pH. This can be done by contacting your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Ideally, your cranberries need a soil pH between 4.5-5.5. To increase the acidity of your soil, use a soil acidifier. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or very poorly drained.
Preparing your soil before you plant will greatly improve your plant’s performance and promote healthy, vigorous growth. It is a good idea to have your soil tested to determine if it is lacking in any essential minerals and nutrients. This can be done through your County Extension Office or with one of our digital meters.
The goal of soil preparation is to replenish vital minerals and nutrients, as well as break up and loosen any compacted soil.
Soil preparation can be done at any time that the ground is not too wet or frozen. Your trees may be planted even when temperatures are quite cool. If a hard frost is expected, it is advisable to delay planting for a while until temperatures become more moderate. Generally, as long as your soil is workable, it is fine to plant.
Your lawn can provide you with ideal organic materials such as grass clippings and shredded leaves. Not only will the grass and leaves break down to provide soil nutrients, but they will help loosen the soil as well. You can gather these in the fall with spring planting in mind.
Adding organic materials, such as our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium and compost will improve most every soil type. Organic materials bind sandy soil particles so they retain moisture and nutrients better. They also break apart clay and silt particles, so that water can infiltrate and roots can spread.
Cranberries and lingonberries require little fertilizer. In early spring, use a small handful of fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) and apply in a circle around each mature plant. Use smaller amounts for plants up to three years old. Stop fertilizing by late June.
Every plant has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your plants encounters. If available, disease-resistant varieties are the best option for easy care; and for all types of plants, proper maintenance (such as watering, pruning, spraying, weeding, and cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.
They are the size of a pin head and vary in color depending on the species. Clusters on stems and under leaves, sucking plant juices. Leaves then curl, thicken, yellow and die. Produce large amounts of a liquid waste called “honeydew”. Aphid sticky residue becomes a growth media for sooty mold.
Adults are tiny, white winged insects found mainly on the underside of leaves. Nymph emerge as white, flat, oval shapes. Larvae are the size of a pinhead. Suck plant juices from leaves causing them to turn yellow, appear to dry or fall off plants.
Adults are 1/4” long, flat, oval shaped with a white waxy covering. Yellow to orange eggs are laid within an egg sac. Crawlers are yellow to brown in color. Over winters as an egg or very immature young in or near a white, cottony egg sac, under loose bark or in branch crotches, mostly found on north side. Damage is by contamination of fruit clusters with egg sacs, larvae, adults and honeydew, which promotes growth of black sooty mold.
Usually begins on plant debris, weak or inactive plant tissue than invades healthy plant tissue cause spotting and decay of flowers and foliage and fruits or berries.
First appears as small dark green, translucent spots that later enlarge and turn black. Usually scattered over the entire surface of the leaf.
Adult is yellow to brown sawfly beetle, 1/4” long. Larvae are brown and white, 1/8” long. Adults make slits in flower buds and larvae feed on berries.
Newly hatched worms are white with black heads. Mature worms are light tan or dark brown with dark or orange back and side stripes. They feed on the leaves of plants.
Pruning is an important part of proper edible plant care, and in the case of cranberries, it’s particularly easy to do.
Spraying is important to the survival of your plants. To handle potential diseases and pests, reference the guidelines below to know what you should spray, and when you should use it.
Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.
Cranberries and lingonberries require an average amount of water. If you receive about an inch of rainfall every 10 days or so, your plants will be fine. If you have a really dry growing season, give your new plants a good, thorough soaking with a hose.
Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown fruit? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor: the best time to pick the fruit from your tree, and how to store the fruit.
Your plant should start producing cranberries in 2 to 3 years. Harvest in late September to early October. They develop in large clusters making them easy to pick. When they are ready to harvest the seed turns a brownish color and the berries turn a burgundy color.
When using the berries for sauce, jelly or juice pick them slightly under-ripe. However, if you are going to eat the berries fresh then plan on picking after a frost so the berries will be soft and sweet.
The annual average yield per plant is 3 pounds.
The berries can be kept in the refrigerator for a short time, and may be frozen for later uses. Make sure to wash and stem the berries before freezing.
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Trees that are shipped without soil to ensure good contact with soil in your yard. When shipped, they are about 3-4' tall with 3/8" or larger trunk diameter. When they mature, they will be one of three sizes*:
Matures to be about 8-10' tall and wide. Provides an abundance of full-size fruit.
Matures to be about 12-15' tall and wide. Gives maximum fruit yield per square foot.
Matures to be about 15-25' tall and 20' wide. A multi-purpose fruit and shade tree.
Top-grade, bare-root trees that give you a head start on growing. When shipped, they are about 4-5' tall with 5/8" or larger trunk diameter.
Trees in bottomless pots that allow some roots to be air pruned, so that a dense mass of productive, feeder roots can grow within the pot to make transplanting easier. Mature sizes vary. When shipped, they are about 1-2' tall.
Top-grade, potted trees chosen to give you a head start on growing. When shipped to you, they are about 3-4' tall.
*Tree sizes may vary by variety. See our Growing Guide for details.
Since 1816, Stark Bro's has promised to please customers with the very best fruit trees and landscaping products, no matter what. It's just that simple. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within a year of delivery and we will send you a free one-time replacement or refund your full purchase price if you don't want a replacement. To receive your replacement or refund, please call 800.325.4180. This warranty gives you specific rights, and you may also have other rights, which vary from state to state.