Garden cranberries: planting and care, pruning and propagation, types and varieties
Cranberries (Oxycoccus) is a subgenus of flowering plants belonging to the heather family. It is represented by evergreen creeping shrubs found in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere. In any type of cranberry, berries are edible, and they are widely used in the food industry and in cooking. The scientific name of this plant in translation from ancient Greek means "sour berry". Pioneers of America called such a bush "cranberry" (cranberry). And in the 17th century in New England, this plant was called the “bear berry”, because people have seen how it is eaten by grizzlies more than once. As the Russian name for cranberries happened, it is not exactly established at the moment, but in some dialects it is called the “crane” by analogy with the word cranberry, which came from America.
Under natural conditions, such a shrub prefers to grow in moist places, for example: in swamps, in coniferous sphagnum forests, along the swampy shores of various reservoirs. Gardeners cultivate only 1 species - garden cranberries.
Cranberries are a creeping shrub. The height of the evergreen shrubs can vary from 0.15 to 0.6 m. The stem root system. Oblong or ovate leaf plates are regularly located and have short petioles. Their length is 1.5 cm and their width is 0.6 cm. The front surface of the leaves has a dark green color, and the inside is covered with a wax coating, which is why it has a whitish color. Wax coating provides protection to the leaf plates from water. The shrub blooms in May or June. The color of the flowers is pale purple or pink, they are located on long pedicels. Life expectancy of one flower is 18 days. The fruit is a red sour berry of spherical or ovoid shape, which reaches 1.6 cm in diameter. Cranberry fruits have medicinal properties, so they are very popular. However, in gardens it can be met much less often than raspberries, red and black currants, gooseberries or strawberries. But in recent years, it has been gaining more and more popularity among gardeners, like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and blueberries.
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Planting cranberries in open ground
What time to plant
Planting cranberries in open ground is recommended to be taken at the beginning of the spring period immediately after the soil on the site thaws to a depth of 8 to 10 centimeters. For planting such a shrub, an open, well-lit area with a high degree of humidity is suitable. It is better to choose a place where the soil will lie very close to the surface of the soil. If there is a stream, a pond or a small lake on the garden plot, then it is recommended that the shrub is planted on the shore of such a reservoir, in which case it can be grown even in small shade next to the growing trees. This plant needs peaty acid soil with a pH of 3.5–4.5, or you can use a forest substrate with sphagnum. In the event that the soil on the site is significantly different from the required, you need to remove the top layer of the earth, the thickness of which should be from 20 to 25 centimeters, and in its place should be poured a more suitable earth mixture consisting of sand, peat, forest humus and forest land , which must be taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1. In this mixture, you also need to pour the rotted needles.
Cranberry planting in spring
Immediately before planting in the soil, you need to make holes, the depth of which will be equal to 10 centimeters, the distance between them should be about 20 centimeters. Ready wells should be spilled with lukewarm water. 2 seedlings are placed immediately in one hole, and their height should be from 15 to 20 centimeters. Then the hole must be filled with soil, it is not necessary to ram it.On the planted cranberries, the first fruits will grow only in the third year, while it will only fully bear fruit in the fourth year. From one square meter, an average of 500 grams of fruit is harvested. For the first two years, this shrub will be simply a spectacular decoration of the garden. Designers often decorate the landscape with very beautiful thickets of cranberries.
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Cranberry planting in autumn
Planting cranberries in autumn is not carried out. However, in September it is recommended to start preparing a place for planting cranberries in the spring. The site for planting cranberries should first be fenced off, for this it is necessary to dig some material that does not decay along the perimeter into the soil at a twenty-centimeter depth, for example: plastic, slate or pieces of roofing material. Above the soil surface, this fence should protrude 0.2-0.3 m.
Cranberry Care in Spring
Growing cranberries is very simple, even for a novice gardener. In the early spring, when the berry starts to turn green, this shrub will need thinning pruning, as well as top dressing with full mineral fertilizer. Remember that feeding the plant should not be a very concentrated mixture. The fact is that cranberries are better not to over feed than to overfeed. Make sure that the soil is constantly a little moist, loosen the surface of the site regularly, and at the same time tear out the weeds. For pollination of cranberries, bees are necessary, in this regard, next to this shrub, you need to plant any melliferous plants, for example, oregano, savory, etc.
Summer cranberry care
In the summer, especially from mid-July to the end of August, you need to make sure that the soil on the bed is always slightly moist. As mentioned above, for cranberries to grow well, it needs acidic soil, so water mixed with citric acid or vinegar should be used to water a plant that is already 3 or 4 years old. In the event that the growth of the shrub deteriorates, it must be fed by pouring fertilizers into the water. Perform preventive treatments with fungicides. The same drugs are sprayed on diseased cranberry bushes. Periodically loosen the surface of the soil and pull out the weed grass. During the first three years, this shrub must be weeded systematically. The surface of the soil around the bushes, which are more than three years old, needs to be covered once every 3 or 4 years with a layer of mulch (coarse sand or peat crumb), while its thickness should be 15–20 mm.
Cranberry Care in Autumn
In autumn, it's time to harvest. Berry picking is carried out unripe, and this time falls on September or October. Ripening of fruits occurs during storage.
What care will the shrub need when the harvest is over? In order to protect plants from pests and diseases, from a snowy winter and frosts in the spring, when the outside temperature drops to minus 5 degrees, the cranberry must be filled with a two-centimeter layer of water. Wait until this layer completely freezes, and pour another same layer of water. This procedure must be repeated until the bushes are completely in ice. In the event that the winters in your region are relatively mild, this shrub will only need shelter (spanbond or fir spruce).
In order for cranberries to grow normally, it is necessary that the soil is moist all the time, and in such an environment the likelihood of developing a fungal disease is high. In this regard, cranberries need periodic preventive spraying with fungicidal preparations, which are carried out several times during the season. In spring, when the buds begin to swell and open, the shrub is treated with Azophos or Bordeaux mixture (1%).During the formation of buds, this plant will need 3 sprayings with an interval of 7 days, for this they use a solution of Horus or Skor (4 grams of any of these drugs are taken for 1 bucket of water). This treatment will protect cranberries from spotting and gray mold. If it is necessary, then when the shrub fades, spend its repeated spraying from gray mold. In November, spraying the site is carried out with a Bordeaux mixture (1%).
How to water
Freshly planted seedlings for the first half month will need daily watering. Next, you need to ensure that the soil is always slightly moist, but not moist. From June to May, the shrub should not be watered very often and sparingly, because excess fluid in this period negatively affects the quality of the crop. On hot days, the plant needs cooling irrigation. During prolonged drought, cranberry should be watered every day. In August – October, plants should be watered systematically. Cranberries should be watered so that the soil is moistened to the depth of the root layer.
Cranberry top dressing
In order for such shrubs to grow and develop normally, you need to systematically feed them. The first top dressing of freshly planted seedlings is carried out 20 days after planting. To do this, use the Universal fertilizer, so, for 1 square meter of the plot, ½ part of a large spoon of this nutrient mixture is taken. In this way, cranberries will need to be fed once every half a month until the end of July. The next top dressing is carried out in mid-August, and then in mid-October, for this, Autumn fertilizer is used (for 1 square meter 1/3 of a large spoon). In the second and third year, cranberries should be fed in the same way. During the fourth and all subsequent years, a reduction in the number of fertilizers will be needed, so, during the growing season, cranberries will need to be fed 6 times, taking 1/3 of a large spoonful of fertilizer for every 1 square meter.
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What time to crop
Cranberries are pruned in spring, or rather, in May. During the first three years, when intensive growth of the bush is observed, it is necessary to bookmark its shape, which can be spreading or compact.
In the event that you want the bush to be compact and tall, in spring you need to prune all creeping, thin, low frost-resistant stems, and as a result, growth of vertical branches will be stimulated. And if you want the bush to be spreading, then using pruning you need to stimulate the growth of horizontally directed stems. When choosing the shape of the bush, it should be borne in mind that it is much more convenient to remove the fruits from a high bush.
Pruning this crop in the fall is very rare and only when necessary.
For the propagation of cranberries, you can use the seed and vegetative method. As a rule, only specialists working on the cultivation of new varieties grow this plant from the seeds, because the seedling obtained in this way is not able to inherit the varietal traits of the parent bush. To obtain varietal seedlings for propagation, green cuttings should be taken.
Cranberry propagation by cuttings
Harvesting green cuttings produced during the active growth of stems. Cuttings in length should reach 10 centimeters or more. Planting of such cuttings can be done in pots, which should be filled with sand, horse peat and rotted needles, as well as in a school or directly in open soil in a permanent place. In the latter case, when planting, you should use the 7x7 centimeter scheme, this will allow the branches of the bushes to close as soon as possible. They should be buried in the ground by 20-30 mm, which is then a little tamped. Planted cuttings need abundant watering.Until the roots appear on the cuttings, the soil should be constantly slightly moist, in some cases they will need to be watered 2 times a day. On sunny days, plants will need protection from direct scorching rays of the sun, for this they use fabric. As a rule, cuttings take root very quickly.
Cranberry cuttings start, spring 2016.
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Cranberry seed propagation
Cranberry seeds can be collected on their own. To do this, select ripe fresh fruits, they need to be mashed. The resulting mass should be washed with plenty of running water. Seeds settled on a sieve should be sown as soon as possible. Seeds stored for some time need stratification. To do this, the box is filled with layers: one layer of moistened sand and peat (1: 4), the other - seeds. There may be several layers. The box is cleaned in a cool place (3–7 degrees), where there is free air access, where the seeds will stay for 10–12 weeks. Stratified seeds are sown in spring, and freshly harvested in recent summer weeks. For sowing, containers filled with horse peat are used. Seeds are distributed on the surface of the soil, while they do not need to be buried. Seeds are covered on top with a two to three millimeter layer of sifted sand or a five millimeter layer of ground peat. Then the crops need to be watered, the container is covered with glass from above and cleaned in a warm and well-lit place. Crops need systematic ventilation and hydration. Mold may appear on the surface of the soil, in which case the crops will need fungicide treatment.
The first seedlings should appear after 15-30 days, as soon as this happens, the shelter must be removed, but they should be watered as regularly. When 4 or 5 real leaf plates begin to form on the plants, they should be dived into individual pots or in a greenhouse onto a garden bed, in which case a distance of 10 centimeters must be maintained between the seedlings. The duration of growing plants will be 12 months, at which time they need to provide systematic watering and top dressing with a solution of Kemira-universal (for 1 bucket of water 1 large spoonful of substance), while 1 liter of nutrient mixture is taken per 1 square meter. When top dressing, avoid fertilizer getting on the surface of the leaf blades, otherwise it may cause burns. From the second half of April to mid-July, cranberries will need to be fed once every half a month. The cover from the greenhouse must be removed in August, and in the last October days, the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch (peat), its thickness should be from 5 to 7 centimeters. For wintering, the bed should be covered with a spanbond, putting it in 2 layers. In spring, shelter is removed from the garden, and the plant is transplanted to the school. The duration of growing seedlings in the school is 1-2 years, then they can be planted in open ground at a permanent place. The first fruits, on a bush grown in this way, will appear only 2 or 3 years after they are transplanted into open soil at a permanent place.
Cranberry Diseases with Description
If you strictly adhere to the rules of agricultural technology of cranberries, then your plant will be healthy and beautiful. But there are times when an absolutely healthy and well-groomed shrub gets sick. As soon as the signs of any disease are detected, it is necessary to immediately begin treatment of the affected bush. Below will be described the diseases to which this culture is susceptible.
Snow mold - this disease is very dangerous, and it develops in March – April. In the affected specimens, the foliage and buds turn brownish red, and a pale yellow mycelium appears on their surface. In the last spring weeks, infected leaf plates change their color to ashen and die off.If nothing is done to combat the disease, then the lesions begin to grow, they merge. The result of this may be the death of the bush. In autumn, the whole cranberry should be treated with a solution of Fundazole (follow the instructions on the package). And for the winter, stage-by-stage pouring of plants is carried out with water, while they should be completely under the ice, how to do this is described in detail above.
Fungal disease red mold leads to deformation of the stems and to their subsequent death. Also, this disease affects the buds, flowers and pedicels of the plant, which is why they have a pale pink tint. Leaf plates growing from infected kidneys look like miniature roses. The affected bush must be sprayed with a solution of Topsin M or Fundazole (2 grams of any of these drugs are taken per 1 liter of water).
If withering, drilling and drying of the tops of the stems is observed, then this means that the shrub is infected with a fungal disease such as a monilial burn. In wet weather, the infected parts of the shrub turn yellow, and a conidial sporulation appears on their surface. During bud formation, buds, flowers and ovaries become infected. As a result, the buds and flowers dry, while the affected ovaries continue to grow, but only rotten berries can grow from them. To cure the affected bush, it must be sprayed with a fungicide, for example: Ronilan, Bayleton, Topsin M, Ditan or copper chloride.
In the bush affected by phomopsis, the ends of the stems dry out, without noticeable signs of wilting of the bush itself. At first, the foliage turns yellow, then bronze or orange, but it does not fly around. Dirty gray spots form on the surface of the shoots, eventually becoming ulcers. Flowers and berries turn brown. In hot and dry weather, the disease develops most actively. In order to cure an affected specimen, in spring it must be sprayed with a systemic fungicide, for example, Topsin M. Before intensive plant growth begins, it can be treated with a Bordeaux mixture.
Black rot appearing on the fruit is called cytosporosis. The causative agents of this disease affect the plant in the last summer weeks, and they penetrate through the small wounds available on cranberries. The treatment of the affected bush can be combined with preventive spraying of the plant in spring and autumn, while Topsin M, Bordeaux mixture or copper chloride are also used for treatment.
Infection with gibber spotting leads to the fact that foliage begins to fall on a massive scale, this causes a strong weakening of the bush. In the first days of August, small spots of brown-red color appear on the surface of the leaf blades, and then chlorotic shapeless spots with a dark border and a fruiting body in the center. The affected plant must be sprayed with a solution of Fundazole, Topsin M or copper chloroxide (2 grams of any specified drug is taken per 1 liter of water).
When a bush becomes infected with pestoids, berries, shoots and leaf blades are affected. Initially, spots of dark brown color appear on the green parts of the plant. Then they are replaced by gray spots merging with each other, having a dark border. There is a zigzag curvature of young stems, as well as their drying, foliage flies around. The affected bush should be sprayed with copper chloride.
If round spots of dark brown color appeared on the surface of shoots and leaf blades, then this means that the plant is infected with ascochitosis. Over time, the surface under such spots begins to crack.In spring and autumn, the affected shrub will need to be sprayed with a fungicide solution (Topsin M, Fundazole or copper chloroxide).
Botritis (gray rot) - this disease develops intensively in wet weather. In the affected bush, the surface of foliage, shoots and flowers is covered with a fluffy coating of gray color. Young shoots are not affected by botritis. The diseased plant must be sprayed with Topsin M, a Bordeaux mixture or copper chloride.
Growth (terry cranberries) - this disease is viral, its pathogens are mycoplasma organisms. Over time, the infected parts of the plant become similar to the “witch’s brooms”, for example, the stems are raised, the leaf plates become smaller, and they are very tightly attached to the shoots. In an infected shrub, fruiting is not observed, but if there were already ovaries on it before infection, they will become ugly small berries. Such a viral disease is not amenable to treatment, in connection with this, infected cranberries should be removed from the soil and destroyed as soon as possible, otherwise the virus can spread to other bushes.
There are more than 40 different pests that settle on cranberries and damage it. Most often, this culture suffers from an apple-tree spotted scale, cabbage scoop, black-headed lingonberry leafworm, unpaired silkworm and heather moth.
These pests can not cause significant harm to such a bush. In this regard, for the purpose of prevention, it is enough to follow the rules of cranberry farming, with particular attention to the systematic weeding of cranberries. The fact is that weeds contribute to the suppression of cranberries and the creation of favorable conditions for the life of various pests. If there are a lot of pests, then the bush needs to be treated with an insecticide, for example: Aktellik, Metaphos, Aktara, Karbofos, etc. At the same time, you need to remember that 4 weeks before harvesting, any treatment of the shrub should be stopped. You can continue them after all the berries are picked from the bushes.
Types and varieties of cranberries with a photo and description
There are 4 types of cranberries in the subgenus:
- cranberry marsh or quadruple;
- giant cranberries;
- large-fruited cranberries;
- small-fruited cranberries.
Hybrids and varieties of bog cranberries (four-petalled) and large-fruited are most prevalent in the culture.
Cranberry Marsh (Oxycoccus palustris)
She comes from Europe. It began to be cultivated at the end of the twentieth century in Russia and the Baltic countries. The most popular varieties:
- Gift of Kostroma. This mid-early large-fruited variety is characterized by high productivity. Ribbed fruits are very large, juicy and acidic; their ripening is observed in the last decade of August. The shape of the fruit is flat-round, the peduncle has a deep notch. Their color is cherry or dark red.
- Sominskaya. This large-fruited high-yielding variety is medium early. Asymmetric tuberous fruits have a cherry or red color and a heart-shaped shape. The pulp is juicy and sour.
- Sazonovskaya. Mid-season variety, fruit ripening is observed in early September. Asymmetric fruits of medium size have a heart-shaped tuberous-ribbed shape and red-violet color. Sweet and sour flesh is quite juicy.
- Beauty of the North. Late-ripening variety of different yields. Fruit ripening is observed by the second decade of September. Oval-rounded fruits are very large, they are painted in various shades of carmine color, from dark with a reddish side to light.
- Scarlet Reserve. Late-ripening variety, characterized by high productivity. The size of the spherical red fruits can be medium or large. The pulp is sour and juicy.
Also quite often cultivate such varieties as Severyanka and Khotavetskaya.
Large-fruited cranberries (Oxycoccus macrocarpus)
Her homeland is North America. This species has more than 200 varieties.The varieties that are most popular are:
- Ben Lear. High yield early variety. The diameter of the rounded fruits is about 2 cm. The berries are stored very poorly, in connection with which they are immediately frozen or processed immediately after harvesting.
- Franklin. A medium-ripening variety with disease resistance. Dark red fruits have an average size (about 1.5 cm).
- Sears. This variety is characterized by productivity and the fact that its fruits are stored for a long time. The matte fruits of dark red color in the speckle reach a diameter of 2.3 cm. The pulp is dense.
- Stevens. This variety is one of the best, it has a very high yield. Dense oval-rounded large fruits have a diameter of about 2.5 cm and a dark red color.
- Pilgrim. This variety is very late. Large oval-shaped red-purple fruits on the surface have a yellow waxy coating. The berries are colored unevenly.
The following American varieties are also quite popular: McFarlin, Wilcox, Black Whale, Airlie Black, Crowley, Airlie Reard, Bergman, Washington, Wulman, Beckwith and House.
Cranberry yield. Comparison of varieties.
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Useful properties of cranberries
The composition of the cranberry fruits includes all those beneficial substances that are found in various berry crops. They also contain sugars, organic acids (citric, ursolic, quinic, benzoic, malic, chlorogenic, succinic, oleander and oxalic), vitamins (B1, B2, B5, B6, PP, K1 and C) and pectins. And these berries also contain anthocyanins, leukoanthocyanins, catechins, betaine, macro and micro elements - iron, manganese, molybdenum, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, boron, cobalt, nickel, titanium, zinc, iodine, tin, chromium and silver.
Such a plant helps to improve the functioning of the digestive tract and appetite, protects the intestines and genitourinary system from infections, prevents the development of cancer, reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, and normalizes blood pressure. Such fruits are recommended for people suffering from fever, rheumatism, vitamin deficiency or respiratory diseases.
Juice squeezed from berries is characterized by a thirst-quenching, antibacterial and antipyretic effect, it helps to improve the pancreas and increase mental and physical activity. Juice is used to treat cough and burns, and to cleanse wounds.
What is the danger of cranberries?
It is strictly forbidden to eat cranberries for people with a duodenal ulcer or stomach, as well as those who have gastritis with high acidity. In the presence of liver diseases, cranberries can lead to their exacerbation, so consult your doctor before eating it. Eating such berries with caution is also necessary for those people whose tooth enamel is very weak or thinned.
Cranberry. Useful properties and contraindications.
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