Category: 

How Do I Grow a Cranberry Plant?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mark Wollacott
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Coloring your hair in the ‘30s often came with swollen eyelids, blisters and headaches.  more...

October 21 ,  1879 :  Thomas Edison lit up a light bulb for the first time.  more...

You grow your cranberry plant with good preparation and by giving it year-round care and attention. Cranberry plants require a specific kind of soil that allows them to thrive, and any imbalance can threaten their growth. With a rich and acidic soil, careful weeding, and good watering, the plant should flourish year after year.

Cranberries are a hardy shrub that is native to North America. The cranberry plant is perennial so once planted, it should come back year after year. It is grown for its berries, which can be used in a variety of dishes as well as to make cranberry juice. Cranberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Make sure the cranberry plant or seeds are purchased from a reputable retailer. They should be in good condition and well-packaged. Check the dates of any packaging to make sure they are good for growing. Buy the plants and seeds either in late fall in the months of October or November, or in early spring in April or May. Plant them at the same time you purchase them.

Ad

Before planting the cranberry plant or seeds, make sure the soil is well-prepared. Cranberries require acidic soil with a sandy layer and access to clean, fresh water. The soil needs to be protected from flooding, however, as water-logged soil will kill the plants. You can make the soil more suitable for cranberries by mixing in acidic peat moss and odorless manure. It is also helpful in the long term if you create your own compost.

Prepare the soil as you would prepare a normal flower or plant bed. You will, however, need to bear in mind that the cranberry plant will expand as it grows. It is OK to have a smaller bed for the first year, but there needs to be additional space from there onwards. Plant the cranberry plants approximately 1 foot (30 centimeters) apart. Each root ball needs to be planted approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) into the soil, as each cranberry plant only uses the top 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of the top soil.

It is important that as the plant grows, you keep it well-watered. You should also make sure the plant bed is thoroughly weeded throughout the year. This is especially important during the first year of the plant’s growth because it allows the root system to take hold and establish itself. Check the plant to make sure it is free of diseases and insect infestation and is protected from caterpillars and slugs.

Frost can be deadly to the cranberry plant. After a frost, you should water the plant as soon as you can so it can regain some of its moisture. You can also protect the plant in a number of ways. First, you can mulch the plant with other leaves so that it retains moisture during the winter. Second, you can also use a protective covering, but make sure that the covering does not heat the plant bed too much or does not provide a haven for wintering rodents.

Your cranberry plant is best harvested before the first frost in early fall. This varies from local climate to local climate, but typically means during September or October. Hand-pick the berries and check the color of the seed. If the seed is brown in color, then the berry is ripe enough to eat. It is a common misconception that berries should be picked after the first frost, so try to avoid this.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

RoyalSpyder
Post 3

Speaking of cranberries, while I do enjoy them as much as the next person, I normally prefer to have cranberry apple juice instead. Based on my experience, I often find that plain cranberry juice is way too sour for my liking. However, I guess that's just how the fruit is produced. Also, considering how the plants require acidic soil, perhaps this is one thing that contributes to their taste. After all, no matter what you're planting, soil is one of the most important parts.

Chmander
Post 2

It's funny how in the month of October, I'm reading an article about cranberry plants, especially considering how the third paragraph makes note that you should purchase the seeds in October or November. This really has me wondering if it's not too late to purchase some, since it's not November, and the month of October hasn't ended yet. I think I may give it a try.

Adding onto this, the fact that different plant seeds need to be purchased at different times of the year, really shows how unique of a species it is. No matter what kind of plant you're tending to, there are always several factors that you need to take into considering, and not just what's mentioned in the article.

Between sunlight, weather conditions, and even pesky animals who would enjoy a good snack, these can be quite a nuisance if you're not careful. However, despite all the work that goes into planting, I'm not trying to discourage anyone. After all, while it's true that it may be a lot of work, it all pays off in the end. Besides, it's something people do every day to ensure that our products end up at the supermarket.

Krunchyman
Post 1

I don't know about anyone else, but cranberries are definitely one of my favorite fruits. Not only are they full of vitamin C and other antioxidants, but those are only a few of the health benefits.

On another note, one thing I really like about this article is how it goes into full detail about what one needs to accomplish in order to make sure that a cranberry plant grows to its fullest extent.

After all, no matter what kind of plant we're growing, one thing we need to remember is that they don't all grow the same, as seen in the article here. In the case of cranberry plants, notice how even the first paragraph of the article mentions that a specific kind of soil is required.

While it's true that all plants grow the same basic way (watering and soiling), we should also remember that there are different and accurate methods for each kind of plant.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email