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Must Know about Cultivate Cranberries

Cultivating cranberries in the garden is remarkably straight forward, in the open sunny locations either in the ground or in containers, but crops are most successful when a special planting pit is created. In a well drained part of the garden, excavate a pit 30cm deep and 1m square. Line the sides and base with a polythene sheet, perforated to allow excess water to drain out. Line the base with granite stone chippings (avoid replacing these with alkaline gravel as this will increase the pH). Place a permeable weed membrane over the gravel before backfilling the space with ericaceous compost. A bed of 1m square will be sufficient size, at least initially, to accommodate three young container grown plants.

As a stoloniferous it is important to provide good surface rooting conditions around the base of the plant, this is best achieved by mulching the entire bed with 2cm of washed, lime-free, sharp sand. This fine layer will also assist moisture retention in the compost below. Water well throughout the season to get plants established, especially in spring and early summer as growth, flowers and fruiting is initiated. This is best done with rain water unless you are sure tap water is sufficiently acidic. Fruiting will begin in the first year, but achieve good levels by the third at which time it is worth trimming the plants to avoid congestion. After fruit picking in autumn, shear the tops down by up to one third, trim to maintain plants within the allotted bed and if necessary, prune out the older, woody stems just above ground level to maintain a carpet of fresh stems and foliage.

Maintaining acidity of the soil is the key to success, so annually apply a top dressing of ericaceous compost and then reapply the sand mulch. It is also worth deploying a sprinkling of Flowers of Sulphur, a sulphur soil

conditioner so-called as the crystals appear like inflorescences under a microscope. Apply in spring mixed with the top dressing compost for best results.