Long ago, cranberries were considered exclusively Russian berries. Indeed, it was successfully exported by merchants to Europe and other countries. Times have changed. The attitude towards cranberries has also changed. Now it is grown in many countries. The main thing is the presence of certain conditions for its growth.
Where does cranberry grow?
Of course, this is the main question. It is easy to answer it, knowing that cranberries were formerly called swamp berries. She loves moisture and damp. Cranberries are easy to find on the wet soils of coniferous pine forests. If there are lakes in your area, then you should walk along the shores. You can also find berries on them. Cranberry loves no wind. That is why it often grows on the slopes of ravines, especially if the soil is wet. The growth of fungi on wet soils may mean that there is a cranberry somewhere nearby. Mushrooms and this berry are in symbiosis with each other. To collect the need to choose environmentally friendly places. They should be located away from roads and industrial facilities.
Recognizing cranberries is quite simple. Usually moss is covered with spherical berries of red or pinkish shades. Cranberries may have a slight grayish taint. The pulp of the berries is usually juicy. The leaves of the plant are small, silvery on the inside, on the outside - with a wax coating. The shape of the leaves oval. They have a short stalk. The shrub is not high, with shoots of about 30 cm.
When can you pick cranberries?
- Remember the time to pick the cranberries is easy. Usually the crop ripens by September-October. Berries, collected in early September, dense and immature. They are especially well harvested for the winter. Usually it ripens when stored in a cool room. Cranberries continue to be harvested at the first frost. The berries collected during this period are tasty and soft. Cranberries can be found in forests and spring. It appears from under the melted snow.
- Berry for assembly should be uniform in color. Green or just starting to blush is better not to tear. They usually collect it with their hands. Commercially use special scrapers.
- When collecting cranberries need to follow certain rules. In some regions they are established at the legislative level. Such difficulties help maintain the terrain ecosystem. Sometimes even the time of picking berries is spelled out in the rules. In order not to harm the plant, it is better to pick berries not with the help of special gear brushes, but manually. Brushes pull out bushes, breaking stalks, leaves. When assembling you need to carefully remove the berries, leaving the plant in the soil. When harvesting cranberries on each bush you need to leave a few berries. Also, when moving you should look under your feet: you can not step on the bushes. On marshy soils should behave with caution. Alone in the swamps is better not to go.
By the way, cranberries can be grown on the dacha. It should be remembered that such berries will be different from those that grow in their natural environment. Homemade cranberries are larger and have a slightly different shade. Moreover, it is sour. This is due to a different chemical composition.
On the site it is better to plant cranberries in open, well-lit places. The presence of groundwater is good for her. The soil can be different. Sometimes peat or humus is added to it. Often marsh cranberries are grown on pure peat. As a planting material, you can use seedlings from a nursery or cranberries dug in the forest. In both cases, there are downsides and pros. Forest cranberries can bring weeds, which are unstable to disease. For planting cranberries dig holes in 30 cm. At the bottom lay the substrate. In the pit planted 2 seedlings to a depth of 10 cm. The seedlings are better to choose large, from 20 cm. Although small ones can take root well.
Collected berries can be stored in containers at a temperature not exceeding 10 degrees. Also, cranberries for storage is filled with clean water. Under the right conditions, it can remain in this form until winter. First-class cranberries are stored both fresh and frozen. Late and spring berries can only be frozen. September cranberries are considered the most useful.
Going for cranberries better in the swamps. It grows on wet soils, along the banks of reservoirs, on wet soils of ravines. The shrub blooms in May-June, and the first crop is harvested in September. For picking it is better to choose fully colored berries. You can continue collecting at the first frost. It grows in the spring: after the snow melts, you can see the first berries.