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Cranberrys, any chance of growing in Limerick?


 
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Joaney
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Cranberrys, any chance of growing in Limerick? Reply with quote

Wink Hello gardeners I need some help please . I have bought a cranberry plant and a wineberry but they came with little info as to growth . Can anyone advise as to hardiness soil anything Neutral

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Sb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont know anything about the wineberry but the cranberry needs acid and wet soil. They did in Boston the last time I saw them anyway.
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Joaney
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Cranberry Reply with quote

Embarassed What are my chances of growing them in Limerick. I saw the plant in Lydl and could not resist.
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Sb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Cranberry Reply with quote

Joaney wrote:
Embarassed What are my chances of growing them in Limerick.


Pretty good I guess, but you will have to find out the PH of your soil to see if it will be easy to grow them right in your normal garden soil. A high Ph will mean the blueberry will not fruit or possibly not grow an inch. You can buy a simple test kit for this Ph in most garden centres, or maybe you can ask a local gardener or garden club what is the rough PH of the soil in your area.
If your soil is not acid enough then you will have to grow in a raised bed or container filled with acid compost.
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sb is right about the ph Joaney, a pH of 4.5 is required, anything above that and the plant fails to thrive. So if once tested your soils ph is above 4.5, then you would be better to grow the cranberry in an area outside of your usual soil. Preferably a raised or mounded bed, you can use some local soil, but peat or ericacous compost in the mound should outweigh the soil by about 3 to 1. Well rotted farm manure/pine needles/leaves can also be dug in.
Or else you can grow in a pot, but get a big pot, half whiskey cask size at least, as you need a good rooting area for most fruits to do well.
That brings us to moisture levels, and cranberries like good moisture levels, damp constantly but not water-logged. As Sb could tell you from seeing them in Boston, they grow in bog garden type situations. So don't let them dry out as they are prone to do in raised beds and container.
In fairness you have not picked the easiest fruit to grow, but with a bit of care and luck you should get a crop.

Here is an informative video Soil ph testing
and two other bits of reading Making soil more acid. and Testing your soil.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If watering those cranberry plants in the raised beds or containers it may be best to use collected rain water rather than mains water. Because if the water in your district is hard (limey), the type that gives you limescale, then you are best not to apply it to an acid loving plant.
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danmac
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Verge's soil recipe is very similar to what I have my cranberries and blueberries growing in since I bought the plants last winter/early spring. Here's what I did.
For the cranberry plant I dug out a 1 metre by 1 metre hole to to depth of about a foot and half. I lined the sides, but not the bottom of the hole with a long strip of polythene - builder's film or silage plastic is ideal. Leaving the bottom of the hole open is for drainage reasons.
The idea being that the plastic will stop the soil around the cranberry bed from easily affecting the pH in the now somewhat isolated bed. I just used some twigs to hold the plastic strip in place as I backfilled the hole.
For the soil I mixed:
1: about one fifth to a quarter of the original soil,
2. roughly a quarter was rotted farmyard manure (straw bedding with cowdung basically),
3. roughly a quarter was ericaceous compost (I find Shamrock Browngold is the easiest brand to obtain in my area),
4. for a reall "bog" effect, about a quarter was some "turf dust" which I obtained from where an old turf shed had stood one time ih our garden.
If you don't have "turf dust" handy, then I'd say just use more of the ericaceous compost instead.
As a final ingredient I mixed in about two dessert spoons of powdered Sulphate of Iron to add to the acidity.
(For this I used a product called Ferromel, but there are lots of different brands you can get. I chose this one simply because it was very powder-like, and thought this should in theory absorb into the soil more quickly than larger granules.)
Mixed these ingredients together well and backfill the hole with it.
When planting the cranberry plant, make the space in the soil mixture about double the size of the pot it came in. Fill in this extra space with ericaceous compost alone. This gives it a very friendly immediate environment and helps the plant settle in and begin to spread.
Here is how my first cranberry plant which I planted last January looks today:

The old grey builder's film is not very photogenic but does the job. As you can see the plant seems to be fairly happy with the mixture and has begun to spread out. I shall soon have to consider widening the bed around it a little more and maybe encourage some of the spreading vines to root and make more plants. Also like yourself, Joaney, I picked up another cranberry plant at LIDL last week, so I'll be using the same method with that.
This is also the way in which I prepared the area around my blueberry plants, except that for those I made the beds larger, aproximately 2 metres by 2 metres. Give blueberries and cranberries a feed of tomato feed every few weeks in the spring and early summer to help them along.
Good luck with the cranberries. (Kinda appropriate that you would have cranberries in Limerick, since the band also hails from there Smile )
By the way, I owe much of the idea I used here to Crosseyedsheep's suggestion regarding converting a patch to acid soil for rhododendrons:
http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25
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Joaney
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: cranberrys Reply with quote

Wink Sorry for the delay , Thanks for all the info I have not got that big o pot so I will try the hole and poly idea . All I can do is try if I fail so what half the fun is in trying something new. Thanks Everyone.
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