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Cranberry & Lingonberry Bushes

 

Planting

Cranberries and lingonberries need a moist well-drained acid (peat-rich) soil to crop well (a pH of 4.0-6.0 is ideal) in sun or partial shade.

Plant your bushes as soon as possible after receipt, 60cm (2ft) apart. Should weather conditions be adverse (i.e. if the ground is frozen or too wet to plant), leave the bush in its pot in a sheltered spot until your soil is in better condition.

Improve the soil structure by thorough digging before planting and if possible mix well rotted manure or compost into the top soil.

Soak the pot in water for 1-2 hours. Dig a hole comfortably large enough to take the rootball, remove the pot, ensuring the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil or up to 1cm (½in) deeper. Firm the soil around the rootball and water-in thoroughly.

Alternatively cranberries & lingonberries can be planted in containers, using an ericaceous compost. Three pots will initially fit in a 30cm (12in) pot or hanging basket.

 

Watering

Cranberries and lingonberries have very fine shallow root-systems making them very susceptible to drying out. During the first growing season expect your bush to need watering daily. As it establishes this can be reduced, so in later years it will only need a thorough drench once or twice a week during prolonged dry spells in summer. Container grown bushes will need more regular watering and should never be allowed to dry out.

 

Weeding & Mulching

Keep the area around the bush free of weeds. This is particularly important during its first year. An annual mulch of well rotted acid compost or peat will greatly improve moisture retention and soil structure, and help suppress unwanted weeds.

 

Pruning

Cranberries and lingonberries do not require pruning.

 

Feeding

Cranberries and lingonberries must not be given fertilizers containing lime or calcium. There will be adequate nutrients in most garden soils to promote healthy development. In poor soils, feed with ericaceous fertilizer in the spring.

 

Pests & Diseases

Cranberries and lingonberries are generally trouble free. Any chemicals should be used strictly as per the manufacturers instructions.

 

Further Information

For further information refer to RHS Growing Fruit by Harry Baker. Useful information can also be found on the RHS website.

 

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