The characteristics of the cranberry
- Type: fruit shrub
- Height: up to 45cm
- Flower color: red, white, pink, green
- Fruit name: huckleberry
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: well drained, sandy, limestone, fresh, acidic
- Foliage: persistent
- Interview : easy
- Sanitizing: no
- Varieties: Vaccinium vitis-idea, Vaccinium macrocarpon
Origins and characteristics of lingonberries
The lingonberry (vaccinum) is a small fruit shrub of the ericaceae family which includes a variety of small round fruits with the same name. It grows mainly in wooded areas, especially on the edge of pine forests in the United States and Canada. It is a plant that resists cold, even when temperatures reach -40 ° C. In France, it is mainly found naturally in the Jura and the Alps.
The shrub has the same name as its fruits. It can be used as an ornamental plant, but also in a vegetable patch or an orchard.
In addition to the well-known fruits named lingonberries, or depending on the country, under the name cranberry or cranberry, other fruits like blueberry are also a kind of cranberry. Lingonberries are small berries from 5 to 10mm in diameter. Their tangy taste is particularly appreciated in the kitchen for making juices, jams, jellies but also for accompanying meats such as game.
The lingonberry is a heather earth plant, that is to say it prefers acidic soils, fairly moist but well drained. A coniferous undergrowth or a mixture of peat and heather are therefore perfectly suited for planting. It grows naturally on poor soils and tolerates dry soils rather well.
Cranberries are planted in a semi-shaded place, from the end of September to mid-November or from mid-March to the end of May.
It tolerates neutral soil but it is recommended to add an acidifying substrate in this type of soil during planting, in order to facilitate the installation of lingonberries in your garden. Also space the plants 0.5m if you decide to plant several cranberries in the same place.
Lingonberry is a self-fertile shrub. It is however preferable to associate it with other varieties of plants to improve its pollination.
Cranberries can also be planted in a container. To do this, plant the shrub in heather earth or in a mixture of peat, potting soil, sand and leaves.
Cowberry does not require a lot of water except in its first year when a fertilizer supply will allow faster rooting. Maintain a certain humidity throughout the summer period.
As long as lingonberry plants are young, mulch during the dry period. Do not leave mulching all year round, otherwise the spreading of the plants will be hindered.
Water regularly your cranberries in tub. If you live in a limestone region, prefer rainwater to tap water for watering.
Knowing that on average, a cranberry branch is not productive more than three years, it is necessary, in the fall to carry out a rejuvenation of the shrub by shortening the old branches and removing dead wood. This will restore vigor to the lingonberry for the next season.
Cowberry diseases, pests and parasites
If all the growing conditions are good, then bilberry is very resistant to parasites and diseases. If the soil is heavy and compact, the cranberry may be affected by root asphyxia. It is then necessary to lighten the soil with additions of potting soil or, more radical solution, to move the plant in your garden.
With a somewhat late flowering, the berries are only ripe at the end of summer around August and September.
Use of lingonberry
After harvest, the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. They are found for some in sweet recipes such as blueberries or in salted sauces to spice up a dish of game with their acidity, for example. They can also be stored frozen.