Cranberry – Mirtillo Rosso – Vaccinum Macrocarpon
For a few years now, on the shelves of the Supermarket, in the herbalists and even in chemist’s, drinks have appeared, preparations, pills in which the main content is derived from a small fruit product from a low bush originally from the North East of Northern America: we are talking about the cranberry, the American ‘red’ blueberry.
Formed by numerous spindly, woody twigs this little evergreen bush does not tolerate a sunny position well, preferring semi shade with just a few hours in direct sunlight a day, it is resistant to cold, but not to that which is excessive.
It is very ornamental, it lends itself to our gardens as a carpeting plant similar to our eriche, not so much for the flowers but for the large berries which in Autumn become red and if un-picked, stay on the plant until the end of Spring.
From the same family as our common blueberry (le Ericacee), which spontaneously grow in the woods, is similar to the European ‘Red’ Blueberry, the cranberry is a bush, not much higher than 20/30 cm which grows well in sand, humidity and marshland, It tends to widen to a diameter of almost one metre a difference of the other summer fruit, only in soil which is markedly acid (ph 4.0/5.5)).
FLORA AND FRUIT
NUMEROUS SMALL PINK FLOWERS, In Spring cover the Cranberry bush which in the following Summer will give way to the formation of hard green berries.
From the end of Summer from a barely visible green, the berries become a bright showy red. And increase in size, disproportioned compared to the plant, reaching full maturity, moderately staged, in Autumn.
Variety of Cranberry cultivated by PRANDINI’S GARDEN NURSERY
USE AND HEALTH GIVING PROPERTIES
PLANTS THAT DO NOT NEED POTTING, If not those which are contained from an esthetic point of view.
If we plant correctly, the cranberry, requires little care.
Essential conditions as already mentioned, is that the soil is acid and humid and shouldn’t be fertilized naturally (manure) which would bring about excessive quantities of limestone which would raise the ph too much, ideal conditions for the development of ferric chlorosis, with the consequence of the death of the plant.
Watering is important, The plant should be watered frequently and abundantly.
Being a plant which loves humidity and semi shade, in determined circumstances, the mature fruit could be attacked by Botrytis (grey mould) or eaten by snails.
You should remember that PRANDINI’S GARDEN NURSERY CENTRE is always willing to collaborate and advise on density of planting, form of rearing. Crop choice and assistance even on plant health for newly planted productivity even for modest dimensions.
POTTING PRUNING AND CULTIVATION CARE
Is identical for all varieties of blueberries therefore we repeat as already described regarding the Giant American Blueberry (see Vaccinium Corymbosum).
It is very import that the soil conditions satisfy the needs of the plant.
After this premise the description of care is simple because you will have a strong and vigorous plant without much need for intervention.
The first few years after planting you should work the roots well, while aerial apparatus will give the impression of suffering.
During this period of about one to two years, the production will be modest as will the potting which concretizes with a lateral cut to the branches at the base. And completely remove the weak branches.
After this period, you should proceed with the thinning of the weak greenery starting at the base and to cut the ruined and rotting branches and with what remains you proceed with a return cut to the most vigorous side branches.
Apart from this, you should cut the branches which appear healthy and good, they have a disordered growth.
Having a very superficial root system, irrigation is very important, especially during the period of flowering and fruit picking.
Be careful not to stagnate the water, which could cause the formation of fungus which would rot the roots.
To maintain humidity, and at the same time keep the soil clean and acid, it is advisable to spread acid torba or pine needles or beech tree leaves.
If you are shrewd to the above description fertilization shouldn’t be necessary, but if you should notice in deficiency in the plant at the beginning of the season a ternary fertilizer or one with low tenor of azota will surely be effective.
Never use manure, even if very mature: the plant will suffer from ferric chlorosis and as a consequence will die.
Parasites are few and far between: the most dangerous is the oziorinco (otiorhyncus ssp) small beetles which as adults gnaw the leaves and deposit their eggs on the ground; the lava of which they derive eats the roots, and more serious than this erode the collar of the plant causing it to die.
In specific atmospheric conditions, grey mould attacks are possible (Botrytis) on the fruit which is due to mature, but unable to treat with pesticides the only solution is to manually remove the stricken fruit.