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Anyone grow cranberries at home?

I'm actually looking to interview someone about this, but also, any tips or expertise to share on growing cranberries non-commercially?

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  1. Wish I had some tips for you, my cranberries have not done very well.

    2 Replies
      1. re: sr44

        I don't really know why. I put a couple plants in on one side of the house, that were lost when we re-did the driveway. But, they weren't really thriving - they didn't get very big after 3 years and I only ever harvested a handful of cranberries.

        I put 10 more (very small) plants into my new side garden on the opposite die of the house last spring and they didn't grow very much this year - in contrast to pretty much everything else, which grew like gangbusters. (We put a foot of compost down as the top layer in a retaining wall rebuild project).

        So different sides of the house, somewhat different amounts of sun (more in the new garden than next to the old driveway), and different soils (low-pH New England loam vs. rich compost). I did spread a little sand around the plants in the new garden, hoping that would encourage them, but last fall's hurricane washed most of it away.

        It might be a case of misplaced expectations - I'd thought that cranberries would make a nice ground cover in my fruit & edibles garden. But the grow habit is kind of long & spindly; maybe they just grow that way are are slower to fill in than I'd hoped.

    1. They absolutely need acid soil to produce.

      1. Cranberries thrive in moist and acidic peat bogs. It's almost impossible to replicate those conditions at home.

        4 Replies
        1. re: earthygoat

          Yeah, I thought they had to grow in actual water? The wild ones around here you have to wade out to pick.

          1. re: coll

            They actually grow on shrubs, too. Though they take much longer and have a much lower yield.

            1. re: Papuli

              Good to know, maybe next time I won't need my wading boots....hoping to come across some beach plums in the general vicinity too!

              1. re: Papuli

                I think you may be referring to the "high bush cranberry", which isn't a true cranberry and a different species altogether. I've never tried high bush cranberries, but supposedly the North American variety is tasty and the European kind is bitter.

          2. I spent some time trying to find some varieties of cranberry that grow in Vermont and didn't have much luck. do you have any idea where to find plants to grow?

            1 Reply
            1. re: skier

              The ones I bought last year were from Fedco, who has growers in Maine. Forget where I got the others, probably Stark Bros...?