Category Archives: Fruit Gardening

Growing Cranberries in Your Home Garden

Cranberries can be grown in your home garden easily with some arrangement and care. Cranberries grows well outdoors in zone 2 to 5 and other zones they can be grown well in containers in indoor gardening.

Prepare bed garden for Cranberry, digging 6 to 8 inches depth for about 4 by 8 feet area. Cranberries are very specific about the soil they grow. So remove all the existing soil and fill the bed with peat moss, 1 pound of blood mean, ½ pound of bone meal. Mix well the above material.

cranberry

Once you prepare the bed, water the bed thoroughly to make it wet but not soggy. Ensure that you water the bed properly. Peat moss take lot of time to soak completely for the first time so make sure you do not over water. Allow the area to completely soak for 24 hours before you plant.

Planting Cranberries

Buy rooted cuttings of Cranberries from your local nursery. Make sure you buy one year or three year old cranberry rooted cuttings. Purchase at least 5 to 7 cuttings. Plant the root ball cuttings 2 inches below the ground level in the bed garden and 1 foot apart each if the cuttings are one year old. 3 foot apart each for 3 year old cutting. Cranberries are runners so they need plenty for room between plants. As they start growing, they will fill your bed garden.

Best time to plant cranberries are from October to early November. They can also be planted in springtime in the middle of April to the end of May. For early berries grow 3 year old seedlings. Cranberry takes 3 years to start bearing fruit. If you plant 3 year cuttings, you might get some berries during the first fall. One year cutting make take longer to get harvest.

Water the plants regularly do not allow the area to dry. Cranberry roots will not survive if they are not wet. Feed your plant for the first two years with nitrogen. After that feed them with fish emulsion fertilizer (2-4-2) at a rate of 1/2 gallon once at the growing stage and at the blooming stage. Too much fertilizer will reduce the number of uprights which will lead to no berries.

Caring for Your Cranberries

Do not prune your cranberries for first 3 years of planting. Trim your plant after three years by trimming the runners and cut the old shoots. Repeat the pruning process every 3 years or whenever it is necessary. Clean up the cranberry bed and give the plants more room to grow well. This will help the plant to grow healthy and produce heavier yields.
Mulch your plants heavily at winter with pine needles as they are the excellent to protect your plant.

Harvest your tasty cranberries before the first frost in your area. Ripe berries will be deep red with brown seed inside.

Benefits of Growing Plantain (Banana Plant)

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world. Bananas don’t grow on trees. Rather they grow from a root structure that produces an above ground stem. The plant is specifically classified as an arborescent perennial herb. It is the largest herbaceous flowering plant in the world, which grows up to 15 meters long. It is said that there are almost 1000 varieties of bananas grown worldwide. Most common variety is Cavendish variety grown more than 150 countries.

banana

Over 100 billion bananas are consumed annually in the world, making bananas the 4th largest agricultural product in the world following wheat, rice and corn. Bananas are one of the healthier natural food sources in the world. They are very low in calories and are high in vitamin B6, fiber & potassium. They also contain decent amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, K Niacin & Pantothenic Acid.

Plantain (Banana) grows well in tropical region. They prefer warm and humid weather. They can be cultivated in a temperature range of 10°C and 40°C with high humidity. Bananas yields higher when temperatures are above 24°C for a considerable period. Plantain prefers full sun to partial shade and will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

Plantain is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions and can be sown outdoors directly in mid-spring, or start indoors in early spring and transplant outdoors in late spring. To plant a banana, remove a 12 inch side shoot from the main banana tree. Make sure you separate them carefully using a pruning knife. Before you separate the shoot, prepare the location for planting the banana. Choose a location where there’s a direct sunlight with a loamy soil having a good drainage area.

Dig a hole as deep as to accommodate the shoot’s rhizome. Plant the separated banana shoot carefully into the hole make sure not to damage the rhizome. Back fill the hole with the loosened soil and tamp the soil down with your hand. Apply a 2 inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the newly planted plantain shoot. Water the soil to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Plantains need constantly moist soil. This plant requires a large amount of water during warm climate apply at least 2 inch water everyday but ensure they drain well.

Feed your plant at least once in a month especially at blooming period. Use good balanced fertilizer like 5-5-5 or 10-10-10. Do not fertilize in winter climate. Bananas are heavy feeders so feed them plenty of nitrogen and potassium. Apply chicken manure.

Prune most of the suckers, as they take away nutrients and moisture from the plant. Remove all excess shoots from the parent, let the shoots grow 4 leaves and then remove from its parent plant. This will help the plant to grow healthy and concentrate on their flowers and fruits.

Each plantain blooms only one single flower, once the plant bear fruit the plant intend to die. You can harvest when the fruit changes its color to light yellow from dark green. Carefully cut the bunch of banana and keep them in a dry place to fully ripe. You can eat the fully ripe banana or use the raw plantain as vegetable.

The entire plantain is used in few countries. Its leaves are used as plates, its raw plantain, stem and flower used as vegetable. Its stem is also used to make rope.

Planting and Growing Your Own Grapes

Grapes is undoubtedly an awesome fruit and is particularly considered as a berry. There are generally more than 8,000 varieties of grapes throughout the world. Grapes are high in water content, Vitamin K, C and good for hydration. Grapes are used as a multi-purpose fruit, like they are made use of in wines, jams, candies and also eaten raw.

Growing Grapes

Basically grapes are grown from cuttings or from grafting, but you may also grow grapes from seed. Find out about what varieties grow well in your region, If you are planning to grow your own grapes and choose the very best variety to grow.

Growing grapes from seeds:

Buy the best quality of grape seeds from your local nursery or from online and be sure they are viable and healthy one. Wash the seeds and soak them in distilled water for 24 hours. Before you plant the seed you need to stratify the grape seeds. Best time to stratify grape seed is in December month. Use peat moss, because it is an excellent choice that will help remove seed damaging mold. Cover the seed with a paper towel or put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate in a perfect temperature for approximately 35 to 40 degree Fahrenheit i.e 1 to 3 degree Celsius for two to three months and be sure you do not freeze them.

Plant the seeds in a container using a sandy loam soil, since it is the best soil for growing grapes and plant them in early spring. Use suitable soil for planting them in soil. For germination the grape seed should be kept warm for 70 degree Fahrenheit i.e 20 degree Celsius in a daytime and 60 degree Fahrenheit i.e 15 degree Celsius in the night time. Water or simply just mist the soil everyday to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Grape seed will take 2 to 8 weeks to germinate. As soon as the plant grows to about 3 inch, transplant them into a larger container.

Growing grapes from cuttings:

Take a grapevine cuttings directly from the healthy vine. The cutting should be at least 3 nodes long. Cut the node into an angle i.e 45 degrees at the base of the node. Grapevines are long term plants, so choose a location where it can grow healthy.

Grapes prefer well-draining sandy loam soil with pH level of 5.5 to 7.5. They require at least 7 to 8 hours of full sun. Prepare a support like trellis or fence to support your grape plant grow healthy. Grapes grows best when you feed them with nutrients but make sure you feed them lighter. While growing season they require base nutrients and when they start blooming apply any bloom boosters. Grapes takes upto three years to start producing fruit. Check out the growth of the grape vine, keep only the strongest shoots and clip off the thin ones. This will help the plant grow stronger and vigorously.

Allow the grapes to mature in the vine, as it wont ripe once picked prematurely. Harvest all the grapes fruits after ripening and enjoy the tastiest and delicious fruit. Prune your grapevine after harvesting but only when the plant is in dormant period. Cut off all the dead, damaged, thin vines so that you grow the healthy one.