What You Should Know About Growing This Healthy Food
When I heard that Goji Berry is a healthy superfood, I went to the supermarket to buy fresh berry, but no one had it. I realized that if I want fresh white berries, I have to start growing them myself.
Luckily, I found that they are easy to grow, and you can get a good sized crop from a plant.
Now, a couple of seasons later, after planting them first, they are my favorite to grow berries, simply because they are so fuss-free and the crop is so plentiful.
What are Goji Berries?
Native to East Asia, goji berries are loaded with vitamins A and C. They are also high in antioxidants.
Goji berries, also known as wolves, have been recognized for their healthy qualities in Asian communities for generations. Once they were “discovered” by Westerners, the price and demand increased.
From the nightshade family, goji berries come from two closely related boxthorn species. these Calcium sugar And Incurable barbarum.
The bushes grow about 12 feet tall in their natural habitat, but most are kept six feet down through pruning. In spring, a few thorny plants are covered with purple flowers followed by reddish purple.
How to put goji berry
Goji berries grow well in USDA growing zones 5 to 10, although you may be able to survive them in colder areas with some protection. They do best in full sun with just a little afternoon shade.
They are in the same family as tomatoes, so they need similar conditions.
For best results, aim for a pH of 6.5 to 8.1. The soil should be well drained and loam. To make good, loose, rich soil if you do not already have it, fertilize and dig well before planting your goji berries.
Plants should be about five feet apart, though you can also plant them closer to form a hedge or encourage them to climb a wall or trellis.
Goji berries have the same growth habit as plants like raspberries, so if you train them with a trellis or other support, they will be easier to harvest.
Many people opt for growing goji berry by transplanting on their first go.
This is because the sprouts are easy to grow. It takes a long time to grow from seed and you will not have a crop for three years. Its preparation is also high.
However, growing plants by seed is a straight-forward process, and seeds have good germination rates.
Using good quality seed-growing mixture, plant the seeds in a six-inch pot. Keep the seed about 1/4 inch deep. Keep moist with a medium spray bottle until it sprouts. Make sure the soil is exposed to too much light.
Once the seedlings are out, reduce the water, but keep the plant in bright, direct sunlight.
Rigid before transplanting out following the instructions below.
Goji berries are generally available at most plant nurseries and specialty online stores. Planting should be done in the spring after the last frost has passed.
To plant, dig holes twice the width and depth of the root system. You need to keep the soil moist until you start seeing new growth. At this point, you can allow the top of the soil to dry before pouring water again.
Goji berries are quite drought tolerant after the appearance of new growth.
I planted my first goji berry plant from cuttings. There are some complicated ways to do this, but this is the simpler version.
Cuttings are best taken in spring or summer and in the morning when the moisture of the plant is higher than in the afternoon.
Find healthy branch tips and cut them four to six inches in length. Cut directly under a leaf node.
Remove the leaf from the lower part of the bite and dip the root end into the root hormone. Keep this tip in a good quality seed-mix and keep the soil moist.
To speed the formation of roots, place the container on a warming pad at 75 .F.
I check the routing when I see new growth at the top of the bite. Transplant in spring when no frost is expected.
Plant or cut the plants in rows, keeping the plants about five feet apart. You need to give them plenty of space to spread.
Goji Berry Care
Once your goji berries are growing happily, it’s time to take care of them. Like this.
Goji berries do not react well to heavy fertilization or rich manure. I think that as long as you have fertile soil, you will not need to make compost or fertilize.
If you have poor soil, be sure to amend it before planting. Then, plan to fertilize once a year.
If your plant is not performing as expected after one or two years, add a small amount of balanced fertilizer, but do not overdo it.
Water goji berries well for the first year. Try not to let the soil dry too much.
They are more drought-tolerant after establishing themselves for a year and can be watered after the soil has dried up to about an inch deep.
Goji berries react well to pruning, and good pruning should maximize your fruit harvest.
Do not prune in the first year. Allow the plant to establish itself and grow strong. In the dormant winter season, thin canes with weak, dead or diseased wood.
Most fruits of goji berries develop on new growth. In the second or third year, when many new canes have sprouted from the base, choose a strong, straight and upright cane to be the main trunk of the bush.
Cut this main branch about 20 to 24 inches to encourage lateral growth and new wood.
In the growing season, take out any major canes that go straight up, as you want to encourage lateral or side development. Remove excess suckers and mostly old wood, leaving just two or three old cans.
Companion planting for growing goji berries
Goji berries do well in a group on their own or with different plants. I have successfully got them:
- Blue barries
- Red and white current
Common problems and solutions for growing goji berries
While they are generally hardy, some are out to watch for diseases and pests.
It is a fungal disease that surprises you. When you think you have beaten anthracnose for the season, it infects the fruit as it is ripening.
If you have, you will turn small spots into big spots and the fruit will rot on the plant.
Make sure you allow enough air circulation and water at the base of the plant, not the leaves. Mulch well to prevent spores in the soil from splattering on new plants.
If you start seeing rings on the leaf, you may have a blur. It is widespread in humid or tight conditions. The leaves die and fall from the plant, the size and quality of the fruit is affected.
Read about stigma in this informative article.
Good garden hygiene is paramount to avoid blight.
Powdery mildew is a common disease, although you will not often see it in goji berries. If you want to learn how to identify and how to identify this disease, then we have covered it in this article.
The last thing you want is a thrips infection, so address an infection as soon as you notice it. This article covers the identification and handling of thrips.
Harvesting goji berries
When the berries are dark red, cut them. This normally occurs after about 35 days when the bloom has faded.
You can eat whole berry, extract its juice or use it in various dishes. Leaves and berries make a delicious tea or turn the berries into a soup. You can also make an incredible jam or put them in desserts.
Mix a smoothie with some other fruits, or mix the berries with a diet squash and roast it in the oven with some fat like olive oil.
Use small amounts directly because they do not store at all. They deteriorate quickly, which is why you rarely see them in stores. You should be able to gather berries easily by rotating the fruit slightly.
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