Lingonberries

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Yeah, the rhubarb has been there for a few years now. It comes up every spring, but never gets tall enough for any practical use, and often wilts during a hot day. I have rhubarb along the house, on the east side, that is doing much better.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I've ordered a couple of more lingonberry plants, mostly to get a variety that I don't already have, but I've been wanting to extend my lingonberry patch, anyhow. It's hard to tell just when they are going to arrive since one's coming from Oregon and I don't remember where the other one's coming from, but I'm ready for them.

    First, I framed the rock garden space out. I didn't have enough rocks on hand, so I used a couple of concrete construction blocks. I'll either replace them with rocks as I find them or cover the blocks with rocks so that they're not so visible. Maybe, I'll just let the lingonberries grow in the holes in the concrete blocks. Whatever I decide, that won't be a problem. Some of the rocks I have are too small, and will be replaced later.

    Then I pulled up as much of the grass and weeds as I could, without too much effort (because I am essentially a lazy person). There is one very large rock there that I couldn't pry up with a wrecking bar so I had to leave it. Lingonberries don't root very deep, so that shouldn't be a problem. Being on an angle, water will drain with no problem.

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    After removing as many of the weeds as I could, I covered the ground with a few thicknesses of kraft paper and newspapers to reduce the likelihood of weeds finding their way through.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Next, I added a bag of manure/compost mixture and a bag of soil and spread that out fairly evenly.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

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    On top of that, I added a large bag of peat moss. Lingonberries love peat moss.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Then, I put another bag of manure/compost mixture on top of the peat moss. This is more manure/compost than I used on the other parts of the lingonberry garden. I want to see if it helps the new plants grow in and spread, or hinders them. Generally, lingonberries are not very demanding of soil enhancements. My first section had just peat moss and top soil.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Lastly, I wet the whole thing down so that the wind doesn't blow half the peat moss away. Once the lingonberry plants come, I will space them out within this new section, and add part of another bag of peat moss over the top of it, using the rest of it on the older parts of the lingonberry patch.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    On growing lingonberries, they propagate naturally and easily, so they would eventually extend to whatever spaces I made for them. However, being the impatient sort, I ordered a couple of lingonberry plants. Actually, I thought I had ordered two plants, but I might have actually ordered three, or one of the distributors gave me a freebie because I received two from one company. I may have ordered both of them. I was thinking about ordering two of this new (to me) variety, then I decided to order one of those and another of another variety, which I had to get from another company. The new ones are called New Market, which is not a species I had come across before, so someone might have developed a new species. The lingonberry plants came quicker than I was expecting them, and they both came on the same day, so I'm glad I decided to prepare the bed for them yesterday.

    Anyhow, two of them arrived by UPS in one package, and I planted them at the far end of the lingonberry patch.

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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Shortly after I had planted the first two, the other one came by FedEx, so I planted that one nearer to the older part of the patch. It's a slightly larger plant. I still have more space that I can add to my driveway lingonberry patch. Maybe next spring, I'll introduce them to our land up north, where they can spread as far as they want, although the bears and the birds will probably get more of them than I will.

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  9. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Call me when the jam is ready. :D
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

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    I noticed on one of the grower sites that lingonberry plants were not allowed to be shipped to Alaska, much like currant plants can't be shipped to Maine.
     
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  11. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    I have considered trying to order some, but I have never tried, so I don't know.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I don't suppose I really needed new photos because it likely doesn't look any different than in the last ones. But, since the soil had settled a bit overnight, I added a bag of topsoil and another large bag of peat moss to my lingonberry patch.

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  13. Beth Gallagher

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    Lookin' good, Ken.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Lingonberries are native to Scandinavia, particularly Sweden and Finland, and to Russia, Canada, and Alaska. They are not widely cultivated. According to Oregon State University, there are just over seventeen acres in commercial production in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, and that represents about a fourth of the commercial lingonberry acreage worldwide. There are also small areas in production in Wisconsin, Vermont, and Maine.

    They are an ideal plant to grow in cold, northern climates, such as Maine. They easily survive freezing temperatures. In fact, I had a small brown spot in my lingonberry patch after our long winter last year, but it took only a month of spring for the brown to be replaced with green.

    One of the things that help them survive winters is snow cover, so perhaps my location for them is ideal. Lining my driveway, they are covered with snow that is plowed or blown from my driveway after each snow. I had originally thought that might be a problem.

    Fruit is produced on one-year growth, so there’s not a lot of waiting time, and when spring comes at a reasonable time, they will bear fruit twice during the season, once in the spring and again in August or later. Since I have several varieties, one or the other of them have fruit throughout the summer and early fall.

    There are several varieties of lingonberries, which I have mentioned earlier in this thread. Lingonberries require pollination from a pollinizer cultivar in order to produce the best fruit. Red Pearl and Sussi are commonly used for that purpose. Although they don’t produce as much fruit as some of the other varieties, they serve well as cultivars.

    In my patch, I have European Red, Ida, Korralle, Linnae, Regal, and Sussi, plus the New Market variety that I planted this week. While I can tell that some of them look different from the others, I don’t know which are which. Koralle seems to be the most commonly sold in this country but, as I mentioned earlier, most distributors don't seem to know what variety they are selling.

    I can't tell one from another either but I think if I were selling a plant that required more than one variety in order to bear good fruit, I would keep them separated and labeled.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    The lingonberry patch along my driveway has gone as far as I want it to. If I extended it further toward the road, I'd have to remove some daylilies that decided they wanted to live there a few years ago. Lingonberry patches expand on their own, and there's still room for new plants in the existing patch. However, in order to do something with the trees that I have been cutting down, I decided to line the fence on the other side of my yard, which has been a repository for composting leaves, add some shredded paper and cardboard, some other paper scraps, peat moss, a little bit of Coco Coir, and compost from my compost pile, then start planting lingonberries along the fence. Later, I can move some from my original lingonberry patch if I need to but, to get it started, I bought a few small lingonberry plants. Lingonberries produce better when there are at least two different varieties, yet most of the sellers don't tell you what variety of lingonberry they are selling, so I have two of one variety, and one of another, that I bought from one of the companies that do give that information. Looking at the pictures, you can see that one of them looks different from the other two.

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    These show the plants, as well as the portion of the new lingonberry patch that I have completed thus far, as well as the somewhat messy part that is still under development. I think I'm going to have to rent a wood chipper at some point so that I can get rid of the brush pile that is getting rather large now. I might buy one because I can always use it up north, too.
     
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