It's a Cranberries Time of Year!

Are You Ready to Harvest Your Cranberries?

October is right around the corner and anyone who knows anything about cranberries knows that's when the cranberry harvests begin. New to the world of cranberries? Wonder what it takes to grow and harvest them? Here's the 4-1-1 on growing cranberries at home.

A Bit About Cranberries

Before we go into the details of growing and harvesting cranberries, let me give you a bit of background on them.

Cranberries are one of the few berries that are native to North America. In fact, the Native Americans used them in everything from medicines to survival foods and, as a result, the berries became popular with the settlers as well.

Planting Cranberries

Cranberries are a ground cover plant, which means it's probably not a great idea to grow them inside for any significant period of time. They do best in sandy soil with lots of sun. If your soil has no sand to it, you might want to add a layer when growing your cranberries.

You'll want to plant your cranberries in the spring. Just remember, however, that cranberry plants don't usually produce fruit until they are two or three years old, so if you plant a young cranberry plant in the spring, don't expect an October harvest that year.

Harvesting Your Cranberries

You'll want to pick your cranberries in October (or sometimes as early as September depending on where you live) before the first frost. If you allow your cranberries to remain on the plant through the first frost, damage is likely to occur.

Using Your Cranberries

Of course, the best part about growing cranberries is getting to use them. You can make an abundance of treats with these versatile berries. Breads, teas, jams – the options are endless. Over the next couple of weeks keep checking back as I bring you great recipes and ideas for using the cranberries you grow (or even the cranberries you buy).

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