Please tell me whether it is possible to grow cloudberries in the garden? Lingonberries and cranberries are grown, now even varieties are bred. Cranberries too. Blueberries as you want to sell. But cloudberry planting material never came across. Does it make sense to try to move the bushes from the swamp, because such a valuable berry?
Galina Razbegaeva, St. Petersburg
Growing cloudberries is difficult but surmountable
The point you have in mind is excellent, but very difficult. Berry shrubs in general are picky, and cloudberries in particular. From the point of view of many morphologists, the status of the “shrub” is rather controversial: all our habitual shrubs have perennial above-ground shoots (lingonberries, blueberries, cranberries), and only cloudy rhizomes in the cloudberry are perennial. Although the vertical escape at the end of the season is slightly woody at the base, it is still a one-year one.
Another complication. Look at the cloudberry thickets in the swamp, in the midst of fruiting: not all clumps of plants bear berries. What is it - dioecious? Question!
Maybe so, and maybe this dioeciousness is purely functional: a bright example of this is Chinese and Amur lemongrass. Among the seedlings from one batch of seeds come across plants that give and do not give female flowers. And sometimes the same lemongrass, which grows in the sun by a bush, blooms without a single berry afterwards, when transplanting into a shade, it begins to bear fruit normally.
Cloudberry flowers, despite its "northern", often suffer from frost. And in the same swamp in the open, you can see only the leaves, and on its edge under the cover of dwarf birch and willow from the distance you will see yellow spots of berries.
Seed cloudberries multiply reluctantly, the main path - vegetative propagation.
Surprisingly, in a small marsh all of her plants can be more familiar than twins: all of her thicket is a clone that has grown vegetatively from the originally single bush!
Already feel how difficult you are trying to set yourself? But the more interesting the process and the more significant the potentially positive result.
This kind of work from the middle of the 20th century has been conducted in Norway, in recent decades - in Finland. They have not yet reached the same profitability as cranberry and lingonberries (plantation cloudberries still cost no less than 10 euros per kg), but since they have not abandoned the culture, this is already talking about something.
The case must be taken in September. In order for cloudberries to start, you need to create the illusion of a swamp.
First, dig a ditch 50 x 50 cm and an arbitrary length. Then you need to lay out its walls with a layer of waterproofing material. It may be clay, thick film or roofing material. Do not strive for absolute tightness: after all, it will not be a pool, in your future ridge it should be wet, but not damp.
Now fill the receptacle with a mixture of top peat and forest litter, 3: 1. In this case, the acidity of your "swamp" will be about 5 pH, as required. Lightly compact the substrate so that after thorough watering its surface is 10 cm below the surrounding soil.
And hiking in the swamp!
Hopefully, you noticed crop areas in the summer and somehow marked them. We have already made the reservation that cloudberries mainly reproduce vegetatively, and, in fact, each of its curtains is a clone.
First you need to choose the most productive one, and here, on its periphery, dig out plants with an approximately half-meter piece of rhizome and a top bud on it. It is easy to do it without any tool, just with your hands. Just choose areas where there is no sedge and cotton grass (so that their roots do not interfere).
Cloudberry rhizomes lie under live sphagnum, at an average depth of 30 cm.
In no case can the dried material be dried: immediately wrap the roots in wet moss and pack in a plastic bag.
“Equip” cloudberries on the plot
The seedlings delivered to the site are laid out in your man-made swamp, evenly distribute the vertical shoots (for convenience, they can be tied to twigs) and fill in the rest of the substrate so that its surface rises above the small hill above the surroundings: when everything settles, it will be slightly below the environment.
Spring cloudberries come up. Water generously and regularly! In the 20th of May (in the North-West) the bushes will bloom. Make sure that the flowers do not break the frost, at night you can throw a spunbond canvas on the plantation.
When the ovaries become noticeable - slightly feed them: 1 tbsp. a spoon of complex fertilizer on 5 l of water, on 3 p. m.
You should not use organics, and indeed - where does it come from in the swamp? The rainwater is almost distilled, the peat reaches the “fragments” available to the plants and it decomposes extremely slowly, so that the natural feeding in nature is cloudy.
Try it and it will work out! And then tell us.
Cloudberries can be propagated vegetatively and seeds. But the first - the biggest problem - to find the cuttings, and the second - during the propagation of cloudberries with seeds, you can get plants that are very different from those from which the seeds were collected. And so worth a try. The plant is unpretentious.
The easiest way to breed cloudberries is to “borrow” cloudberries from nature. In the forest, choose the best plants with large and beautiful berries and carefully, with a clod of earth, dig up from the "home" of the place. In this case, the dug-out cloudberry plant is placed in a paper bag, which is then planted with the plant into the ground. This saves the root system from unnecessary damage, and the paper in the soil quickly dissolves.
The second way - more troublesome, but more humane - to cut cloudberry cuttings with buds in the forest. Do not take thin, stunted twigs. It is better to take those shoots that continue to grow. Usually take the cuttings on the middle part of the shoot. Cut small cuttings up to 12 cm. Root the houses in the greenhouse, then land them in the nutrient substrate, cover with the top of the film and water it abundantly. Do not let the soil dry out in summer. It would be nice to maintain high humidity in the greenhouse. In autumn, rooted cuttings can be transplanted to a permanent place, or you can leave it in the greenhouse for another season. During this time, the plants will get stronger and will be more prepared for transplant.
You can try to grow cloudberries with the help of seed reproduction. Seeds should be sown in the fall, immediately after they are harvested, because when they dry out they lose their germination. Seeds are planted in the prepared soil, or in boxes with the appropriate substrate.
The purchased cloudberry seeds are stratified at 3-7 ° C for 30-80 days. Then, at a temperature of 20-25 ° C, seeds are sown in boxes filled with pure peat or a mixture of peat and sand in a 4: 1 ratio. In early spring, plants are planted in a permanent place. Do not be afraid, experiment, purchase cuttings or cloudberry seeds, and try to grow it in the next season. It's so interesting!
Cloudberry grows on wet swampy sphagnum soils in wild rosemary marshy pine forests, moss and scrub tundra. Consequently, the task of the gardener to create conditions close to natural. We prepare a plot for cloudberries with a wet, slightly acidic, quite fertile soil and always with good aeration and lighting. If there is such an opportunity, be sure to add soil to the site from the place from which you bring cuttings. You can also purchase useful microorganisms (mushrooms) in the flower shop, which are constant companions of cloudberries. They are inexpensive, and the benefits of them are great.
By the way, in Finland, the world's first experiment on greenhouse cloudberry growing is being conducted, and the first positive results have already been obtained.
As it was noted earlier, cloudberry - an unpretentious plant in care, but watering plants from a well or aqueduct can cause chlorosis by increasing the alkali content in the soil. To avoid trouble, add 30 g ground sulfur per square meter of land. Either acidify the water used for irrigation - 2 g of lemon in a bucket of water. The most important thing when growing cloudberries to monitor the good soil moisture.
Flowering and fruiting
In natural conditions in the North-West of the country, cloudberry, among all wild berries, ripens first. Cloudberry is a perennial herb of the Rosaceae family, whose height rarely exceeds 40 cm, with long, creeping rhizomes and upright annual stalks. The leaves are dark green in color, reniform, wrinkled, lobed in shape. In May-June, at the top of the shoot, single cloud clouds are blooming, rather large flowers with five white, sometimes pinkish petals.
It is only at first glance that all cloudberry flowers are the same. In fact, in some flowers, only stamens (female flowers) develop, and in others, only pistils (male). In other words - same-sex flowers. Male flowers are always larger, but the fruits are formed only from female flowers. However, in nature, everything is correctly and interestingly arranged - without the pollen of male flowers there would be no fruits from female flowers. Berries ripen in July. The fruit is a complex drupe, shaped like a raspberry. The bones are large, with a large bone.
Cloudberry fruit, as it consists of many small juicy fruits, fused together. Unripe fruits are red, then gradually turn yellow and in the stage of full ripeness they become bright yellow, translucent, similar to amber: tender, sour-sweet and very tasty.
In cloudberries, as in all semi-shrubs, for many years only the rhizome nourishes and remains in winter, and the above-ground part — the grassy — dies off every year with the onset of winter, and grows back in the spring.
Since ancient times cloudberry for northerners has been an organism cleaner. And we find confirmation of this in its chemical composition: 0.8% of proteins, 3-7% of sugars, 3.8% of pectic substances. Ascorbic and citric acids, phytoncides, carotene, magnesium, calcium, iron, aluminum, phosphorus, silicon - this is what cloudberry is rich in!
The percentage of ascorbic acid in cloudberries is much higher than in oranges, and there is several times more carotene in carrots than in carrots. Juice from its berries has a strong bactericidal effect. In folk medicine, cloudberry berries are used as an anti-scorching, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic agent, also used for coughing, fever, and heart pain. The leaves are brewed like tea. They have good diuretic effects.
Finland and Norway are the countries where they are actively working on the artificial cultivation of cloudberries. And the work is funded at the state level. In our country, few amateur gardeners experiment with cloudberries. It is possible that you will also become a member of this small group of enthusiasts of amber berry lovers.
Cloudberry is a herbaceous plant or shrub. Bush height about 0.3 m. Branched long rhizome is creeping. Shoots thin erect. The alternate five-lobed petiolate leaf plates are unevenly torned along the edge and have a wrinkled surface, painted in a greenish color with brown specks. On one shoot, as a rule, there are 2 or 3 leafy plates. The flower is apical, it is painted white. The flowers are same-sex, which means that on one there is only a development of the pistil, and on the others - the stamens. The fruit is a collective drupe, reaching 15 mm in diameter, it looks like a raspberry berry. Unripe fruits are colored red-yellow, as they mature, their color changes to orange, and the berries become almost transparent, as if made of amber. Fruit ripening is observed in July and August.
If raspberries, currants, or even blackberries are more familiar to us, then it is more likely to meet cloudberries on peat bogs and in marshy wooded areas than in home breeding.
It is often found in the shrub and moss tundra of the northern and arctic forest belt in the northern hemisphere. In the conditions of the middle zone, it can often be found in the European part of the Russian Federation, Siberia, in the Far East, in Belarus. At the same time, cloudberries are cultivated in many other regions, where it creates the most comfortable conditions for growth and development.
Is it possible to grow cloudberries in the garden?
In practice, many gardeners have already confirmed the possibility of successfully growing a plant in a garden, but I must immediately say: this is a very difficult matter. Even if you know about the fastidiousness of berry bushes, then be prepared for the fact that the cloudberry in the garden will be “naughty” 10 times more than its other inhabitants.
In fact, you can’t even call it shrubs, because all the cultures we are used to have perennial above-ground shoots (lingonberries, cranberries or blueberries), while in cloudberry only the branchy underground rhizome can be classified as perennial. Despite the fact that by the end of the season and the vertical shoot slightly woody at the base, it is still one-year.
How to prepare a place for landing
As with the planting of any other plant that grows predominantly in the open nature, it is worth choosing a place for home breeding cloudberries based on the conditions in which the seedling grew, until it was dug or cut.
In this case, it is appropriate to speak of moist, fairly fertile and slightly acidic soils, always with good lighting and aeration. Also, do not forget that almost all swamp or forest dwellers have peculiar helpers represented by mycorrhiza - root fungi, very useful not only for the plant itself, but also for the soil (especially poor) on which it grows. Therefore, planting a plant on your site, it is useful to add to the planting pit soil brought from the place of its usual growth, which will already contain microorganisms and fungi useful for cloudberries.
If you carry out plant propagation by cutting, then you can purchase mycorrhiza separately at any flower shop (by the way, they are relatively inexpensive).
You should not send cloudberries into the garden or planted along the fence. Always comply with the lighting requirements. No less useful would be information about suitable neighbors for this plant. So, in the natural environment, it feels great next to the wild rosemary, moss and lingonberries.
Planting a plant
Picking up a suitable site for cloudberries, it remains only to dig a trench (about 0.5 m deep) and build a structure for comfortable plant placement. The design consists of several layers at once: soil - polyethylene - again soil - again polyethylene. The last layer, the topmost one, should be a mixture of soil and peat or a substrate.
The prepared area must be poured abundantly with water and prepare to regularly check the level of moisture in the soil. Also no less important nuance in the successful cultivation of plants is the acidity of the soil. Ideally, this figure should be 4.5 pH. When planting an unusual culture in the open ground, be sure to consider the required distance between the bushes. It should not be less than 20 cm.
Finally, do not forget to add a useful fungus to cloudberries. Purchased in a special gardening store mycorrhiza will transport all the necessary micronutrients from water and soil to its roots.
For the natural habitat of cloudberry, that is, for places where it usually grows in the wild, high acidity of the soil is characteristic. This means that when watering plants with tap water or well water there is a risk of chlorosis due to an increase in alkali in the soil. In order to prevent this situation, ground sulfur should be added to the soil at the rate of 30 g per 1 m². You can also simply acidify the water that is used for irrigation (2 g of acetic or citric acid is enough for 1 bucket of water).
Growing a swamp plant like cloudberries, one cannot ignore the level of soil moisture. It should never dry out, otherwise the plant will not bring a good harvest.
The removal of shoots from cloudberry is done exclusively for sanitary purposes, that is, to eliminate sick and dried branches. Most often, such pruning is carried out in early spring, before the appearance of the kidneys.
The described plant needs feeding several times per season. So, with the arrival of spring, the berries are fertilized with mineral solutions, manure and other organic compounds, and before direct fruiting (around the end of spring), manure and growth biostimulants are additionally used.
Disease and pest treatment
When growing cloudberries, you may encounter many crimson pests: raspberry mite, aphids, spider mites, raspberry-raspberry weevil, stem fly and others.
Spraying with insecticides (for example, Karbofos, Aktellik, colloidal sulfur, Metafos, etc.) will help to cope with these harmful insects. To protect the plant from fungal diseases and pests with the arrival of spring, it is recommended to carry out preventive treatment with a 3% solution of Bordeaux liquids.
How to propagate cloudberries
Самым простым и наименее затратным способом получения кустика растения является его пересадка на участок с привычного места обитания — если такое имеется неподалеку от вашего дома.
In the forest, you need to choose only specimens with large berries, not only attractive in appearance, but also tasty. Noticing such an option, the bush should be carefully dug out (preferably with an earthy clod) and immediately moved to a paper bag or a pot prepared in advance.
When using a paper bag, you will be able to plant a seedling in your garden, without getting it from such a carrying bag. Thus, the roots of the plant do not exactly suffer, and the paper in the soil will quickly decompose.
If you do not want to dig cloudberries with a whole bush, then for breeding in the garden you can cut the cuttings in the forest - but in this case you need to remember that this option is more troublesome.
Rooting segments (the length of the cuttings should be about 12-13 cm) should be carried out in greenhouse conditions using a nutrient substrate and plastic film, which cover the landing.
It is very important not to allow the soil to dry out during the summer period; therefore, in addition to irrigation, it is important to keep the air humidity at a high level. Until the fall, such cuttings should take root, after which you will be able to transplant them to a permanent place of growth.
Although this is not at all necessary, and if there is very little time left before the onset of cold weather, it is perfectly acceptable to leave planting material in the greenhouse until the next season. During this time, the cuttings will be even stronger and better prepared for transplanting.
Another option of breeding cloudberries on the plot - seed reproduction, which is not the best option. The fact is that plants grown from seeds may differ significantly from those from which the seeds were collected, and not always for the better. Finally, you can simply go to a specialized store or nursery and purchase a ready-quality varietal seedling. Many gardeners consider this the most optimal solution for obtaining planting material, but the problem is that most of these seedlings are imported and may not withstand too harsh climatic conditions during the winter period.
A little bit about the beneficial properties of berries
The beneficial properties of cloudberries are very difficult to overestimate. Firstly, this plant is an excellent honey plant, and thanks to the components of the leaves and fruits you can cure a variety of diseases with its help. For example, the leaves are characterized by an excellent hemostatic effect.
The composition of the berries of the plant includes organic acids, phytosterols, tannins, fatty acids, fiber, plant sterols, antioxidants and other useful ingredients.
That is, cloudberry berries not only look great, which can be assessed by photos, but also have a wound healing, astringent, tonic, anti-feveric and antimicrobial action. In addition, regular use of the fruits of the shrub has anti-scorching effect.
Some modernists use cloudberry berries in the fight against hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders and atherosclerosis, and in Siberia based on them are preparing excellent anti-cough drugs.
Planting cloudberries on your site
Cloudberry is a very capricious plant for self-cultivation. In order for it to take root in the garden, you need to artificially recreate all the necessary conditions.
To get started is to choose a well-lit, open from all sides of the place.The plant is very demanding and the quality of the soil. In the forest, it grows only in acidic marshy soils. So you have to work hard and swamp a piece of land on your own. To do this, dig a trench 0.5 m deep. The bottom is covered with plastic wrap and sprinkled with a layer of earth. The procedure is repeated until the pit is full. The last layer pour peat. After that, the area is poured abundantly with water to achieve the effect of the marshland.
In the place of future growth of cloudberries the fungus must live. It is he who promotes getting to the roots of the plant all the necessary substances. You can buy it in specialized gardening shops and nurseries.
When all preparatory measures are over, cloudberries can be planted. For this, powerful seedlings are selected and planted in a row at a distance of at least 0.2 m from each other. This will allow the plants to develop normally and give new shoots without disturbing the neighboring bushes. In the neighborhood you can plant lingonberries or mosses. With the maintenance of the necessary conditions, cloudberries will surely start and will delight with their fruits.
Separation from the maternal bush
The most correct and effective option for obtaining cloudberry seedlings is the division of the bush. To do this, go to the forest and choose the best bush with large berries. It is he who will give a good planting material, which will easily take root and will please a high-quality harvest.
The plant is recommended to dig with a part of the earth in order not to disturb the root system. After that, the seedling is placed in a container. The transshipment should be done as quickly as possible so that the plant can adapt successfully and take root in a new place.
For reproduction cloudberries cuttings, twigs are cut to a length of 13 cm and planted in protected ground in heated greenhouses. For germination is good soil mix with a high content of nutrients.
When rooting cuttings need to constantly monitor the level of soil moisture and air - under dry conditions, the plants do not take root. Already next season, cloudberries can be planted in open ground.
The most troublesome method of propagation of cloudberries is considered the method of germinating seeds. Despite the fact that import companies offer a wide range of planting material, germination is very low.
When trying to germinate cloudberries from seeds, it is worth remembering that sowing is carried out in light fertile soil. It is not necessary to overwet it. The resulting plant can be significantly worse in quality than the parent.
Shrub swamp, creeping (as it looks, you can look at the photo). Petals have a white color. Fruit ripening occurs from July to August. Flowering occurs in May and June. In appearance, the berry resembles raspberries, but its flavor and color are different.
Where does cloudberry grow? In the north, in the middle zone of the Russian Federation, in the Far East, in Belarus. Near the bushes you can often find moss, lingonberries, wild rosemary. Shrubs are often found on peat bogs, in marshy forests, in moss, shrub tundra.
The plant is attributed to the genus Rubus, family Pink. Its height is 30 centimeters. Rhizomes - creeping, stems - thin.
Northern peoples respect cloudberries, appreciate its properties. In ancient times, the berry was called the swamp guard, now it is called mossy currant, arctic raspberry and northern orange.
In Kievan Rus, it was considered a delicacy for the kings - it was served both in the soaked and fresh form. From the fruit you can cook a delicious kvass. In Scandinavia, the plant still has great value, as its healing properties help to cure many diseases. Since ancient times, the fruit is used for scurvy, and the leaves - for scabies and for the treatment of wounds.
Cloudberries grow in swamps. But what if the site does not even remotely resemble it? The solution is as follows: just select a place for growing berries on the plot and make it marshy by hand.
- The place where the berry will be should be well lit.
- The trench is digging, its depth should be half a meter.
- Then the layers are laid out with soil, polyethylene, again with soil and again with polyethylene. The top layer should be a soil mixed with peat or substrate removed directly from the natural cloudberry growing area.
- Then it is necessary to water the part of the plot where the berry will grow. With the moisture level to be monitored daily.
- Attention should be paid to the level of acidity. The indicator should be equal to 4.5 pH.
- Cloudberry under natural conditions has such a neighbor as mycorrhiza. The properties of the fungus are that it provides nutrients to the roots of the plant. You can get the drug with him in the flower shop.
How to care
- Cloudberries are used to acidic soil, therefore, if they are watered with water from a well, they can get chlorosis. To prevent disease, ground sulfur is introduced into the ground - 30 grams per 1 square meter.
- In order for the berry not to get sick, you can acidify the water for irrigation. 2 grams of acetic or citric acid are put on the bucket.
- Since the plant is small, the distance between the bushes should be 20 centimeters. It is necessary to take into account the type of cloudberry.
- Pruning is only sanitary - get rid of the dried and diseased branches.
- In the spring are made dressing. Mineral solutions and organic products are used as fertilizers. You can apply manure.
- Periodically loosen the soil and remove weeds (especially in the first year).
- In order to protect the plant from pests and fungal diseases, it is necessary in the spring to be treated with a solution of Bordeaux mixture.
- Harvesting occurs after the fruits become amber tint (see photo).
- Pests in the bush are the same as in raspberries, for example, raspberry mite.