Learning Download: How to Grow Cranberries
Cranberries are an easy-to-grow fruit packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Cranberries grow on low, perennial wooden vines that produce runners ranging in 1 to 6 feet long. Leaves will be glossy and green during the growth season, but they will turn red-brown during the harvesting season.
Before Planting: Since cranberries need cold weather to trigger their dormant phase, they need to be grown in areas that reach 32 to 45 degrees for three months at a time.
Planting: Cranberries should be planted outside after the last major frost in the spring. Wet the bed, and then plant the seedlings. Space 1-year cuttings a foot apart, but older seedlings should be spaced 3 feet apart.
Watering: Constantly water the cranberry bed in its first year of growth.
Fertilizer: After planting, fertilize the seedlings every three weeks with a slow-release fertilizer. Follow this fertilization with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer.
Days to Maturity: Cranberry plants will begin to produce fruit once they reach 3 years of age. Cranberries should be harvested before the first frost in the fall. (See variety for days to maturity)
Harvesting: To harvest, pick the berries by hand. They are ripe when their color is a deep red. The seed inside the berry should be brown.
Tips: Weed the bed by hand, as cranberries don’t compete well against unwanted weeds. However, the peat moss will help deter common weeds.