For gardeners who want to see a harvest sooner rather than later, seedlings are the way to go. You can plant them out in the spring, after the last frost is past, or in the fall if you live in a milder, cranberry-friendly climate.
It’s important to make sure your planting area is weed-free. Cranberries do not do well when they have to compete with weeds.
If you’re planting cuttings, space them about a foot apart. As the plants grow and send out runners, they’ll begin to fill in the spaces between. If you’re planting seedlings, give them about 3 feet between plants. Each plant should ultimately wind up with its own 2×2-foot space.
Usually, companion planting matches plants with soil and nutrient needs different enough that they help, rather than hinder, the growth of both plants. In the case of cranberries, they can thrive if they have some members of their own family nearby. Close relatives of cranberries that make good growing companions include blueberries, azaleas, lingonberries, and rhododendrons.
Good companion plants can help attract beneficial insects and deter pests, from small insects to hungry herbivorous mammals such as rabbits and deer. Companion planting can also help provide a little shade for your cranberries if your planting area gets especially hot sun.
A raised garden bed or planter is an excellent option for growing cranberries if you don’t have soil that’s ideal for cranberries (heavy clay soil, for example). Raised beds also help with drainage, which is essential for healthy cranberry plants. You can buy raised beds or build one yourself to fit your space.
Watering and weeding will be easier if you have your cranberries in a raised bed or planter. It’s a good alternative to growing in open land. And if you fill a raised bed with the appropriate packaged garden soil, you know you’re providing a cleaner and healthier environment for your plants from the start.
Packaged garden soil means less weeding than you’d have from digging a hole in the ground; and with a raised bed, there’s less bending down to do your weeding!
How do you plant your cranberries? What criteria for site selection has worked for you? Do you use your cranberries as companion plants? Please share your ideas with us by commenting below.