a professional berry grower in Dorset, England, penned this handy
to vacciniums for the Royal Horticultural Society's Plant Collector
purposes of this book, the
botanical descriptions of what I would call the 'cooler climate'
are given, as are those that are native to North America and Europe and
have been the subject of study over many years, as well as those that
garden merit or are in cultivation as food crops," Trehane explains.
rare, unusual, neotropical or tropical species of vacciniums are not
in this text.
an introductory chapter
on the genus vaccinium, Trehane devotes three separate sections of the
book to Cranberries and Lingonberries, Blueberries, and finally to
as Garden Plants.
Blueberries section, Trehane
sorts out the distinctions between the "lowbush" varieties common to
England and eastern Canada and the "highbush" blueberries of New
as well as the "southern highbush" and "southern lowbush" berries of
and New Zealand.
northern highbush blueberries
are regarded as the Rolls Royce of blueberries," Trehane points out.
are larger and have greater eye appeal than lowbush or wild
although many would say that the latter's smaller size produces a more
concentrated blueberry flavor."
addition to its bountiful advice
and instruction on the cultivation of edible blueberries, cranberries,
lingonberries and many of their relatives, this book also provides
on controlling pests and avoiding disease.
a Berry Bed (pg. 198-201)
a most attractive ornamental feature in any garden, large or small, and
can be inexpensive and easy to construct. A more permanent,
structure can make a big difference to an otherwise unremarkable
Raised beds filled with suitable compost provide the special conditions
needs for all ericaceous berry plants, enabling gardeners who do not
the naturally acidic free-draining soil needed for these plants to
their horizons and to enjoy both their edible fruits and the year-round
beds can be of
any size or shape and be designed to the scale of the garden and
taste. Different materials can act as soil-retaining edging.
bed with a surface
areas of about 7 sq. ft. (2 sq. m) should accommodate two of the more
North American highbush blueberries, one southern highbush and one or
half highs. At least 6 cranberries and 12 lingonberries can be added to
cover the ground. A flat stone placed here and there will mean not
on the cranberries when harvesting the blueberries.
Mark the outline
of the site to be constructed. The shape can be square, rectangular,
semicircular or any other shape that fits in with the existing or
design of the site. A basic bed to suit most situations is 6 ft. x 6
(1.8 m x 1.8 m) and about 3 1/3 ft. (1m) deep.
Dig out up to 12
in. (30 cm) of the soil within the marked-off area. Retain the soil and
mit it later with organic ingredients if its pH is 6.0 or less. Remove
the soil if the pH is above 6.0. If building a retaining wall of stone
or brick, lay foundations and build the wall, leaving drainage holes.
using log rolls, split poles, wooden boarding or planks of wood or
material, you will need to incorporate vertical supporting posts.
Mix the materials
that will form the compost and fill the bed very near to the top of the
retaining wall, bearing in mind that organic matter will shrink as it
Plant up the bed
and water it thoroughly.
It is a good idea
to plan for when the fruit appears. When the blueberries begin to show
the slightest color, they must be protected from birds and berry-eating
mammals. Either purchase or build temporary fruit cages that allow
and remove them once the crop is harvested.