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How to Grow Oregon Grapes

Oregon grapes are hardy USDA zones 5-9 and evergreen. Their origin is traced to North America and has burgundy foliage, purple-bluish fruit and yellow flowers. It is the state flower of Oregon and scientific name is Mahonia aquifolium.
It is not a true grape and bares common names like Oregon hollygrape, Oregon grapeholly, tall mahonia and Oregon-grape. They grow in full sun however partial shade would aid development. They are highly tolerant to different soil compositions and well-drained soil
Facts about Oregon Grapes
         Size 4 to 6 feet tall
         4 to 6 feet wide
         Exposure to full sun or partial shade
         Preferred USDA Hardiness zones 5-9
         It is evergreen
         Compound leaves 12 inches long
         Flowers are clustered and yellow in color
         The resemble grapes
         They are actually a berry
 Oregon Grapes
Pests and Diseases
The plants are hardy and suffer from leaf spots and develop chlorosis in alkaline soil. If they receive too much sun the leaves become scourged. Pests include scales, aphids, and whiteflies.
         Leaf spots
         develop chlorosis
Oregon grapes can grow in different types of soil. You can use drained garden soil, slightly acidic or humus. You can add compost, organic manure for your potting soil.
         Slightly acidic
         Organic manure
         Garden soil
Oregon grapes grow an impressive 4 to 6 feet tall, 5 to 6 feet wide. The produce light scented flowers that are small and bright yellow. The grape looking fruits are edible and attractive to birds, insects.
The fruit is attractive to different wildlife like humming birds and bees. They are good ornament plants, good barrier or hedge plants.
The fruit has a tart taste and is used in jellies, preserver, jam. It is used to make medicine to treat infections, stomach ulcers and skin disorders. It is used as a disinfectant and to fight bacterial and fungal infections.
         Good ornament plants
         Good barrier
         Hedge plants
         used in jellies
How to Plant Oregon Grapes
You can plant the seeds or propagate through cuttings. To propagate through cutting select a semi-ripe wood and cut. Make sure you remove growths at base of the plant.
Oregon grape seeds require a minimum of 3 weeks cold stratification. Stored seeds will germinate in 6 months. To grow the seeds sow in plant mix in a pot.
Make sure you provide adequate water to keep soil moist. The pot should be well-drained and placed to receive partial shade and sun. Try to maintain the temperature to 50 degrees.
They have the ability to clone themselves and spread quickly. This make it an invasive species and problematic. It takes about two months to germinate and prune to maintain the plant.

How to Plant Olallieberry

Olallieberry was developed 1935 to 1950 by George F Waldo in Oregon State University for the US Department of Agriculture. Ideal for temperate coastal regions it is of the genus Rubus and cross between loganberry, blackberry and youngberry.
Commonly cultivated in central, Northern California the hardy plants are resistant to diseases. It resembles a blackberry but has an onyx sheen exterior, closed stem end, sweet flavor. The fruits have a tarty sweetish taste with short shelf life.
List of Hybrid Rubus
Parent species form the genetic material to the creation of hybrids. In this instance parent species are different Himalayan Blackberry, Pacific Blackberry and Common Blackberry.
There is also the dewberry and European Raspberry. Olallieberry is a hybrid Rubus developed from other hybrids. A list of hybid species are Young, Tay, Olallie, Logan. Others are Kotata, Boysen, Chehalem.
Parent Species
         Himalayan Blackberry
         Pacific Blackberry
         Common Blackberry
         European Raspberry
Uses of Olallieberry
The highly perishable fruit has a juicy balance from sweet, tart and used in many culinary applications. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron and calcium.
They are used to complement different flavors, ice cream, cheesecake topping, muffins and coffee cakes. It is added to milkshakes, pies and jam. Used as preserves, found in berry wine, eaten fresh.
Culinary Uses
         Complement different flavors
         Ice cream
         Cheesecake topping
         Coffee cakes
         Added to milkshakes
         Used as preserves
         Found in berry wine
         Eaten fresh
Things you need
You need manure, compost, soil testing kit and shovel. Others are digger, rake, shears, lime, trellis, young plant, pot.
         Soil testing kit
         Young plant
How they grow
Olallieberries prefer temperate coastal regions are brambles and have an extensive underground perennial root system. They grow on vertical trailing vines or biennial stalk.
Pruning is done by cutting the old vines close to the ground to allow new growth. The plant with established roots self-regenerate and regrow.
How to Plant Olallieberry
Olallieberry are essentially two thirds blackberry, one third red raspberry. According to the USDA the plants hardiness zones is 7 -9. Prepare a site in your garden for the bush. Make sure the space is at least 5 by 20 foot, well-drained soil adequate sun.
The plant prefers full sun, partial shade and soil PH of 5.5 to 7. If the soil is acidic add lime and erect trellis to support the plant. Add compost or manure at the rate of 2 cubic yards for 100 square feet of space.
The next step is to dig a hole to accommodate the rootball. Water once a week and average water requirements should not exceed 1 inch. Weed regularly to remove competing grass and prune when needed. Mulch to keep soil moist and it takes two years for mature plant to produce fruits.

How to Grow Jostaberries

This torn-less deciduous fruit bush is native to Germany and cross between gooseberries and black currant. First developed by Dr. Rudolph Bauer at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne Germany. It is self-fertile shrub that grows 2m tall.
Slightly larger than black currant, It forms vigorous spineless shrub and can produce 4kg fruit per bush. It is a hybrid that grows, fruits nicely while resistant to has deeply veined 3-5 irregular lobes and serrated margins.
It produces beautiful flowers that are bell shaped and small. The fruit produces a nearly black berry that is edible raw or cooked. Jostaberry has a dominant sweet gooseberry flavor mixed with black currant.
It flowers mid spring and ripe fruits appear late summer and well suited for handpicking. Although the bush is torn-less, handpicking makes harvesting labor intensive.
Facts about Jostaberry
         It is a vigorous deciduous shrub
         Grows 2m high
         Prefers full sun, partial shade
         Tolerant to cold temperatures
         Requires protection from wind
         Frost will damage flowers
         Requires well-drained, slightly acidic soil
         Requires high organic content
         Well-drained soil
         USDA Hardiness zones 3-8
Jostaberry Cultivars
There are a few justaberry cultivars to consider. We have the popular cultivar josta, red josta, jogranda and orus 8.
         Red Josta
         Orus 8.
Health Benefits of Jostaberry
Jostaberry is larger than gooseberry and looks like black currant. The unripe fruit is black or red while the ripe fruit turns dark purple. They are full of vitamin C and used to add flavor to dishes.
They are used in jam making, fruit salad, cooked or baked products. Health benefits include immunity boost, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels. It is used to fight aging and prevent cardiovascular disease.
         jam making
         Baked products
They are resistant to black currant leaf spots, white pine blister rust and mildew. While pests that trouble the shrub are birds and gall mites.
It requires well-drained high organic content. The soil could be slightly acidic with good organic mix. The shrub can survive temperatures of -40C and have longevity. The USDA plant hardiness zones 3 -8
How to Grow Jostaberry
The main mode of propagation is by cutting. Jostaberry requires full sun and partial shade. You can purchase bare rooted or potted plants for your garden. Ideal growing season is from December to March.
The soil should have compost, rooted manure and add blood, bone or fish bits. Make sure you plant at same level of the pot and backfill. Space the bushes 5 to 6 feet apart and remove old cranes at ground level.
Use additional fertilizer and mulch to retain soil moisture. Water regularly especially in dry periods. It takes about 1 to 2 years for mature shrubs to bear fruits.
The shrub can stand on its own or grow against a wall. To create an open framework of upright branches prune appropriately. Remove odd shaped or old branches. To harvest pick the fruits by hand individually. Use your refrigerator to preserve them for long periods.

How to Grow Huckleberries

The name Huckleberry is derived from a fictional character in the Book The adventure of Tom Sawyer. It is also a North American English dialect variation of whortleberry.
Huckleberries are perennial evergreen shrubs that have serrated leaves.  They are found in forests, lake basins, mountain slopes. They produce black-purple berries and need full sun, partial shade to thrive. 
The flowers are urn shaped, tiny and have pale pink color. The shrub can grow 3 to 8 feet depending on type, weather and soil nutrients. The fruit is edible and has a delicious tart taste. The shrub prefers acidic soil and grow in mountainous regions with elevation 2500 to 11,500 feet.
Nutritional Value
The nutritional value of 1 ounce of raw huckleberry is iron 0.1mg, sodium 2.8mg. Others are calcium 4.2mg.
Calories for carbohydrate 9.7, calories from protein 0.4. More include carbohydrate 2.4g, protein 0.1g, water 25g and 15 anthocyanins.
         iron 0.1mg
         Sodium 2.8mg
         Calcium 4.2mg
         Calories for carbohydrate 9.7
         Calories from protein 0.4
         Carbohydrate 2.4g
         Protein 0.1g
         water 25g
         15 anthocyanin’s
Uses Huckleberries
The fruit is made into syrup, Huckleberry Sauce and backed into Wild Blue Huckleberry Pie. The shrub is used in traditional medicine, beverages. Others are puddings, salad dressing, tea, soups, juice and candy.
         Made into syrup
         Huckleberry Sauce
         Backed into Wild Blue Huckleberry Pie
         Used in traditional medicine
         Salad dressing
Health Benefits of Huckleberry Fruit
It is rich in antioxidant, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B. They ensure proper muscle, nerve function, protects against immune deficiency.
Other health benefits include lower cholesterol, fight against heart disease. Reduction of fatigue, muscular degeneration, varicose veins, glaucoma and peptic ulcers.
Health Benefits
         Vitamin C
         Vitamin B
         Proper muscle function
         protects against immune deficiency
         Lower cholesterol
         Fight against heart disease
         Reduction of fatigue
         Muscular degeneration
         Varicose veins
         Peptic ulcers
How to Grow Huckleberry
Propagation is through cutting, seeding or rhizome. To grow huckleberries from rhizomes, cut a 4 inch long section and plant in sandy soil. It does not require dipping in rooting compound however keep the soil moist.
Once shoot appear transplant to a large pot and introduce moss based soil. Western huckleberry flowers mid- May and require acidic soil. The plant needs partial shade and ideal PH of 5.
Use manure, fertilizer or granular fertilizer at the ratio 10-10-10. Weed regularly, prune to remove dead limbs and avoid the use of pesticides.

How to Grow Pineberries

Pineberries are a hybrid of two strawberry variety. The white strawberry cultivar has red seeds with a pineapple flavor. They are commercial availability is small numbers due to their low yield. Other factors include the relatively small size and price. They are pricy and slightly challenging to grow.
Pineberry is smaller in size than strawberry with red seeds and white fruits measures 20mm. The berries are rounded, conical and pointed at one end. The features are pale hue, whitish skin, studs of red seeds. The texture is soft, juicy with a unique aromatic mix.
Fruit Description
         Small in size berry measuring 20mm
         They are rounded, conical and pointed end
         Pale hue, whitish skin
         Studs of red seeds
         Texture is soft, juicy
         Unique aromatic mix
Commercial Pineberry Production
Although the commercial cultivation started in Belgium and Netherlands in 2010. The breeding stock originated from Virginia and Chile.
The fruit attracts premium price however challenges include small size, low yield and seasonal. They are sold commercially in Europe, Dubai, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium. There major selling point is the strawberry appearance and pineapple flavor.
Pineberry Varieties
They yield fruit when grown with strawberry through cross pollination. There are different varieties of Pineberry like the White D, Natural Albino, White Carolina and White Pine.
The natural albino has very small fruits while the white Carolina are easily susceptible to diseases. The white pine produces few yield while white D are slightly larger than the rest, tastes great and ideal for gardens.
         White D
         Natural Albino
         White Carolina
         White Pine
Uses of Pineberries
The novelty fruit is similar to other strawberries and promoted to the British market through clever marketing. Botanical names are Chiloensis, Ananaserdbeeere.
The fruit has many culinary applications based on the taste. They can be prepared into juice, pies, eaten raw or made into jam.
         Made into juice
         eaten raw
         made into jam
The soil should have good drainage and acidic soil with PH 5.5 to 6.5. Make sure the soil is devoid of pathogens from earlier cultivation of crops.
The Pineberries can grow on site soil, pots, raised beds or containers. Makes sure the soil has plenty of micro-nutrients, organic matter and is kept moist.
Keep the soil moist by watering regularly however avoid wet or waterlogging which can kill the plant. Wet soil could cause shriveled leaves, uneven fruit growth.
To ensure adequate watering during dry or warm periods install a drip system. You can add liquid fertilizer rich in phosphorous, potassium every other month. The nitrogen content should be kept minimum and gradually degrees the use of fertilizer.
To prevent fruit rotting or touching the ground use mulch. Mulching keeps soil acidic, regulates the soil temperature, feeds plant and prevent loss of moisture.
Mulching is very effective during winter because it prevents root freezing. However keep the Pineberry indoors during winter and provide adequate warmth.
How to get the Pineberry
Pineberries grow wild and are found in certain geographical locations. If you reside in such areas you can pick the plants from the wild. The plants are hybrid plants and difficult to grow from seeds and will not guaranty fruiting.
However introducing other varieties of strawberry would encourage cross pollination and fruiting. Purchase the potted young Pineberries or preserved seeds from certified nurseries. Use online resources to find them an order.
How to Grow Pineberry
For effective cross pollination plant Pineberries alongside strawberries. Plant every 4 Pineberries to 1 strawberry. Start the row in 2-1-2 ratio with a distance1 feet each plant, 3 feet between rows.
The first step is to prepare the bed in an area with 6 to 8 hours sun. Dig holes, fix in place, tamp own soil around the plant. Adequate space will ensure proper growth of the plants.
Don’t forget to fertilize, mulch and weed regularly to prevent competing grass. The Pineberry has low crop yield, specific taste and interesting aroma. They are ideal for small production, home gardens and greenhouses.
Growing Pineberry
         Purchase the Pineberry
         Dig to accommodate root
         Add manure and space appropriately
         Fix in place tamp down soil
         Water regularly to keep soil moist
         Make sure the plant has 7 hours sun
Harvesting Pineberries is by handpicking the fruits. Once they are fully ripe pick individual fruits early in the morning.


Barberry: How to Grow Berberis thunbergii

Berberis are deciduous evergreen shrubs that grow in subtropical and temperate regions. Commonly known as barberry they are found in North America, Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Most have vicious spines on shoots, colored leaves, require full sun and partial shade. The shrub is hardy, prefers clay soil, sandy or slightly dry soil. It needs partial shade, low maintenance and perfect for gardens. It can grow in a pot or container has very colorful foliage.

Facts about Berberis
The leaves of the Berberis thunbergii vary based on variety. The leaves are green in spring, red summer. Some have purple leaves that turn dark purple or red. The flowers emerge mid spring are yellow giving the plant a striking appearance.
The flowers are produced singly have six petals, six sepals. The fruit is a small berry 10mm long, red or dark blue when ripe. It is a perfect hedge plant and its origin is traced to eastern Asia, japan.
The dwarf variety grows 49cm high while regular ones attain 5ft and spread of 1.5m. They will not do well in alkaline or acidic soil. However the bush is tolerant of different soil types.
The soil should be moist, well drained and nutrient rich. The hardy bush are able to survive short draught conditions including low temperatures of -25C. To control the spread and encourage faster growth pruning is essential. They are rugged, pest and disease resistant.
Simple Fact about Berberis thunbergii
         They have Colorful Leaves
         Flowers are yellow
         Average height 5ft and spread of 1.5m
         They tolerant of different soil types
         Avoid acidic or alkaline soil
         They require full sun
         They prefer moist well drained soil
         Can survive short draught, low temperatures
         Prune appropriately
         Hardy and resistant to pests and diseases
Uses of Berberis
They are an important ingredient in Iranian food and contain vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc. The crop is edible but present a sharp acidic flavor and used for culinary purposes. Berberis are used to flavor poultry meat, they are dried, used in jams sweets, or soft drinks.
The garden shrubs or good ornamental plants. The dried fruit is used in traditional herbal medicine. Traditional herbal applications are for anti-inflammatory treatment, anti-fungal and anti-bacteria products.
         Iranian cooking
         Flavor poultry meat
         Used in jams
         Soft drinks
         Garden shrubs
         Good ornamental plants
         Traditional herbal medicine
Varieties of Berberis
There are different types of Berberis to consider. Recommended types are Berberis darwinii, Berberis red jewel, Berberis thunbergii-Golden Torch, Berberis thunbergii-Dart’s Red Lady.
         Berberis darwinii
         Berberis red jewel
         Berberis thunbergii-Golden Torch
         Berberis thunbergii-Dart’s Red Lady
How to Grow Berberis thunbergii
Berberis is a popular garden shrub with blue-black or red berries and yellow leaves. Commonly planted as hedges, pedestrian walkways or barriers. They are dense, bushy with vicious spines on shoots making them an effective barrier against predators and burglars.
It does not require special knowledge to grow Berberis in your garden. They are hardy can tolerate cold temperature and resistant to pests and diseases. The first step is to buy the Berberis from nurseries or garden centers. You can also purchase them from online growers.
The best period to row them is March to April. The bush grows well in partial shade or full sun areas. Select the spot and make sure the composition is devoid of alkaline or acidic soil.
Once you have the young plant dig hole twice the width of the rootball. Then add calcium rich powder into ground. Place the plant in soil, backfill to depth of the pot/container. Tamp the oil around the rootball to firm the soil and water immediately.
How to Grow Berberis in Container
Use a container with drainage holes and fill with potting medium. Use spring or semi-hardwood and Cut 7 inch of Berberis stem, remove bottom leaves or clip bellow node.
Add growth hormone to bottom portion and dip the stem into hormone powder. Pick the berberis cutting in small hole of the potted mix. Then move the pot out of direct sun.
Water to keep moist and control moisture evaporation. It takes three months to grow 3 inches. Once rooting is established move rooted cuttings outside. Provide direct sun or partial shade for the plant.
Planting Berberis in Container
         Fill container with light textured growth medium
         Container should have drainage holes
         remove bottom leaves
         add growth hormone to bottom portion
         dip the stem into hormone powder
         dig small hole of potted mix
         avoid direct sun
         Transplant outside 3 inches
How to Care for Berberis
Maintenance is very low because the shrub is hardy and can grow in difficult terrain. Mulch and add organic material for faster growth.  Once roots are establish they require very little water but add calcium boost once a year.
Clean the surrounding areas by weeding or clearing dead leaves. They grow easily in containers but soil should be kept moist. However they have a tendency to harbor wheat rust that could devastate other crops.


How to Grow Chokecherries

Chokecherries scientific names are Prunus maackii and Prunus virginiana. Common names include western chokecherry, bitter-berry, virginia bird cherry. They are small trees that grow 6 m tall, leaves oval 5cm wide, 9cm long.
The flowers have racemes and emit a strong heady aroma. The fruits have an astringent bitter taste, unripe-red, ripe a darkish color. They measure 12mm long, 10mm across. The seeds are toxic and dangerous to goats, sheep and horses.
Things You Need
There are a few things you need to propagate chokeberry. You need a rooting medium, plastic bag.
Others are sharp knife or shears, glass covering, container or pot. More include sawdust, damp peat moss, rooting hormone and buy a spray bottle, mister.
         rooting medium
         Plastic bag
         Sharp knife
         Glass covering
         Container or pot
         Damp peat moss
         rooting hormone
         buy a spray bottle and mister
Uses of Chokecherries
Chokecherry is very toxic to animals with segmented stomachs. The fruit is made into jam or syrup however the bitter taste requires lots of sugar. The bark are used in traditional medicine to treat stomach maladies.
         Made into jam
         Treatment of stomach maladies
How to Grow Chokecherry from Wood Cuttings
Chokecherries are small tree or shrubs with dark bark and white flowers. Propagating from seeds is slightly challenging with little guarantee of good result. However wood cutting is a better option for successful germination and rooting.
The first step is to use a sterile rooting medium in a sterile pot. The medium can contain peat moss, perlite, sand and vermiculite. Then select a parent plant and cut.
Use a sterile shears to remove 5 inches slant cut from shoot tips below a node. It prevent drying out place the cutting in a plastic wrap. Make sure you remove leaves from bottom of cutting at least 2 inches.
Then trim the base of the cutting. Dip cutting end in rooting hormone to encourage speedy rooting. Then insert the lowest leaves and stick cutting in rooting material. It is better to place in the rooting medium of sawdust or peat moss. 
To prevent the soil drying out water regularly to maintain moist soil. Place the pot were it will receive sun with slight shade. Ideal temperature for growth is 65F. Use heating coils to encourage faster rooting in slighter warmer soil and It takes several weeks to root.
Growing Chokecherries from Seeds
Once you obtain the seeds refrigerate for 3 months. The best time to plant them is early spring. Select a well-drained potting container and fill with potting soil. Soil preference is loamy, medium to light soil.
The seed requires full sun to germinate and regular watering. Bury the seed 1 inch deep and keep soil moist. Once they grow 9 inches transfer outdoors and leave adequate space for mature plant.
It takes about 20 months to germinate. Weed regularly to avoid competition for soil nutrients. Control the infestation with benomyl spray and prune dead or fungal infected branches.


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