The elderberry fruit grows in the form of a large bush or shrub and is native to Europe and North America. The bush will produce dark blue-purple berries that are in bunches and are most often used to make wine, jellies, juices, and jams. The berries, when eaten raw, are very bitter, and are seldom eaten by themselves, but their versatility in making jams and juices are abundant! If you’re interested in learning how to grow elderberries, keep reading!
How to Grow Elderberries
Elderberries are a no-fuss plant that doesn’t require a lot of care, and can thrive in almost any type of soil. The one thing that elderberries are dependent on though, is water, as they cannot tolerate drought.
- Choose well drained, loamy soil to plant elderberries in.
- If you’re using sandy soils, improve it by adding a few inches of organic matter.
- Elderberries need to be cross-pollinated, so make sure to plant at least 2 bushes right next to one another.
- Plant each bush one meter apart in rows that are 4-5 meters apart.
- Do this early in the spring, right when the ground is workable.
- After planting, water deeply.
- Use mulch to retain moisture and to keep weeds at bay.
- Water every week, at least 25mm of water per week is needed.
- In their first 2 years of growing, let them grow wild and do not harvest. Do not prune or harvest at all during this time.
- After the 2 year mark has passed, you may prune back the bushes and start picking the berries.
- Harvest time is usually around mid August to mid September, so be sure to pick them quickly before the birds do!
So now that you know how to grow elderberries, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!
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