Goji in PA Zone 6

tedgrowsit(6b PA)February 8, 2013

I am developing a small commercial orchard/fruit/vegetable farm on about 4 acres. Would goji berries be a reasonable addition on a small scale, or are they not worth trying in my climate, waste of space, etc.? Does anyone grow them in PA? I will be glad for any advice or suggestions. Thank you. Ted

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Noogy(6 sw mi)

They need pollinators. I have quite a few of the'botany' strain from ebay that have taken over, but I have no pollinator so no berries. Supposedly this one is for salads as it grows lots of leaves. You want some? Niche market...If you have one near by otherwise don't bother.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:41AM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

I without any reservation recommend!
Mine didn't need a pollinator and produced quite a bit in only its 2nd year
Gojis are sun lovers, my plants (now have 4) gets 9 hrs of GA sunshine
they require a sweet soil mine is much too acid & since their roots dive deep adding lime will not suffice.
I grow them in big (min 5 gal) containers with rich organic pttng soil & they do very well.
Don't taste that great but dried chewy texture is good
they are a super food even in the super berry category
hardy to zone 3 so you won't need to ever move them for winter protection.
phew! mine are so heavy.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:59AM
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tedgrowsit(6b PA)

Well, I have been looking at these nursery entries such as groworganic, raintree, gurneys, etc., and they talk about the berries, not the leaves. They also don't say anything about a pollinator. Perhaps yours is a slightly different specie. Thanks. Ted

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Now I'm more encouraged. I have seen flowers, 2nd season, but no fruit! And they're 5'. I hope I didn't prune back a bunch of flowers. They just flopped over and I couldn't help myself.
Chop chop.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:43PM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

yeah I'm pretty sure they don't need a pollinator
I only had 1 that produced such a good crop that I ordered 3 more.
Noogy hows your sun way up there? They really like sun & may be floppy if they arent getting what they need
I prune mine hard after dormancy, keeps them lush

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:48PM
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longaeva54

It is better to buy cultivars,but some of them are patented.
For goji no pollinator needed.
Here is a link that might be useful:Goji berry Sweet Lifeberry

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:07AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I've them in full sun and have pruned them hard. Can I expect berries on 1st yr. or 2nd yr. wood?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:46AM
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longaeva54

Noogy ,You will find useful info. below. Remember not to touch the berries by hands,they will get black.
Here is a link that might be useful:Goji

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:51AM
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fireweed22

Need pollinators? Mine flowered and produced a fruit with each blossom. No gogi's for miles and miles here.
It is a named variety, maybe self pollinating.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:49PM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

ok so I guess we have settled the pollination issue
noogy I got a smattering my 1st year
it was the 2nd yr that I got the decent crop
most my friends wanted some hence the immediate purchase of 3 more
I bought bareroots & as mentioned above they get almost full sun
2 important yield factors

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:50PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I just saw goji berries mentioned on a TV show, the first time I've seen them described outside of the forum.

In episode 12 of Last Resort, the character pops a few dried goji berries in her mouth and quickly spits them out into a napkin, just as another character (whose office it is) comes into the room. "Sorry...I just ate some of those. Disgusting."

This doesn't mean that there isn't a market, just that they won't be to everyone's tastes.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:44PM
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lkz5ia

Some nurseries sell special cultivars and it is night and day in production compared to just some common seedlings. Regular seedlings seem to desire cross pollination to get better production, which is still low compared to the cultivars. I've tasted some fresh berries, reminded me of some sweet pepper taste and juicy like tomato, when they dry I think is better taste.

You'll probably have to net the bushes, berries are bright and attract what's around.

Some people eat the leaves, just a heads up that bunch of bugs out there like the delicacy, too

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:34PM
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