Goji and Wonderberries

mcpeg(5a)March 10, 2012

Hi Marg,

Thought I'd start a fresh post for this one in case anyone else is interested.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are growing easy for me starting inside now. They are a perennial shrub that are even being cultivated in Saskatchewan. I'm putting a link to a grower site I found just for information on the plant. I will not have berries until the 3rd year. From what I've found on the net growers keep them cut down to 4 feet for picking the berries. I've also seen where some gardeners grow them like an espalier along wire. The grow kinda like a tree with vines. The first year I expect to have them looking like twigs, the second year more of the same and the third year a little bushier and starting to get taller....not sure unless someone else growing them wants to add their experience here. I'm growing mine from seed.

Here's where I purchased both wonderberry and goji berries (copy and paste into your browser)




Wonderberry is an annual that should be started now indoors. It produces a prolific crop of dark blue berries that are baked to use in jams, pies, pastries etc. This is my first year growing them and tasting them. I've never seen them commercially. I've read various opinions on their taste from being bland to good. My thoughts are blueberries are expensive - I'm looking for more berries to freeze on cookie sheets and then ziplock baggies for next winter. The taste would be a direct result of the soil and care they receive. This year I am upgrading all of my veggie soil with compost and cow manure.

I plan to save seeds when harvesting from each plant for variety. Basically when ripe I'll be squishing the seeds onto newspaper and picking out the seeds to dry on a paper towel.

Of course I am planning to fence in my berry bushes away from critters and birds using a firm wooden frame system and wire mesh.

A friend of mine tried buying dried goji berries to get seed from them but they were not successful at germinating them.

I can say that the source I purchased the seed from were extremely generous with the volume of seed - enough for trading if interested. I've shared my seeds.

I hope this answers some of your questions Marg. We're going to 17C this coming week so happy spring everyone!

Whoooo hooooooo!

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Goji Berries in Saskatchewan

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Thanks Peggy. About collecting the seeds, do you think putting them in a blender with a bit of water and pulsing them instead of pureeing them and then pouring thru a paper towel or coffee filter would work? Marg

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:39AM
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Hi all,
I have been growing goji berries and trading them for a few years now. I have bought my goji berry seeds from Richters and they arrived as full berries which I picked the seeds out of. I have never had any trouble with growing them this way.
Beware all creatures big and small love to eat goji berry plants. I container grow mine for a couple of years before I even think of planting them into the ground so they can get a large root system.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:19PM
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Thanks Luckynes for the tip. I was thinking of doing the same thing with pot growing the plants for root development. I'm going to be starting Colorado Blue Spruce seeds shortly and plant to grow them in pots too for the first few years but I'll sink those in the ground in a nursery bed area which I will fence off enough so no one walks through them.

Marg I would not recommend putting any berries in a blender for seeds. I suppose you could put the seeds between parchment or wax paper and use your pie roller to squish the seeds if doing a lot of them at once. I just do mine by hand. If I let the berries dry they tear apart easy and aren't so messy to get at the seeds.

Anyone else have any experience getting berry seeds harvested and care to share?

This year I'll be working on fencing a number of plants. I've got Haskap berry plants on spring order, my wonderberies are growing well, I have a strawberry patch being relocated early (some critter last year gently picked off each ripe berry at it's prime without damaging a single leaf or other berry - I can see their teeth out doing that!). I did plant grape plants last year but I'm seriously rethinking their location and they are moving as well this early spring. Still landscaping around here and will be for some time. One year at a time.

I'd eventually love to get blueberry plants - they'd have to have acidic soil dug in because mine is alkaline. I have thought of sinking large pots for them so they can retain water better (our summers are getting hotter periods)and if the location doesn't suit I can relocate them without disturbing them a lot. I have a ton of wild raspberry bushes all over the place. This year I want to get out very soon and cut them down. The whips sticking up are hazardous and I'm thinking if I can leave some walking paths by trimming to tidy and cutting for walking the wild berries will be more accessible. And yes there is more than enough to share with the wildlife. I have a few major patches around here.

Just a few thoughts for today. Keep talking dirt to me - I love it!


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Robins are great strawberry thieves. Beware!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Update - both of the berry seeds have sprouted beautifully and are growing on. The wonderberries I have started to pinch back. Those crazy fellas are already trying to set flowers and they are still baby plants! So I'm pinching that out because it's too early for it all. Also the pinching will help them to bush out more.

Luckynes thanks for the tips - I am moving those strawberries and they will be caged in all directions this year. I don't mind sharing a few things with the wild life but there is a limit since my strawberry bed is young and producing just enough for a bowl or two of berries (I've grown them from seed - managed to bring a couple of plants from my move so I'm counting on the runners propagating new plants).

Time to get shaking my tail feathers outside.

Ta ta for now,

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:11AM
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The robins manage to pick the whole berries there is a robin art form to it I think. My neighbour was wondering who was stilling his berries until he caught the culprit. But his dog, Skipper use to still my tomatoes, but a tomato or two didn't bother me.

I have had a hard time growing blueberries and strawberries myself. Might just give up on blueberries this year.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Nes are your blueberries in acidic soil? If not you may want to check out your local garden center for some and dig them up and fill a large area with a bag worked in. Also water them with cold tea if you are a tea drinker. It's the same thing with Azalea's - sometimes the dirt bags are labeled for Azalea or African Violets.

What is the problem with your blueberries? Lack of growth? No fruit setting?

Strawberries if they are very young plants may not produce berries until the second year.

Just wondering.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 5:48PM
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