Soft Fruit

LINGONBERRY (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

admin / December 6, 2017

Lingonberries are usually associated with Sweden as the name comes from the Swedish word “Lingon” for their native Cowberry. However, Lingonberries are common in the Scandinavian, Baltic and Central European Countries. You can find Lingonberry products for sale in the food shop at IKEA, if you want to taste them before you go to the trouble of growing them. My own…

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Soft Fruit

KIWI FRUIT or CHINESE GOOSEBERRY (Actinidia arguta)

admin / December 6, 2017

Kiwi fruit are native to China and Japan, but the common name of Kiwi fruit came about as the plants were recently commercially exploited in New Zealand. In the wild it is a deciduous climber growing up to 15 m, up trees in moist conditions. Health Benefits. Rich in fibre, vitamins E, K, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and are low in calories. This…

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Soft Fruit

HUCKLEBERRY (Solanum nigrum var. Guineense, or S. Intrusum )

admin / December 6, 2017

The story of “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, conjures up images of Grizzly Bears in North Western America, munching on Huckleberries, the fruit of a perennial evergreen shrub!   The Garden Huckleberry, however, has no connection whatever to North America, apart from the fact that the seed is usually sourced from Canada. The Garden Huckleberry is an annual grown from seed…

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Soft Fruit

GOOSEBERRY (Ribes uva-crispa)

admin / December 6, 2017

The Gooseberry, known in Scotland as a “Grozer”, is native to North Western Europe and the British Isles, and is particularly suited to cultivation in Northern and Western Areas of the UK, where the flavour is said to be at it’s best. Even though it is usually the first fruit bush to flower in late March, frost and the lack of…

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Soft Fruit

GOJI BERRY ( Lycium barbarum)

admin / December 6, 2017

Goji berries have been grown in the Himalayas for thousands of years and picked and dried for food by the native populations. They are now grown commercially in China for export as dried fruit. As the plants are now being offered for sale in the UK, it is appropriate to look a little closer at their cultivation. As I have not…

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Soft Fruit

CRANBERRY (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

admin / December 6, 2017

A dwarf, low growing, trailing shrub, some 8 cm high, rather like heather in appearance and found in acidic bogs throughout the Northern part of the Northern hemisphere. The native Cranberry can still be found growing wild in Scotland. However, the garden varieties are derived from the New England Cranberry. In New England, the Cranberries are cultivated on bogs. Cranberries are…

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Soft Fruit

BLUEBERRY (Vaccinium corymbosum)

admin / December 6, 2017

Cultivated Blueberries are cultivars of the North American blueberry. There are native edible European blueberries, or Bilberries, or Whortleberries, which you may find growing wild in damp, acidic soils, particularly in upland areas of the UK. In Scotland, these are called “Blaeberries”. Health Benefits. Contain vitamin C and anthocyanins. Both types of Blueberries require an acid soil, apparently it should be of…

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Soft Fruit

BLACKBERRY or BRAMBLE (Rubus fruticosus)

admin / December 6, 2017

While you can pick the wild ones in season from many hedgerows, there are cultivated forms, which are either selections or hybrids from European or North American types of blackberry. There are some 350 different varieties of bramble. European types. Some have the typical wild Blackberry flavour, but can be rather too big a plant for most gardens. Some varieties are…

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Soft Fruit

SOFT FRUIT, GROUND PREPARATION, PLANTING & FRUIT CAGES

admin / December 6, 2017

In most years in Glasgow, I expect to have various soft fruits in season for some five months from early June to early November. The season starts for me with Strawberries fruited under a cloche, then ordinary Strawberries and perpetual Strawberries, Tayberries, followed by Summer Raspberries, cultivated Blackberries, wild Brambles, and finishing off with Perpetual strawberries and Autumn Raspberries. These fruits…

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Soft Fruit

GRAPES (Vitis vinifera)

The majority of grapes  are cultivars of the European grape vine, native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. For most of the Country, apart from the South of England, these will be planted in Greenhouses, with the roots outside to ensure easier watering. Although the grape vine is hardy, for most of the Country it needs the extra heat available in a…

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