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How to Plant Huckleberries

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How to Plant Huckleberries

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Overview

Huckleberries are a fruit that is native to North America. Huckleberries grow on bushes that reach heights of up to 6.5 feet tall. They ripen in mid to late summer, and people sometimes call them "the poor man's blueberry." Unlike blueberries, huckleberries are usually too sour to eat raw. Cooks use huckleberries in pies and jams. Huckleberries are easy to grow and will produce fruit in the first year after they have been planted.

Step 1

Plant the huckleberry seeds inside in a tray or small pot during the early spring. Place the seeds one-fourth of an inch deep in moist, high-quality compost and cover them with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will keep the soil moist and the temperature warm.

Step 2

Apply a liquid fertilizer once a week while the seedlings are establishing. For best results, follow the directions on the bottle of fertilizer but use it at half-strength.

Step 3

Transplant your seedlings outside after the last threat of frost in an area that will get a lot of sun. Generally, plant huckleberries the same time you are planting your vegetable garden in late spring. It's best to add two inches of compost to the soil before you place the seedlings. Use a rake to mix the compost in.

Step 4

Add a 2-to-4-inch layer of mulch at the base of the huckleberry plants. The mulch will help the plants hold in moisture and will keep weeds from growing at the base of the bushes.

Step 5

Water the huckleberries to keep the soil moist. Do not over-water, or the berries will lose their flavor and the plants will not produce as sweet of a berry. The plants will need more water in the hot summer months than in the cooler months. If it is very hot, water the plants with at least an inch of water once a week. Reduce this amount by half during the cooler months of late summer.

Step 6

Harvest the berries by cutting the clusters off the vines when they are a dark purple in color. The berries will go from a very shiny green when they first begin to produce to almost black and dull. Berries will be ready for harvest about 90 days after you plant the seedlings.

Things You'll Need

  • Huckleberry seed
  • Fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Rake
  • Clippers

References

  • Growing huckleberries
  • Growing hints for huckleberry
Keywords: huckleberries, growing huckleberries, planting huckleberries

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.