Friday, May 29, 2015

Growing Garden Huckleberry from Seed

 Garden Huckleberries produce fruit the first year which is why they are a great berry to try in your home garden.
Baby Garden Huckleberry

I grow everything from seed!  It's not that difficult and that way I know exactly what I'm getting from start to finish.  All of the seeds I plant (from Mary's Heirloom Seeds) are untreated, organic, non-gmo heirloom seeds.

Starting Garden Huckleberry from Seed Plant seeds in moist soil and cover with approx 1/4 inch of soil.  Seeds should germinate within 2 weeks.  Seedlings should receive at least five hours of sun every day.  I start seeds in my laundry room where I have large windows and plenty of space.  Once the seedlings grow about 2 inches tall they will be transplanted to large pots. 

Plants should be bushy.  This one needed more fertilizer or compost.
Growing Conditions for Garden Huckleberry
Garden Huckleberries like rich soil and partial shade.  Adding compost or chicken manure will increase the plant yield.  I plant my Huckleberry when I plant my tomatoes and fertilize the same as well.  Growing Huckleberries are very easy and not much bothers the plant.  The plants have some cold tolerance and fruit may continue to ripen after light frosts.

Small basket of berries from 1 bush
Green fruit are mildly poisonous, just like potato leaves or green potatoes. The fruits do not taste like much when picked, sometimes they can can be bitter. A pleasing berry taste does come through surprising well when it is cooked with  sugar. It can be used as a viable substitute for blueberries in pies, jams and syrup.

This year I have found several tomato hornworms on my huckleberry plants.  I recommend planting Borage (an edible herb) around your Tomatoes AND Huckleberry plants to deter hornworms.
THESE are Tomato Hornworms and they get even bigger!

Diatomaceous Earth will help with any aphid issues you might have in the garden. 

Garden huckleberry can be mistaken for deadly nightshade, which is poisonous, so make sure of its identity before eating. I grow mine from a trusted seed source.
• Garden huckleberry's self-sown seedlings will provide you with new plants. Pull out all unwanted seedlings each year or they'll be everywhere. 

Harvesting Garden Huckleberries
Pick the berries when they are no longer shiny; ripe berries are usually a dull black or blue-black. 
Cook the fully ripe berries before eating; they may need a pinch of baking soda to remove bitterness. Add sugar to taste and some freshly grated lemon zest and lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

You can purchase heirloom Garden Huckleberry seeds

from Mary's Heirloom Seeds. That's all for now!  Any questions?

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