Citrus Heights, CA
What are the pros? Easy to grow, prolific
What are the cons? time-consuming to harvest
We tried these for the first time in Zone 9, Sacramento; I started and planted 6 in full sun in late May. Did fine in the soaring temps of summer. They grew about a gallon of berries per plant, which provided an ample supply for jam-making. We waited mid / late October to harvest, right at the point some of the early ripened berries were just beginning to shrivel. We wanted to maximize the number of harvested ripe berries, as well as harvest all at once and for maximum flavor. The jam's flavor is quite similar to mountain huckleberry and is on our shelf as a favorite. For harvest, I cut stalks off at the base of the plant, sit in a chair to pick the berries into a large bowl. The trick to picking the berries without breaking off the small stems is to not pull the berry straight out from the stem, but to tilt the berry 90 degrees to the stem.
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