Let's Grow Goji Berries
Imagine a plant that is easy to grow, an attractive landscape shrub, tolerant of drought and poor soils, and hardy to USDA zone 5, and produces edible berries. Interested? Need more enticement? What if the berries were a nutrient powerhouse containing, ounce for ounce, more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients than any other food on Earth?
There is such a plant: the goji berry (Lycium barbarum). Grown for centuries in Mongolia and Tibet, this tough plant packs an amazing nutrient punch in each small red fruit. The berries not only have all the nutritional benefits mentioned above, they've also been used medicinally in the Himalayas to treat kidney and liver ailments and high cholesterol.
Rather than buy the dried berries, why not grow them yourself in your backyard?
Goji berry shrubs grow 8 to 10 feet tall, with shoots reaching up to 12 feet. In early summer the plants offer an attractive display of purple and white, trumpet-shaped flowers on new growth. By late summer, the flowers give way to glossy, bright red berries. The plants produces berries and fruits simultaneously all season long right up to the first heavy frost.
Goji berry plants can be grown in USDA zones 5 to 9. They tolerate temperature extremes from -15F to over 100F. Goji berries are best grown from bare root or potted plants. While they can grow in part sun, they flower and fruit best in full sun. The plants grow on sandy, loam, or clay soil, as long as it's well drained. Once established, goji berry plants are very drought tolerant and need minimal care to continue producing.
Goji plants begin bearing fruit at 2 years old and reach maximum production when they're 4 to 5 years old. They thrive with some nitrogen fertilizer at planting, but only need annual additions after that of a balanced fertilizer and compost in spring to keep growing. The plants can be annually pruned in early spring to keep the size in bounds and plant attractive.
Since fruits mature periodically throughout the summer, it's best
to handpick the oblong, grape-size, ripe fruits frequently.
You can also harvest by laying a tarp under the plant and shaking
bush. Wear gloves and be careful of the 1-inch long thorns on
the older wood. Check plants for ripe fruit every few days since
love the berries as well. You can also through bird netting over
the plants to keep our feathered friends away. Eat goji berries
fresh or dry and store them for use in cereals, salads and snacks.
Grow Your Own Goji Berries
Why not harvest your own fresh Goji Berries right out of your own back yard? You can enjoy them knowing how they've been grown and cared for.
We ship strong, healthy Goji Berry plants directly to your door via U.S. Mail.
Goji Berry Products
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