Saskatoon or berry rowan (Amelanchier alnifolia) is a new acquaintance for many, even though the commercial production of the berry plant began in Finland as early as the 1990s. Saskatoon has been cultivated in North America for a long time.
The vitamin-rich ornamental and berry plant is very winter-hardy, it thrives in zones I – VI.
In appearance, the berries of rowanberry resemble shrub blueberry. The taste varies according to the variety and ripeness of the berry, but is mildly described as blueberry. The oval and serrated leaves of the berry bush are green.
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Saskatoon’s cousin, known as an ornamental plant (A. spicata) also produces edible berries, but berry varieties of rowanberry that are processed into crops are larger.
Plant on a slope or ridge in Saskatoon
The berry thistle seedling grows into a vertical shrub. The shrub can be 1 to 1.5 meters high or higher. The varieties are self-pollinating, so a single seedling is enough to harvest.
Shrubs to be planted in a row as a fence should be planted every 1 to 1.5 meters.
Seedlings can be planted in spring or autumn. If you acquire seedlings, they can be planted throughout the growing season, as long as you prepare to water the seedlings during the rooting period. Planting, as with shrubs in general, is done to the same depth as the seedlings have grown in their pots.
Berry dandelion thrives in moraine and sandy soils. A sunny south slope or elevated bench ensures that water does not stand in the root system. When planting, the soil should be limed. Lime can be added every few years, as the pH of the growing site must be close to neutral 6.5-7.
Phosphorus- and potassium-rich autumn fertilizer is suitable as a planting fertilizer. In the spring, nitrogen-rich spring fertilizer can be applied to the berry dandelion, but the nitrogen intake should be kept in moderation.
Spring-winter work involves removing old branches every few years after harvest begins.
Varieties are sold in seedling stores
- ‘Martin’ and
Saskatoon, or berry dandelion, produces crops for years
White, abundant flowers glaze the shrubs in early May. The crop ripens in July-August, about 60-70 days after flowering.
In the first years, the shrub takes root and grows, but the harvest can be expected in the third or fourth year after planting. At its best, the yield of the shrub only begins to be over ten years of age, even later.
When ripe, the berries are first green, then red, later dark blue, almost black. In the middle of ripening, picking berries is often forced by dreadlocks, which may suddenly empty the bushes from the berries.
The yard will soon become self-sufficient in terms of seedlings as the birds sow the seeds in the environment of the feeding place.
What does Saskatoon taste like?
The taste of Saskatoon berries is described as blueberry. In at least some varieties, the taste of almonds or bitter almonds can also be felt when the berries are not yet fully ripe.
Summer weather also affects the taste of the berries. In a sunny summer, they become sweeter than in a rainy one. Fully ripe berries taste good even when fresh.
Healthy berries are used especially in pastries, juices, jams, jellies and frozen. The berries should be combined with other berries, such as berry chokeberry or lingonberry, as Saskatoon produces only a few liters per shrub.
Used as a source: Saario: Berries and fruits from the home garden (January 2008).
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Source: Puutarha – Kotiliesi.fi by kotiliesi.fi.
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