Alpine Strawberries

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					                      Student Farm Perennial Guide

Meagan Keefe
Sustainable Agriculture Internship
Summer 2005

Introduction to Permaculture
The original idea behind permaculture was just as it sounds—permanent
agriculture. As it has developed, the concepts behind it have expanded to a more
interdisciplinary approach, and include aspects like economics, community
building, and alternative technologies (Mars 2003). In Permaculture: A Designer’s
Manual, Mollison describes permaculture as being ―the conscious design and
maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity,
stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of
landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material
and non-material needs in a sustainable way.‖ In order to reduce inputs,
permaculture systems are modeled after natural ecosystems. By taking into
account natural plant communities, complex plant relationships can be utilized
for the various ecological functions they provide.

Sustainable Design
Thinking of permaculture as a design strategy allows you to convert it from
theory to action. An integrated approach includes landscape, plant, animal, and
human components. Characteristics of this type of design should include food
production, ecosystem restoration and environmental services, integration of all
living things in the area, and minimal energy and inputs necessary (Mars 2003).
By taking into account what is best for all different components of this design, a
harmonious design can be developed.

Sustainability, Diversity, and Resilience
This principle of combining sustainability, diversity, and resilience shaped much
of the design of the perennial plot for the student farm. One key principle of
permaculture involves growing the greatest amount of food using the least
amount of space (Mars 1998). The perennial plot on the student farm is a good
demonstration of this. Various plant guilds (a collection of plants that work
together to perform one or more ecological functions in a plant community) were
designed to maximize both production and environmental benefits. The
following tables describe each of the different companion groups used in the
perennial plot. In addition to the companion groups, a border of perennial cut
flowers was included in the design to increase production and aesthetics of the
plot. A wildlife hedge of chokecherries, high-bush cranberries, elderberries, and
winterberries was also included in the design to feed wildlife and attract animals
(especially birds) to these plants rather than the more productive plants (such as
the apples).

Table 1. Companion Group Descriptions

    Community Member                    Function
    Apple Tree                          Production of apples
    Daffodil                            Pest repellent
                                        Production of cut flowers
    Chives                              Erosion control
    Pennyroyal and Creeping             Erosion control
    Thyme Groundcover                   Insectory
                                        Pest repellent

    Community Member                    Function
    Hazelnut                            Human consumption
                                        Food for wildlife
                                        Soil builder
                                        Erosion control
    Yarrow                              Nurse
                                        Erosion control
                                        Soil builder
    Comfrey                             Suppresses grasses
                                        Mulch maker
                                        Nutrient accumulator
                                        Pest repellent
                                        Animal forage
                                        Water purification

    Community Member                    Function
    Alpine strawberries                 Production
    Chives                              Erosion control

    Community Member                    Function
    Asparagus                           Production
                                        Pest repellent
    Parsley                             Production
                                        Pest repellent
    Basil                               Production
                                       Pest repellent

    Community Member                   Function
    Rhubarb                            Production
                                       Pest repellent
                                       Mulch maker
    Dill                               Production
                                       Pest repellent
    Hollyhocks                         Erosion control

    Community Member                   Function
    American Grapes                    Production
    Hyssop                             Erosion control
                                       Pest repellent
    Scented Geranium                   Pest repellent

    Community Member                   Function
    Raspberries                        Production
    Tansy                              Erosion control
                                       Soil builder
                                       Pest repellent

The design uses permaculture principles to integrate different components of the
ecosystem into the landscape. In addition, the goal was to provide a functional
but attractive design to allow for easy harvesting and maintenance while
improving the aesthetics of the busy corner at Larpenteur and Cleveland. The
combination of the various companion groups allows for maximum production
and diversity as well as providing necessary environmental benefits for the
student farm.

Explanation of Perennial Guide
The following are suggestions for what to plant, how to plant them, maintenance
necessary, and major threats and how to manage them for the major perennials
in the student farm perennial plot. For more information on any of these plants,
see the reference section where all of this was found.

                            Alpine Strawberries
What to Plant
Disease resistant cultivars and certified virus-indexed plants are best for
avoiding disease. In addition, climate and day length should be taken into
consideration when choosing appropriate cultivars.

Alpine strawberries should be planted in the spring when the ground has
warmed, and they do best in full sun with good drainage. To help them grow
best, they can be planted inside and then transplanted into the garden a few
weeks before the last frost of the spring. Press the seeds into the surface and
barely cover them with soil. A planting bed can be prepared by tilling in 3 – 4
inches of compost. If the soil doesn‘t drain well, they should be planted in raised
beds. Keep the plants in a bucket of water while you‘re planting them to prevent
them from drying out as you plant them. In addition, the soil should be kept
evenly moist until they start to grow.

Weed control is essential to allow the strawberries to outcompete weeds. A thick
mulch of straw can help this if you lay it around the plants during the summer
months. Drip irrigation works best for watering strawberries because they need
1 inch of water per week. After the ground freezes, covering the plants with
straw, pine boughs or fabric can protect them from frost heaving. Remove the
mulch in early spring to help the ground warm up and reapply fresh mulch for
weed control. The ripe strawberries should be picked every other day to
encourage production (by pinching on the stem rather than pulling on the actual
berry), and any diseased berries should also be removed constantly to prevent
the spread of disease. They will start to produce the first year you plant them
and produce throughout the season.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Verticillium wilt and red stele can infect the plant‘s roots and the problem is
worse in heavy wet soil. Infected plants must be completely removed and
destroyed to prevent spreading the disease and new plants should be planted in
a different location or using disease resistant cultivars.

Gray mold is another disease often found in times of wet humid weather in
overcrowded beds without much air circulation. Remove moldy berries and thin
out plants to prevent overcrowding.

What to Plant
Apple trees vary in size depending upon variety, rootstock, and care, but can
vary from substantial trees to little more than shrubs. Dwarf and semidwarf
trees range from 6 to 20 feet in height, while standard trees can reach 30 feet.
Dwarfed and semidwarfed trees commonly produce earlier, often beginning
within 3 years, but dwarfed versions often must be staked and are not as hardy
as their semidwarf or standard counterparts (which more typically bear in 5 -7
years). Thus the crown of transplants may consume little more than a two foot
diameter, but mature trees may range from ten feet to dozens and no more than
arms reach in height to well over thirty feet tall. The M-26 or slightly larger M-27
semidwarf rootstocks are proven in central Minnesota, but the extremely cold
hardy Russian B series of rootstocks are also recommended. Some varieties
recommended for their resistance and hardiness are Honeycrisp, Liberty,
Haralson, Chestnut and Dolgo Crab, Red Baron, Honeygold, Sweet 16, Lakeland,
and Keepsake.

Apples, like other trees, should be planted when dormant. They may require
some watering until their roots are established, depending upon the season.
There is immense variability in years to first harvest, harvest dates, annual
versus biennial bearing, etc, but typical U of M varieties ripen as early as the
beginning of August and as late as mid-October. Yields per tree on M-26
rootstock can run anywhere from 100 – 400 lbs, but as with any crop organic
yields will most likely be lower than conventional. Some apple varieties, like
Keepsake, Honeycrisp, and Haralson remain marketable in cold storage for long
periods of time (some over 6 months). Equipment needs and costs are minimal
and typical of other crops, like pruning shears, shovels, and buckets. Time
required for maintenance is likewise both flexible and rather compatible with
other crops, as the two main inputs are pruning, which occurs when all crops are
dormant and demands upon time are minimal and can be spread over a long
period in late winter, and harvesting.

At least two apple varieties must be grown within one hundred feet of each other
for ample pollination, and some varieties are incompatible. See Table 2 for
common varieties of apples, relative bloom times, and potential cross-pollinizers.

Table 2. Variety Characteristics, Bloom Time, and Potential Cross-Pollinizers

Variety         Fruit Color               Relative Bloom      Potential Cross-
                                          Time                Pollinizers
Gala            Yellow-orange to red      Early to            Golden Delicious
Empire          Dark red over green        Early             Golden or Red
                background                                   Delicious, Gala
Jonagold*       Yellow with light red      Midseason         Gala, Empire
Golden          Yellow green to light      Midseason to      Red Delicious, Gala,
Delicious       yellow                     Late              Empire
Red             Red                        Early             Golden Delicious,
Delicious                                                    Gala
Stayman*        Blush to red               Midseason         Gala, Golden or Red
Rome            Blush to red               Late              Fuji, Braeburn
Braeburn        Green with light red       Midseason         Rome, Fuji
Fuji            Green with red stripes     Midseason         Rome, Braeburn

* Pollen produced by these varieties is sterile.

(Chart Found on North Carolina State University Extension website at:

The major maintenance involved with apple trees is pruning, which takes place
in the late winter, and orchard sanitation, which is continuous but mostly
involves removal of diseased or dead tissues and fruit. Pruning the trees every
winter (or early spring) will help set their shape. To allow the tree to produce
larger apples with more flavor, thin the excess fruit once the tree starts
producing. To do this, remove all of the smaller apples in each group before they
reach 1 inch in diameter and leave one fruit per cluster on dwarf trees. (Rodale‘s
Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening) Mulching the trees with compost (2 inches)
and planting a cover crop (such as buckwheat or fava beans) are two methods to
improve soil structure, control weeds, and encourage beneficial insects.

Major Threats and How to Manage Them
The keys to organic apple growing success are resistant varieties and orchard
sanitation. One of the greatest threats is fireblight, a bacterial disease which is
greatly aggravated by excessive vigor (rapid growth) which can be prevented by
not over nourishing the tree and soil, by not thinning the developing apple crop
too heavily, and by not pruning too much growth at any one time. Spraying
usually simply encourages bacteria, not the trees, to evolve resistance.

Apple scab is a dark colored fungus that affects both the plant and the fruit based
upon complex water dependencies, usually early in the season. Sulfur can be
used to control scab, but good varieties and removal of infected tissues (and
especially the decomposition or removal of cast leaves between growing seasons)
are more sustainable.

Cedar apple rust is another moisture dependant fungus that can prove
problematic, but little can be done other than killing all cedar trees (the alternate
host) within a half mile and growing resistant varieties. Unlike scab, rust does
not cycle in the orchard more than once per year.

Plum curculio may be our greatest problem. These little weevils lay their eggs in
apples and the larvae then eat their way out. Even organic sprays typically kill
more beneficials than pests, and one method of control is to actually spread a
blanket below the tree each morning for three weeks after petal fall, shake the
tree, and then roll it up and dispose of the curculios. Birds, especially wrens and
bluebirds, also help, and some traps may prove beneficial.

Rodents are also problematic in that they may strip the bark of apple trees,
especially during hard winters, or consume the roots. The most common
solutions include mechanical barriers, traps, orchard sanitation, and in the case
of voles not mulching so that their tunnels are more likely to collapse.

Birds like to share the apple crop as well, commonly pecking at the fruit.
Predator decoys, large scary eyeball covered balloons, and sound systems
provide some protection. Some plants, such as chokecherries, can also be
planted near the apples as a natural deterrent for birds. Although they‘re not
used for human consumption, they can attract the birds, allowing the apples to

Apple trees are very susceptible to road salt and simply can not be grown where
it will wash or even blow onto them.


What to Plant
Artichokes only need 100 frost-free days and some winter protection in order to
grow in colder areas, and ‗Grand Beurre‘ is the best cultivar for cold climates. In
Minnesota, they can be also be treated as annual plants by digging up the roots,
cutting the stems 2 -3 inches above the crown, and storing them in mesh bags in a
cool place. They can then be planted again in the spring.

In places like Minnesota, seed-grown artichokes are best because they mature
earlier, which is necessary due to the short growing season. Seeds can be
refrigerated in damp peat moss for two weeks before sowing so that they
germinate better. They should then be planted ½ inch deep in 4 inch pots, 6 – 8
weeks before the last frost and the soil should be kept moist. To prepare the
artichoke bed (at least 2 weeks before planting), you should double dig the bed
and incorporate compost and aged manure so that the artichokes will grow
faster. Once the earth has warmed up, the trenches should be dug 6 inches deep
and lined with compost. The roots should then be planted 4 inches deep and
spaced 4 – 6 feet apart in rows spaced 7 feet apart from each other. They should
be protected against late season frosts because the plants cannot withstand the

Water the plants frequently when the temperature is over 75° F and compost tea
can be used for nourishment. To harvest the artichokes, cut the buds before they
open with 1 inch of stem. They should reach the size of an orange approximately
before you harvest them.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
The main pests that threaten artichokes are aphids, caterpillars, slugs, and snails.
They can be removed by hand, sprayed with water, or sprayed with BT to
remove them.


What to Plant
If growing plants from seed, plant only male plants (identified by their flowers
whose blossoms are longer and larger than the female flowers) because the
females put much of their energy into forming seedlings and don‘t produce as
much. One-year-old crowns are also recommended because they start to
produce sooner than seedlings, but two-year-old crowns do not usually produce
any faster and can suffer more from the transplant process. Seedlings should be
planted once the danger of frost has passed.

Planting and Harvesting
To plant asparagus, dig 12 inch wide planting trenches that are 6 – 8 inches deep
and 4 inches apart. The crowns are placed in the trench with their roots draped
over small mounds of soil. Top with two inches of soil and continue adding soil
every two weeks until the soil is slightly above surface level. Seedlings can be
planted similarly but pinch off branches that are covered by the soil. Plants
should not be harvested in the first two years after planting to allow them to
grow deep roots. When harvesting, use your fingers to snap the spears off at
ground level rather than using a knife to cut them to prevent damage to the
plant. During the first harvest season, plants should be picked over a four week
period, and in the following years, you can begin to harvest for 8 weeks.

Apply mulch to control the weeds and remove any weeds that do grow. Regular
irrigation is necessary for the first two years of growing asparagus. Fertilizer or
compost tea can be used in the spring and fall. Over the winter, mulch should be
applied and the foliage from the plants can be left to protect the plants but it
should be removed in the spring before new growth starts to avoid disease.
Mounding 6 inches of soil over the rows each spring combats the effects of the
crowns pushing closer and closer to the surface each year producing smaller and
harder asparagus spears. Adding sodium chloride rock salt (NOT iodized table
salt or rock salt made of calcium chloride) can be applied (2.5 lbs per 100 inch
row) either before spears begin to appear or in early July to help the plants resist
crown and root rot diseases.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Asparagus beetles are one of the biggest problems that threaten asparagus
production. They chew on spears in the spring and attack summer foliage.
Hand removal is one easy method to get rid of them, or you can also spray areas
that are seriously affected with rotenone. Frost can also injure plants and is
evident in the brown color and soft withered spears. Plants should be covered
with mulch or newspaper when freezing nights are predicted.


What to Plant
The leaves, bark, stem, and seed of the chokecherry are all toxic, especially to
cattle and sheep. The actual flesh of the fruit, however, is not. It is important,
however, to wildlife and can provide food for birds, bears, and rabbits, among
others. It also provides good erosion control, a windbreak, and habitat for
various birds. For these services, as well as to detract birds from other fruits
being grown on the farm, the chokecherry was chosen to be a part of this plot. It
can grow in a wide range of soil types and textures, but does not deal well with
shady areas or areas that have poor drainage or frequent flooding. No cultivars
are specifically recommended, but ‗Schubert‘ and ‗Canada Red‘ are two
frequently used.
To plant chokecherry seeds in the spring, you‘ll need to pre-chill them for 3
months and then place them ½ inch deep in the soil. For the first 2 – 3 years, they
will not be able to outcompete the weeds, so mulch or other weed repression will
be required to keep the seedlings alive.

Chokecherry can be invasive, so pruning will be necessary to keep them from
overcrowding neighboring plants. Other than that, it does not require much
maintenance and can generally be left alone.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Some possible diseases that can affect chokecherry plants are X-disease, black
knot, stem decay, shothole, Valsa canker, and honey fungus Plowrightia
stansburiana. In addition, they are sometimes threatened by insects, such as the
prairie tent caterpillar, eastern tent caterpillar and aphids.


What to Plant
One European variety, Sambucus nigra, can reach from 10 – 30 feet in height and
can be grown in zones 5 – 8, while an American variety, S. Canadensis, grows
from 6 – 12 feet tall and can be grown in zones 3 – 9. The best cultivars to plant
are ‗Adams‘ (ripen early, produce an abundance of medium sized fruits), ‗Johns‘
(ripen later), ‗Nova‘ (ripen later, produce large fruits), and ‗York‘ (ripen later,
produce large fruits)

Elderberry plants need rich moist soil, and when you plant them, you should
apply a thick layer of organic mulch. They should be planted 5 feet apart in each
row, and the rows should be at least 8 feet apart. They‘re self-pollinating but
produce more if different cultivars are planted close by.

Water is necessary during the dry season, but fertilizer isn‘t necessary unless
they do not seem to be growing very well. All dead canes should be cut each
spring, and you can also thin the canes whenever the bushes get overcrowded
because they grow best with lots of space. The flowers can be harvested and
eaten (some people make tea out of them, turn them into wine, or batter and fry
them). When harvesting the berries, you should pick the whole fruit and then
separate each berry when you‘re ready to use them (like grapes).
Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Birds love elderberries, but there isn‘t much you can do about it other than
planting other things to distract them or wait until they tire of eating the
elderberries. Frost can be another issue, so it‘s best to plant cultivars that ripen
early in climates such as Minnesota where fall frosts can come early.


What to Plant
The Univeristy of Minnesota Department of Horticulture, through their
viticulture program has concentrated on developing many wine grape varieties
which include the classic Vitis vinifera cultivars, some of the better quality French
hybrids, and cold hardy and disease resistant selections based on V. riparia, V.
amurensis and V. acerifolia.

Their mature height and width varies according to training, but they are usually
kept under 6 feet tall and 2 feet in depth. Woody vines are controlled on vertical
trellises (bilateral cordon system with posts approximately 20 feet apart) placed
approximately 3.5-6 ft high and along continuous rows. See Table 3 for the
varieties of grapes grown at the University of Minnesota and their features.

Table 3. University of Minnesota Varieties of Grapes and Their Features

   Variety              Type                       Features

   Blueball             Table, juice, jelly        Disease resistant

   Edelweiss            Table, juice, jelly        Needs protection

   Frontenac            Red and rose wine,         Vigorous/disease resistant

   Frontenac gris       White wine                 Vigorous/disease resistant

   La Crescent          White wine                 Cold hardy/disease resistant

   Swenson Red          Table                      Needs spray program

Grapes should be planted mid-May in rows 8 x 10 feet apart (approx. 545
plants/acre), propagated from roots. Dormant vines are planted before their
buds have begun to open. Roots should be soaked for 1-2 hours before planting,
and irrigation is necessary for some time after planting as the soil should be kept
moist for the first growing season.

Annual trimming is necessary each spring. The grapes should be trimmed to ¼
inch diameter wood or live tissue in vine. In the first year, vines are trained to
stakes, and in subsequent years, they are trained to a trellis. During the first
winter, grapes should be thinned to select only 1-2 of the strongest straightest
shoots and prune the rest. Be sure to cut off all the top growth and leave two live
buds. The focus of the first season is on growing a good root system that will
maintain the plant in subsequent seasons. Each winter, compost tea can be
applied, but watch out for overfertilizing because it may lead to excess growth in
the vines without extra fruit.

Major Threats and How to Manage Them
Tillage, straw mulch, and living mulch of creeping red fescue are three
alternative weed control methods that can be used in viticulture. Clover is one of
the primary weeds in need of control. According to a study done at Iowa State
University, the straw mulch method was the best alternative weed control
mechanism, competing with chemical herbicide in terms of effectiveness.

Insects can pose problems for the growth of grapes. Grape berry moths, for
example, are left on eggs and the larvae then feed on the buds and flowers. One
method for control is to use mating disruption pheromone dispensers to avoid
the growth of larvae in the first place. Caterpillars and Japanese beetles also feed
on grape leaves and can be controlled by spraying BT (Bacillus thuringiensis).
Alternatively, shaking the leaves in the morning to remove the beetles, setting
out baited traps, and spraying the soil with neem can all help control the spread
of Japanese beetles.

In terms of diseases, some of the most problematic for grapes are rot and mildew.
Black rot, which can be seen in the rusty brown spots on leaves, turns green
berries into hard black pellets. Botrytis bunch rot is mainly seen in the flower or
fruit clusters and turns the berries brown and mushy and parts of the cluster are
then covered with powdery brown mold. Downy mildew is seen as light
blotches on leaves and white powder on the underside of the plant and causes
the fruit to ripen unevenly. Powdery mildew is seen as a gray mold and spreads
from the canes to the leaves to the berries and stops development of the berries.
If leaves have ring-shaped spots or mottling, this is often indicative of viruses,
which cannot be treated. The only measure to take is to actually dig up any vines
that become infected and remove them from the area completely.
The best way to fight these diseases is through preventative measures. By
preventing the type of environment fungal diseases thrive in, many of these
problems can be avoided. Increase air movement and make sure that sunlight
falls on all parts of the plant to prevent the dark humid environments fungus
needs to grow.


What to Plant
Hazelnuts are large woody shrubs. In Europe, they are grown as shrubs, but in
the United States they are found as a single trunk for mechanical harvest.
Mature plants will form 6-8 feet in diameter and 10- 12 feet high. Main hazelnut
cultivars differ by region: Turkey 'Tombul', Italy 'Tonda Gentile della Langhe',
Spain 'Negreta', US 'Barcelona'. Pollinizers are 'Daviana', 'DuChilly', and 'Butler'.
The most commonly known European hazel does not have the cold hardiness
and disease resistance for the Upper Midwest. Breeders have produced a usable
cold hardy resistant hybrid by crossing the European hazels with two American
Hazel species. Hot summer temperatures, windy conditions, and low humidity
should be avoided in most varieties however. Four month old ―tubeling‖
seedlings are preferred for propagation.

Hazelnuts are usually planted 10 to 20 feet apart and often in a triangular or
square pattern. Pollen can travel 60 feet, so pollinizers must be planted within
this radius (usually one pollinator per 8 trees). Different varieties may not be
compatible in terms of peak flowering and pollination timing. Spring is the best
time to plant hazelnuts, but planting through September will suffice.

Weed control in the first years is very important, and low lying companion
plantings help ensure that weed competition will not get out of hand. Most
hazelnuts form on new wood, so pruning is key. Pruning will also lessen limb
breakage from ice and snow. Hazelnut vigor decreases every five years, so a five
year rotation plan of pruning should be alternated among the trees. Prune
carefully, however, because infections from wood rots can begin from large
pruning cuts. When the pollen has shed and the catkins have fallen, pruning
should begin. Fertilization can kill young trees, but adolescent and older trees
are in need of nitrogen, potassium, and boron. When the plant reaches 6 years of
age, it will need Boron, which can be applied from mid-May to early June. As
long as areas have adequate rainfall and high humidity, the trees do not need
added irrigation. Non-maritime climates may need irrigation. Water content is
tied to nut quality. First and second year watering is essential of an inch per
week. See calendar (Table 4) for yearly maintenance schedule.

Table 4. Annual Planting and Maintenance Calendar

               Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec
Planting                                X    X     X     X     X
Pruning        X     X
Fertilizing          X     X
Cultivate                        X      X    X     X     X
Weed                       X     X           X                             X
Sucker                           X      X    X     X     X
Foliar Boron                            X
Sun Scald                               X
Pre-Harvest                                              X     X
Harvesting                                                     X     X

Management     X     X     X     X      X    X     X     X     X     X     X     X


Harvest and Yield
The shrubs start producing nuts when 3-4 years old, and can continue to do so
for up to 40-50 years. Each tree produces around 3-4 lbs of hazelnuts (although
this varies greatly depending on each species). An unusual flowering habit
ensures that fertilization will occur in July and the nut will mature by late
August. The fruit is found in clusters from one to twelve nuts. Nuts abscise
from the base of a leafy husk in late August. The nut does not become free of the
husk, however, until the husk dries and opens six weeks later. Nuts drop
naturally during a 6 week period beginning in September.

European producers harvest mostly by hand and United States producers are
primarily mechanized harvesters. Hazelnuts can easily be harvested by cheap
hand rakes but high bush blueberry pickers are also used sometimes. The
ground underneath the trees should be kept debris-free to make sweeping for
nuts easy. Blank nuts decrease quality and can be found by placing nuts in
water. The floaters are black. The final nuts should be dried to 8-10% moisture
and can be stored for one year at 36-40 degrees F.

Major Threats and How to Manage Them
Eastern filbert blight (EFB) is particularly hazardous to North American
hazelnuts. Hybrids are being developed that are resistant or immune to the
blight. See Table 5 for these hybrids and their resistance levels.

Table 5. Hazelnut Varieties and Their Resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight

Susceptible          Intermediate          Resistant           Immune
Daviana              Barcelona             Tonda di            Gasawa
Ennis                Butler                Giffoni             VR series
TGDL                 Hall's Giant          Gem                 Gamma
Casina               Willamette            Lewis               Delta
Negret                                     Clark               Epsilon
Dundee                                                         Zeta

                           High Bush Cranberry

What to Plant
The European cranberry bush produces astringent fruits and is often plagued by
aphids, so the American species (Viburnum opulus var. americana) is necessary if
you want edible fruits. ‗Wentworth', 'Andrews', and 'Hahs' are three varieties
that are known for the high quality of their fruits.

Cranberries are very hardy and do well in cold climates. They can grow in
sunny or shady areas and thrive in most soil types. Too much moisture stress
can be a problem, but for the most part, they can handle anything.

They need almost no maintenance, and pruning is only necessary when they
start to grow out of control and take up too much space. To remove old
branches, make thinning cuts at the base of the plant.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
The only pest that seems problematic for cranberries is the Viburnum leaf beetle.
The best thing you can do to get rid of these beetles is prune any infected
branches between October and early April.

                          Red and Black Raspberry

What to Plant
There are two types of raspberries—summer and fall-bearing. Red raspberries
are easier to grow and more winter-hardy, while black raspberries can often
tolerate more summer heat but are more prone to viruses and fungal diseases.

Raspberries grow well in sites with good drainage and air circulation. They
prefer full sun, and in exposed locations, a windbreak may be necessary. They
need highly organic soil and the young plants don‘t compete well with weeds, so
organic mulch is recommended. They should be planted early in the spring after
all chance of frost has passed. Keep the roots in water so they don‘t dry out
while you‘re planting them and be sure the holes you dig leave enough space for
the roots to fit without bending them. The canes should be cut off at ground
level and removed from the area to lower the risk of disease. Leave at least 5 feet
between rows for best sunlight and air circulation, and plant 1 to 2 feet apart to
eventually form a solid hedgerow of raspberries.

Raspberries are best grown with trellises to support them. The easiest type of
trellis to make is a hedgerow-type of trellis system. Use 4 inch posts with two
rows of wire placed a foot apart on each side of the post. The posts should be
spaced about every 20 inches and at the ends of each hedgerow. Pruning is
easiest if you leave the wires resting on the nails that hold up the wires so that
they can be removed to prune rather than fastening them permanently. Pruning
is different for summer and fall-bearing raspberries and black raspberries. For
fall-growing berries, cut off all the brambles as close to ground level as possible
after the leaves drop in the fall. Do not leave any stubs above ground or they‘ll
sprout in the spring and grow into weak unproductive branches.

For the summer-bearing berries, pruning is more difficult. Remove the trellis
wires and cut off the spent floricanes at ground level. Cut off any spindly canes,
and then thin the remaining canes to leave 2 – 4 of the largest straight ones per
foot of each row. Then cut off any suckers that are sprouting outside the row as
well. Cut all the remaining canes back to 4 – 5 feet and then tie the wires of the
trellises back up.
For black raspberries, cut the tip off each cane when it grows to 2 ½ to 4 feet high,
and after harvest, cut the spent floricanes back to the ground. Every year, prune
as you do for the summer-bearing raspberries and thin to leave 6 – 9 of the
largest straight ones in each section. Prune the side branches back to 8 – 12
inches, and remove any weak branches.

Raspberries don‘t keep ripening after you harvest them, so they must be
harvested after they‘re ripe. It‘s best to pick them early in the morning while
they‘re still cool and if they‘re wet, let them dry before picking. Use shallow
containers and have a separate one to remove any moldy or overripe berries that
will spread rot and mold throughout the plants.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Spider mites can be a problem and are indicated by pale and speckled leaves.
The small green larvae of the raspberry sawfly eat the plant‘s leaves and must be
removed by hand or by spraying with BTK (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki).
Eastern raspberry fruitworm larvae also feed on the berries and are tiny yellow
worms that feed on the leaves, buds, and berry cores. You have to remove and
destroy affected fruits and remove them from the area. Cane borers can cause
whole canes to wilt and die and you must cut off any wilted canes about 6 inches
below the two parallel rings of holes around the cane and burn the clippings to
prevent further damage.

The major viruses that affect raspberries are raspberry mosaic and leaf curl and
can be seen in yellow-blotched puckered leaves. The resulting plants are sterile
and although the plants keep growing, their berries are crumbly and malformed
or there aren‘t any berries produced at all. These viruses cannot be cured and the
plants must be disposed of to prevent future infection.


What to Plant
Although the stalks are edible, the foliage is poisonous, so watch out! Rhubarb is
best grown from root divisions rather than from seed and needs at least two
months of cold weather each year. Cherry Red is a sweet cultivar that produces
heavily, and Victoria is another that is reliable to grow from seed. It grows best
in well drained soils that are high in organic matter, so fertilizer is important
with poor soils.

Planting should be done in early spring and it is best to do it from cuttings rather
than seeds because they take too long to get established. Plant them 24 – 48
inches apart in rows 3 – 4 feet apart to avoid crowding and the spread of disease.
Holes should be dug 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep to accommodate the roots of the
mature rhubarb plant. Mix compost with the soil you removed, replace it within
two inches of the top, and set one crown in the center of each hole. Fill the rest of
the hole, tamp it down, and then water it. Raised beds can be used to promote
the good drainage rhubarb plants need to prosper.

Apply mulch to smother weeds once plants begin to sprout. Compost in the
middle of the summer and again in the fall but leave the crowns uncovered to
prevent rotting. Removing the flowers as soon as you begin to see them helps
promote leaf production. When planting area gets crowded (after several years),
dig up the roots as they sprout in the spring and divide them and replant. Do
not harvest them the first year after you plant them to give them time to build up
food reserves. By the second year after planting, they should be ready to harvest.
Although their leaves are poisonous, rhubarb plants can be composted because
the oxalic acid (the part that is slightly toxic in the plant) is decomposed very
quickly, so it doesn‘t cause problems with the compost.

To prepare rhubarb plants for the winter, cut off the last few stalks after the first
frost arrives. Then put a 2 – 3 inch layer of compost, leaves, or hay on the plant
to prevent the roots from drying out over the winter. See calendar for a schedule
of annual maintenance required (Table 6).

Table 6. Rhubarb Maintenance Calendar

Task        Jan Feb Mar Apr              May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Planting                x                x
Maintenance             x                x   x    x    x   x
Harvesting              x                x   x    x    x   x

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
Rhubarb rarely gets attacked by pests and is not affected by very many diseases.
One disease that can affect the plant, however, is leaf spots. The symptoms are
yellow green or red spots on the leaves, but it doesn‘t affect vegetable quality.
To avoid it, select and plant healthy propagation stock in sunny, well-drained,
fertile soil. Maintain good weed control and fertilize heavily in spring to promote
rapid growth and less in the fall following harvest. Remove infected leaves as
soon as disease appears and destroy all plant debris following the first frost.
Rhubarb circulio is one possible pest that can be easily controlled by removing
each long rust-colored beetle by hand.
In addition, although they tolerate cold temperatures very well, rhubarb stalks
should not be eaten if they have been hit by a frost because the poisonous
crystals in the leaves can migrate to the stalks. If the stalks are still firm and
upright, they can be eaten; if they are soft and mushy (or anywhere close to it),
they are not edible and should be removed from the plant to promote new

                              Siberian Peashrub

What to Plant
The Siberian peashrub is an extremely hardy shrub that can also be trained into a
small tree. They grow from 6 – 10 feet wide and from 10 – 15 feet tall. They‘re
often used for windbreaks or hedges and grow beautiful yellow flowers in the
spring. They‘re very tolerant of cold, draught, and poor soil conditions but
require good drainage and full sun. 'Sutherland' C. microphylla' Tidy are two
recommended cultivars. They‘re often used for nesting for various birds and
food for hummingbirds.

Using bare-root material is the cheapest and easiest way to plant Siberian
peashrubs and should be planted from late-March to mid-May for best results. If
using larger container grown plants, they can either be planted in the spring or in
the late summer/fall. To form a natural hedge, the Siberian peashrubs should be
planted 4 – 6 feet apart.

Siberian peashrubs require almost no maintenance other than training them into
the shape you desire. They can also be cut back to within 4 to 6 inches of the
ground to promote growth close to the ground.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
They‘re sometimes affected by stem decay, Septoria leaf spot and branch cankers.
One major pest that can threaten them is the blister beetle. Often the blister
beetles move in and eat as much as they can of the plant and then move on in a
day or two, so you can either handpick them (if they‘re causing a lot of damage)
or wait for them to pass.


What to Plant
Although the winterberry fruit is eaten by many birds and small mammals, it is
poisonous to humans. The shrub can reach from 5 to 15 feet. They prefer acidic
soils and can be planted in full sun or partial shade.

Winterberry can be propagated by seeds, rooted stem divisions, or stem cuttings.
After planting, seeds should be covered with at least 1/8 to 1/2 inch of soil. If
they‘re planted in the fall, mulch should be applied too. For pollination
purposes, male and female plants should be planted within 40 feet of each other,
and more females should be planted if the winterberries are planted with
wildlife in mind. Unfortunately, it‘s almost impossible to tell if plants are male
or female when you get seedlings from a nursery. With stem cuttings and rooted
stem divisions, it‘s easier to tell the difference.

Weed control is necessary in early years to prevent the weeds from outcompeting
the winterberry plants. Other than that, little work is necessary other than
training and pruning them into a hedge or whatever form you want.

Major Threats and how to Manage Them
The winterberry is rarely affected by diseases or pests but can occasionally get
leaf spots or powdery mildew.

North Carolina State University Extension website at:

Bradley, Fern Marshall and Barbara Ellis. Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic
      Gardening. Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA. 1997.

Phillips, Michael. The Apple Grower: A Guide for the Organic Orchardist. Chelsea
       Green    Publishing Company: White River Junction, VT. 1998.

Luby, James J. Personal Interview. Professor of Horticultural Science, University
       of Minnesota - 342 Alder Hall - ph: 612-624-3453 -
       fax: 612-624-4941

Iowa State University (2004) ISU Viticulture program.

University of Minnesota (2004) ―Grape breeding at the University of Minnesota.‖
      Retrieved April 1st, 2005. <>

Minnesota Hardy: showcasing new and enduring plants for you landscape.
     University of Minnesota. 2004.

Crop Profile for Hazelnuts in Oregon. Revised: September 2, 1999. Retrieved March
      23, 2005, from

Olsen, Jeff. (June 19, 2003). Nut Growers Handbook. Retrieved March 23, 2005,

Hazelnut Production. Agfact. [reviewed December 8, 2004 ]. Retrieved March 23,
     2005, from

Hazelnut or Fibert - Corylus avellana L. Mike’s Fruit Crops. Retrieved March 23,
      2005, from

Stahl, Liz. (May 24, 2004). Third Crop Options: Hybrid Hazelnuts. Retrieved March
       23, 2005, from
More information on planting, pruning, watering, etc:

―Organic Methods of Raspberry Production and Root Rot Control‖

Hoover, Emily. ―Raspberries for the Home Garden‖

Oregon State. Food Resource

Behrendt, Chad J. “Raspberry Diseases‖

The Rhubarb Compendium. September 1, 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2006 from

Daisy Farm. (2005). Retrieved April 6, 2005 from