Dakota Gardener Fruit For Thought

This summer I picked sour cherries at a fellow gardener’s home. I had not picked sour cherries before and this year was a bumper crop. I wanted two ice cream pails and left with five! The cherries were a bit sour for my taste buds, but once those tart fruits were pitted and turned into jam, they were a culinary delight.

Sour cherries add beauty and color to the landscape with flowers in the spring and interesting bark and fruits in the summer and fall. The breeding of Dwarf Sour cherries began in the late 1940s by Les Kerr at the University of Saskatchewan.

Sour cherries are self-fruitful and do not need another variety nearby to produce fruit. They need direct sunlight for at least half the day, but more sunlight is always better.

It is recommended to plant the shrubs a few inches deeper than they were in the original container. The extra buds at the soil surface serve as a safety net in case something happens to the upper part of the plant. Deer and rabbit damage is an example. Older stems or trunks also can be victim to winter kill, which is irreversible damage due to winter conditions.

Read the full story in your Monday, Nov. 8th Times-Record online edition. Purchase your online copy by clicking subscribe in the top left corner of the www.times-online.com home page.

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