Huckleberries are one of the prized wild foods found in the wild lands of Idaho. The official fruit of Idaho, huckleberries are rich in antioxidants, high in iron, and a great source of vitamin C and potassium. Can I grow it in my garden?
Huckleberries come in several varieties and are found throughout the United States and Canada. Mountain Huckleberry or Black He Huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaeum) is a huckleberry found throughout Idaho. This long-lived native shrub grows slowly and can reach 2 to 6 feet in height. It requires temperatures around freezing during the winter and is best when you have 1-2 feet of snow for protection during the winter.
Can Western Huckleberries grow in your garden? Yes you can, provided the conditions are right. Growing season temperatures should be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the flowers, so frost protection should be considered. It can be covered with a tarp, blanket, or row cover. Overhead sprinklers can also help when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water freezes on the plant, it releases heat, keeping the temperature he near 32°F. Continue to apply 1/4 inch of water per hour until the temperature is above freezing and the ice begins to melt. Huckleberries need full sun during the day, but should be shaded in the hot afternoon sun. . The plant grows slowly, so if you’re prepared to wait patiently, you’ll eventually be able to eat some huckleberries.
Before you take huckleberries home and head out into the woods to plant them in your garden, remember that it is illegal to damage huckleberry bushes or remove them from the woods. I have.
A close relative of the blueberry, the huckleberry differs in many ways. Blueberries have clusters of fruit, making them easy to harvest. As a result, blueberry bushes produce more fruit than huckleberries of the same size. Blueberries are light green or white inside, and huckleberries are blue or purple when split. Huckleberry seeds are hard and bitter when eaten, while blueberry seeds are small and soft. Both blueberries and huckleberries need acidic soil to survive and set fruit.
Can I grow blueberries in my garden? Yes, but again, conditions must be right to harvest. Soil pH, drainage, and sun requirements are similar to those of huckleberry.
Garden huckleberry (Solanum melanoceranium) is commonly grown in gardens across the country. Its common name garden huckleberry is misleading. Garden huckleberries belong to the nightshade family while western huckleberries belong to the heath family. Garden huckleberries are more closely related to tomatoes and peppers than to huckleberries. Huckleberry plants in the garden can grow to 2.5 feet tall, have herbaceous leaves and stems, and fruit that resembles wild huckleberries. It is bitter when ripe, but becomes sweet when heated. Garden huckleberries can be used to make jams, pies, or ready-to-eat dishes.
Can I grow huckleberries in my garden? Yes, start sowing seeds indoors in the spring. Plant it in the garden after the last frost. Rows should be 36 inches apart. Berries ripen 75-80 days after transplanting.