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Growing Goji Berries
The valleys of Mongolia and Tibet is overgrown with Goji berries and if you think it is just like any other berry, you should think again. The importance of Goji berries could be gauged from the fact that for two weeks every year, the locals celebrate to honor the benefits of Goji berries. And there are reasons behind it.
Clinical studies have revealed that the content of beta-carotene in Goji berries is more than that of carrots, the content of protein is more than whole wheat and the content of vitamin C is about five hundred times more than oranges by weight. It is not surprising that many of the local inhabitants live to the age of more than one hundred years and that too in good health.
These Goji berries are organically grown in the fertile lands of Inner Mongolia. These vines grow to over twenty feet and are grown without the use of any pesticides or pollutants. So, if you want to grow these miraculous berries, let us help you.
The seeds should be sown about half a centimeter to one centimeter under the surface in the spring season. Medium sand is preferred. About seven days later, you would find seedlings emerging and crowding each other. The seedlings should then be planted out. If you find seedlings wilting and dying, you should spray fungicide like Fongarid and change the location to more sunlight.
Goji berries need water and sun in ample quantities. The shrub could easily reach about three meters with berries growing to about two centimeters. Once the plant gets established, it resists drought quite well. For best results, let the plant grow in full sunlight. Always avoid water logging. It could kill the plant. After two years, it starts giving fruits and in the fourth and fifth year, harvest is the maximum.
You only need to establish them once and then they grow relatively well. Any type of soil suits them well right form light sandy to loamy to heavy clay. But you would find that they grow the best in moderate quality soil which is well drained. Owing to their well developed root system, they are good drought resistant once they are well established. They grow the best in full sun but can also grow in partial shade.
TENDING YOUNG GOJI PLANT
Their resistance could be understood from the fact that they can resist heat up to a hundred degrees and can resist cold up to minus fifteen degrees. The bush of Goji berries could grow up to eight to ten feet while the vines could be over a dozen feet tall. You need heavy pruning to keep the bush in shape and to let it produce more berries.
Early summer is its growing season when it is laden with trumpet shaped flowers. Surprising fact is that the same plant sprouts both white and purple flowers and looks pretty charming. If you are in the U.S. you can get this rare plant from Timpanogos Nursery which is the only one offering it.
FLOWERS OF GOJI BERRIES
Right in the beginning of the summer season the Goji berry plant is adorned with beautiful flowers and during later summer you get the bright red Goji berries. The flowers and fruits go on growing till it faces the first heavy frost. And no one can describe the sweet juicy taste of Goji berries till you actually taste it.
You can grow Goji berries as house plants also provided you can provide them with ample light. It could be grown with the help of strong full spectrum artificial light or you can put the plant near a window that receives direct sunlight for at least eight to ten hours a day. But it is always better to grow them outside although you can grow them indoors also. But for that you would have to pollinate the flowers by hand.
And if you are thinking about the reasons for growing Goji berries, well it is in the 19 amino acids, 21 minerals like germanium and proteins. Goji berries have more carotenoids than any other natural food on this earth. In addition to that it also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin E in large quantities. And yes, it also contains essential fatty acids, Sitosterol, Cyperone, Solavetivone, Physalin and Betaine.