Solanum melanocerasum. Highly productive. A member of the nightshade family - not a true huckleberry. Garden Huckleberries are good for freezing and canning. High yields of berries on 3-4' branched plants. Ripe when berries turn from glossy to dull black and begin to soften. Best used when cooked and sweetened. Matures 75 days from transplants. Approx. 50 seeds/pkg.
Garden Huckleberries are unrelated to the other species of the same name and belong to the nightshade family along with other common species like tomatoes. They are very susceptible to frost damage.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Sow 2-3 seeds in 1x1” cells and cover with ¼” soil. Provide a constant soil temperature of 21-26oC. Once seedlings have emerged, thin to 1 plant per cell. A grow light is recommended or the plants will become spindly.
After the plants have developed 1-2 sets of true leaves, transplant into 3” pots. Use a water soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks starting at half strength and increasing to full strength over 6 weeks.
Transplant after all danger of frost has passed. Huckleberries prefer; a rich soil, pH of 4.3-5.2 and partial shade. Two inches of compost should be worked into the soil prior to transplanting. When transplanting, space plants 14” apart in rows 30” apart.
Mulch should be applied to control weeds and maintain moisture. The soil should be kept moist. However, do not overwater or the berries will lose their flavour. The plants should be fertilized regularly with a balanced fertilizer from May-August.
Harvest the berries by cutting the clusters off the plants when they are a dark purple. The berries will go from a very shiny green when first produced to almost black and dull. Unripe berries are mildly poisonous (much like green potatoes). Berries will be ready for harvest in 75 days from transplanting.
Blueberries, currants, cranberries, elderberries, gooseberries.
Pests & Diseases:
Pests and diseases are rarely a problem.