About Cranberry Pilgrim
Pilgrim produces one of the largest and reddest fruits of any cranberry. It has a low growing spreading habit with attractive bronze coloured evergreen leaves – leathery intexture – that turn a rich red in autumn and winter. Pink red flowers in mid summer are followed by glossy, dark red berries with a distinctive tart flavour.
Ideal for culinary use in sauces, compotes or juicing. The berries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Suited to container growing and will also do very well in hanging baskets that suits its cascading habit. Pilgrim is one of the few cranberries that does not require boggy, saturated soil to produce high yields, acidic soil however is essential.
Where conditions allow, Pilgrim will grow into an attractive sprawling and ornamental plant giving excellent ground coverage.
- Self fertile
- Planting Distance 1.5m apart
- Height & Spread 1.m x 1m
- CropsSeptember/ October
"Popular as part of a Christmas dinner, the cranberry Is one of the most popular berries in the UK. The pilgrim is one of the largest and easiest to grow varieties of cranberry and will produce its light-red berries from late September to October. The low sugar content of the cranberry produces a tart fruit which is full of antioxidants and are great for controlling blood sugar and general health. In the kitchen, the obvious choice is to make a fantastic cranberry sauce to go with your Christmas dinner, but it goes well with brie and rosemary to have a fantastic party snack or as part of a cake or cheesecake. Alternatively, you can boil the fruit down into a jam or chutney or juice them for a healthy breakfast drink. The herbaceous bronze evergreen leaves grow in a thick bush that supports the clusters of red fruit, and in mid-summer will produce pink-red flowers which will fall off to make way for the berries.
How to look after cranberries
Plant in an acidic soil that receives full-sun or dappled shade throughout the day. This cranberry is perfect for beds, borders or containers, but wherever you plant it is best to treat the soil with humus before planting. Water well with rainwater to keep the soil moist, but not wet, it is commonly believed that cranberries require boggy soil to grow but to wet a soil will cause root rot. If possible, try not to water with tap water as it usually contains lime which will slowly remove the acidity of the soil. Keep the area around the plant well weeded in the first year as they do not cope well with the competition. In November, mulch around the base of the shrub to protect against the cold.
When should I harvest my cranberries?
Your cranberries will be ready to harvest when the berries are firm and an even bright red colour all over. Another test is to see if one of the fruits bounces – when ripe it will bounce. If you wait until the first frost of the year, the berries will sweeten slightly. To harvest the berries simply pick them off the stem.
How to preserve your cranberries
If you want to preserve your cranberries so you have a supply for the whole year you have a few options available to you, note you should wash your fruits before preserving I any way. Freezing is the simplest way of preserving the fruit. They will keep for up to a year in a sealed freezer bag. Another way of preservation is to dry the fruit. First blanch in a bowl of boiling water for a minute. Then Let the berries sit in a bowl of water that is one part water to parts sugar for five to ten minutes. Drain off the syrup and pat dry and place in a very low oven on a lined baking sheet for 8-12 hours. Use your dried fruit in a muesli or as a healthy snack."