What Do I.Give My 3 Yr Old.That Has The Croop Popular Black Aronia Berry Plant Characteristics – It Is Commonly Called Chokeberry

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Popular Black Aronia Berry Plant Characteristics – It Is Commonly Called Chokeberry

Introduction

Aronia berries (chokeberries) are native to the northeastern United States. Black Aronia berries are becoming popular for their many health benefits. Aronia berry production is an important industry in Europe, where 1000s of acres are planted. The industry in the United States is in its infancy.

Characteristics of chokeberry plants

Black Chokeberry is a hardy plant producing abundant deep purple, almost black fruit in autumn. It is a late bloomer, producing its white flowers after the threat of frost has passed in May. The white flowers are quite striking against the dark green of the leaves. As the name “chokeberry” implies, they have an astringent flavor quality. Tannin is believed to be the main contributor to the chokeberry’s astringency. Because chokeberries are not very tasty by themselves, they are rarely eaten as a whole fruit. Rather, they are perfect for wine or juice and make good jams and jellies, syrups and teas. Freezing the berries helps break down their astringency. If you add milk to your teas, the tannins attack the proteins in the milk rather than those in your mouth, and the taste is much less astringent. If Aronia juice is mixed half with naturally sweet apple juice, no additional sugar will be needed.

Planting chokeberries

Chokeberry plants should be planted about 6 ft apart and with 12 ft spacing between rows. Dig the planting hole 4 times the width of the root ball and to a depth equal to the size of the root ball so that it is planted at the same depth in which it grew. It can quickly establish itself in the soil. Fill the hole with a mixture of mature compost and soil. Over time Chokeberry plants spread by rhizomes into colonies. The sucking tendency and self-planting nature of this shrub results in the formation of a large colony within a few years.

Interesting facts about Aronia:

1) They will start fruiting at 3 years old but do not have full yield until they are 5 or more years old, when they will produce 20-30 pounds per bush (that’s a lot of berries).

2) There are three most popular varieties, Viking, Nero, and Autumn Magic. Viking and Nero were developed primarily for fruit production and Autumn Magic was developed for its ornamental value for the garden and for landscaping. Viking is the tallest of the three growing 4 to 8 ft or more in height. Nero grows 4 to 6 ft in height. Autumn Magic is shorter in height, growing about 4-5 feet tall. This makes them easy to harvest. Growing Aronia berries as a cash crop is feasible for future American Aronia growers.

3) The plants are very resistant to pests and diseases. No fungicides, herbicides or insecticides are necessary for Aronia plants because Pests do not attack them.

4) They can grow in most types of soils from acidic to basic.

5) It grows well in most soils and does well in clay soils and can tolerate a dry summer… Its fibrous root system holds soil well and makes the plant useful for bank stabilization. The root system consists of a woody taproot. It can be used as a shrub border or used to control erosion on hillsides. Once established the Aronia is very drought tolerant. It appears to be a robust plant, surviving forced competition on sandy loam soil although with little growth. Properly mulching an area lowers the soil temperature and decreases moisture loss through evaporation. In addition to creating texture in the landscape, organic mulches decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

6) This can be a very profitable crop. With 700 plants per acre producing an average of 20 lbs. of fruit per plant will make a total production of 14,000 lbs. of Aronia berries per acre.

7) When fully ripe, the sugar content in Aronia berries is as high as it is in grapes or sweet cherries. They have a high acid content but are not bitter when fully ripe. It is important not to pick them until they are fully mature. Berries should not be harvested until after they are fully ripe in late August or early September. Aronia berries can be harvested by hand or they can be mechanically harvested with a blueberry picker.

8) This could be a crop to help save small farms.

Summary

The industry in the United States is in its infancy. They can grow in most types of soils from acidic to basic. It grows well in most soils and does well in wet clay soils and can tolerate a dry summer. This can be a very profitable crop, with a total production of 14,000 lbs. of Aronia berries per acre.

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