Cranberries need cool temperatures, acidic soil, and lots of water.
Because cranberries are picky in terms of what they need to grow, amateur gardeners usually have the best success growing cranberries in specifically constructed beds.
Make sure the container is at least 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide and about 8 inches deep (the roots grow just 4 to 6 inches deep).
Fill your container with acidic potting mix and lime-free grit to improve drainage; place the pot in a saucer topped off with water so the soil never dries out.
Plant cranberries in the Fall in climates where winters are mild. Plant cranberries in spring where winters are really cold; make sure all danger of frost has passed. Just make sure you avoid planting cranberries in hot, dry weather as they tend not to do well if planted then.
Growing cranberries from seed can take 3 to 5 years to produce fruit so it’s best to do what’s most commonly done among gardeners which is to grown them from existing plant, stem cuttings which are 6-8 inches in length.
Plant cranberry cuttings on 12- to 18-inch centers. Dig a hole a little larger than the root of the cutting and mix a little bone meal into the soil before setting the young plant in place. Water the new plant in with a high phosphorus liquid starter fertilizer and keep the soil moist as the plant begins to grow.
Tending to the Plant
Cranberries require a lot of water; keep the soil constantly moist. Cranberries root into only the top 6 inches of soil which must be kept moist. You can use a top dressing of sand to help keep the moisture in.
Other than keeping the plant moist and making sure it doesn’t freeze, just make sure to weed it for several years until the stems cover the ground and upright shoots have made a strong stand. Other than that not much else is required.
Picking the Fruit
Cranberries are ready to pick when they are fully colored, deep red, usually in the Fall. Berries that are pink or white are not ripe yet. When they are ready, there’s no rush to pick them as they can stay on the bush for a month or so.
Keep them in the fridge for a month or the freezer for a year.
Cranberries are sour so you’ll likely want to use them in recipes or sweeten them if you want to drink their juice.
They are extremely healthy and a fun berry at that so enjoy the process and reap the rewards.