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How to grow goji berries:characteristics of the plant, where to find plant or seeds. From planting to harvest.
Goji is a bushy plant native to China, Tibet and other Asian territories. The goji develops a berry with multiple healing properties to the extent that the shrub deserves the name of "plant of eternal youth ": the berries of goji they are fusiform of dark red color, reach a diameter of 3-8 mm and a length of 6-20 mm, these berries are very rich in carotenoids and vitamins, two important antioxidant substances.
The goji plays a leading role in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine and only recently the berries of goji they have also become popular in Italy. Good news for our gardeners readers: the gojiyou can cultivatevery easily and love our land! On this page we will seehow to grow goji berries.
Goji plant, characteristics of the Lycium barbarum species eLycium chinense
The botanical name of thegoji berry plantislycium barbarum. This deciduous shrub belongs to the Solanaceae family, the same family of peppers, tomatoes and eggplant! Like its "botanical relatives", the species toolycium barbarumit is naturalized in central Europe and therefore easycultivationin our climate.
TheGoji berriescan be derived both from the speciesLycium barbarumthan from the speciesLycium chinense. What are the differences between the two species?
Lycium chinense species is often used for growing income goji but it is important to say that it is the species Lycium barbarum the one that produces fruits with the best nutritional properties.
The studies on the properties of goji berries have been carried out on berries produced by the Lycium barbarum species. As also reported by the authoritativePharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China, Chemical Industry Press,the gogi berries grown fromLycium barbarum plantthey are richer in vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidants. This is also reported by a further study carried out on the role of the polysaccharides contained in the goji berries grown with the Lycium barbarum plant.
The study is titled: “Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on age-related oxidative stress in aged mice ". The research, conducted on laboratory mice of advanced age (elderly), analyzed the antioxidant activity and the anti-aging role played by the polysaccharides ofLycium barbarum berriesthus highlighting, once again, the ability of goji berries to counteract free radicals.
How to grow goji, from planting to pruning
Thegojiit can be grown all over Italy, it prefers a temperate climate but lives well down to -15 ° C! The planting must be carried out during the spring months while pruning must be carried out in the months from November to January.
With the pruning of the Goji you will have to continue ramming to two buds and branches that produced the fruits during the previous harvest: the gojiit bears fruit only on young branches so, to favor the growth of new fruits, it is necessary to cut the old ones. During the summer (July-August) it will be necessary to pay particular attention to irrigation.
How to grow Goji, propagation
There Goji cultivation it can be started with vegetative propagation through semi-woody cuttings. The best time is between late August and early October. Once the "mother plant" has been identified, it will be sufficient to cut a young branch (one year old) of about 20 cm with a sharp shears and bury it for the first 10 cm in a jar with a diameter of 14 cm.
In the underground part there must be at least a couple of nodes while in the upper part at least 4 leaves must be counted: these are the favorable conditions for rooting. Those who prefer can start there cultivation starting from the seed, also in this case there are no particular difficulties, just proceed with germination.
How to grow Goji, cultivation cycle
The goji it prefers sunny areas and medium-textured soils that are well drained and tend to be acidic: it is an undemanding plant so it can grow well even in slightly basic or saline soils. Planting can take place from mid-March to mid-April, in holes about 15-20 cm deep. The ideal period for fertilization is from February to March.
The plant resists drought well so in autumn and winter it will not be necessary to irrigate. Irrigation can start in late spring and intensify in the months of June, July and August. The harvest of the Goji runs from July to late October.
Where to buy Goji plants?
There are several specialized retailers, forpurchaseyou can go to an agricultural consortium or a trusted nursery. Just to mention some retailers located throughout the country, we point out that these retailers can supply you with goji plants:
- Vivaio Vita Verde in Galliera, Bologna
- Green Line of Pietrobon Diego, Villorba, Treviso
- La Chicca Farm, Sondrio
- Maioli Enzo Farm, Salvaterra, Reggio Emilia
- Fratelli Ingegnoli, Milan
For prefers online shopping, it is possibleto buythereGoji plantready for planting even on the web. On Amazon, for example, there are several proposals also with guaranteed rooting. Among the various proposals, analyzing the quality of the plants, we point out onegoji plantproposed at the price of 12.50 euros. The plant is about 45cm tall and placed in a 14cm diameter pot. For the photo and all the info I refer you tothis Amazon page.
Where to buy goji seeds to start growing?
Even though the process is much longer, you can get started cultivate Goji also from seed. It is difficult to find Goji seeds in classic gardening stores, online purchase is much easier. Goji seeds, unlike berries, are very cheap. Also on Amazon you can find sachets of seeds even for a few euros; for example: 50 seeds for 4.95 euros.
The seeds of the goji plant are often sent with the whole berry. Don't be fooled, it is a common practice to store the seed with the dried fruit still placed to protect it. The germination times increase but generally the product is different from the berries found at the supermarket for food use, because they are selected for the purpose of cultivation.
IdeeGreen.it has no relationship with the aforementioned shop owners or retailers. We have reported these products / shops, only in order to facilitate the availability ofplantsand godsgoji seeds to grow. So feel free to make the best choices according to your needs. Plants e goji seeds were reported by checking the reviews to the seller and the product already left by other users who had made the purchase. We have reported plants of the speciesLycium barbarum, when buying from a nursery, make sure about the plant you are buying.
After a few years of purchase, with the propagation method described above, you can get more goji plants from a first plant.