Elderberries are easily adapted to a wide variety of soils ranging from sandy to clay loams. Only poorly drained soils should be avoided. Open fields with full sunlight located away from wooded and other obstruction allowing for ample air movement will decrease negative pressure from insects, disease and bird problems.
Although Elderberries are partially self fruitful, fruit production will increase significantly with cross pollination. Planting sites should be cover cropped or clean tilled one year prior to planting to eliminate weed pressure during establishment. Dormant plants should be set in early spring at the same depth as grown in the nursery. Plants should be placed 5' to 6' apart in rows which are 10' to 13' apart. Be sure to water new planting thoroughly.
No fertilizer is needed the first year assuming there is a good fertility level prior to planting--and in following years only small amounts are needed to maintain maximum growth and production. Do not over fertilize Elderberry plantings.
Elderberry fruit ripens from mid-August to mid-September depending on location and variety. Entire fruit clusters are picked and stripped later when you are able to freeze or process. The fruit is fragile and every attempt should be made to minimize the time between harvesting, stripping and processing. Produces 25-35 lbs. per bush.