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Why Buy From Indiana Berry
Each year the International Herb Association selects a worthy herb and, as they said, "it's time to respect your Elder". These are attractive shrubs, but more than that, they are useful and very versatile. The flowers and berries can be used to make wine, jelly and even medicinal tinctures. Of course, you could grow them just for their ornamental value.
*For anything that you make with elderberries, only use the ripe berries. The stems and leaves are toxic. If you are making anything where you need to crush them (e.g., jam, syrup, juice), make sure that you remove all of the stems, leaves, and any unripe berries before pressing them. Same is true if you are making wine. You can’t be lazy with this – only fully ripe berries should be processed or eaten. Fresh elderberries are very perishable and the quality will deteriorate quickly. Therefore, they are usually refrigerated, frozen, or processed immediately after harvest.
Elderberries are easily adapted to a wide variety of soils ranging from sandy to clay loams with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. 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.
How to Plant
Dormant plants should be set in early spring at the same depth as grown in the nursery. Plants should be placed 6' to 6' apart in rows which are 10' to 13' apart. Be sure to water new planting thoroughly. Dig a hole as deep as needed to accommodate the roots, trim off any damaged or broken roots prior to planting. Elderberries are shallow rooted so keep them well watered the first season mulch around the plants with hay, straw, or bark chips to control weeds that compete for water and nutrients. Elderberries 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. A bush can produce 25-35 lbs.
No fertilizer is needed the first year assuming there is a good fertility level prior to planting and in following years only a small amount is needed to maintain maximum growth and production. Do not over fertilize Elderberry plantings. Apply fertilizer annually in early spring. Apply 1/2 lb of a balanced fertilizer for each year of the plant's age up to 4 lbs per plant.
How to Prune
No pruning is necessary the first year of planting. Second-year before bud breaks remove any dead or damage cane. Flowers and fruit develop on the tips of the current season's growth, especially on laterals. In late winter, early spring while plants are still dormant, remove all dead, broken and weak canes plus all canes more than three years old. Leave an equal number of one, two and three-year-old canes.
Second-year elderberry canes with good lateral development are the most fruitful.
We are dedicated to shipping your plants the fastest, most economical way possible. It is important that your plants not sit in a warehouse over a week-end. Orders shipping to western states are typically shipped on Mondays for Friday delivery. Indiana orders are typically shipped on Thursdays for Friday delivery. Remaining states are shipped on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Estimate Your Shipping Charges
We currently ship within the U.S. using UPS Ground, 3-Day Select, 2-Day or Next Day Air. For UPS ground service, the minimum shipping charge is $10.00.
Expedited Shipping: Unless you have a specific need to ship quickly, it is not necessary to choose expedited shipping. The majority of our plant orders ship UPS Ground or Priority Mail and arrive by the end of the week they are shipped in terrific shape, ready for planting.
Special Note for Alaska: All Alaska orders are shipped Priority Mail. Shipping cost depends on number of boxes and total weight, which we do not know until your order is packed. Therefore, your credit card will be charged two different times. Once at time of order for merchandise only and again at time of shipping for shipping costs only. If you want to be notified with the shipping cost prior to your card being charged please make a note in the comments section. Keep in mind this will delay your shipment if we are unable to reach you.