Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees


Goji Berries come from the colder parts of Asia and are a wild growing plant in their nature. They are, perhaps best grown as a rough fruit hedge, although heavy pruning in the Spring will improve the shape of the bushes and also encourage better cropping. Be aware when pruning though, that some stems do have an occasional thorn on them. Growing up to 6 feet, each plant can produce up to 1 Kg of fruit each year and even though they need a little watering to get established, Goji bushes are very drought resistant. Another big bonus for British gardeners is that they will quite happily survive temperatures down to minus 15C which we don't get very often!

Goji bushes flower from the late spring and on in to the summer, producing bright red berries about 2cm or 3/4in long . Flowering and berry production will continue right up until the first frosts.

Most people in the UK have only seen dried Goji berries which can be used in much the same way as dried Cranberries or Raisins would in cooking. Fresh Goji Berries are much more versatile and as different to dried, as fresh figs are to dried figs. As with most fresh fruit the berries are excellent for making nourishing "Smoothies" or simply mixing into fresh fruit salads.

Goji Berries are a relative of the Potato and as such are susceptible to potato blight should there be any around. Unfortunately one of the UK TV gardening programs did say that there had been a problem with some wild grown imported bushes which were infected. All imported plants are supposed to have a "Plant Health Passport," much as you need animals to be certified healthy to move them around the World, so I don't understand how this can have happened. However, if you buy a packet of dried Goji berries from any health food store, and soak a few berries in water overnight, they will soften to such an extent that a very gentle squeeze will result in dozens of tiny seeds squirting out. From experience, these seeds will germinate very easily in a few days to produce a pot full of tiny seedlings that you can grow on, plant out, and make a cheap fruit hedge out of.

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