The Cranberry Harvest

Back in April, a soil test revealed that the beds where we planted our cranberries and blueberries are nowhere near acidic enough for those plants to thrive. We replaced the sadder of our two cranberry beds with strawberries, but kept one around, since we had nothing better to put in it this season. As you can see, it's still pretty pathetic, despite adding some sulfur:


Given that we planted these cranberries years ago, they should be filling the bed by now. Because the pH of the soil is too high, however, the cranberries can't access the nutrients they need. That means they're growing very slowly. Here's the whole crop for the year, from three plants: 


To be fair, they do look nice. It's just that 40 square feet of planting area has yielded us only 25 berries:


By any accounting method, that's not a very good use of space. Should we hang onto the plants anyway and keep plugging away at making the soil more acidic, or should we give up on cranberries since we don't eat that many of them anyway? I feel like it's a bit of a Massachusetts duty to grow cranberries, and it irritates me not to be successful with them. On the other hand, we could have 50 pounds of potatoes in that space with no real effort at all, so it seems silly to baby something that just doesn't want to grow here (and that we only eat a few times a year anyway).

It would be wise to add more sulfur to the bed before frost if we want to double down on cranberries, so we should probably make a decision soon. I don't like to admit defeat, but keeping those things on life support is probably a big waste of space.

What would you do?

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