Growing and Pollinating Saskatoon Berries: Tips for Abundant Harvests

Saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia) possess a unique advantage as they are self-fertile, meaning they can set fruit on their own without the need for another nearby plant, but planting a second Saskatoon cultivar in close proximity can significantly boost their yield. Even though they are self-fertile, having a second plant facilitates cross-pollination through the help of bees, and butterflies. This process enhances the fertilization and fruit-setting, resulting in a more abundant harvest! So, while you can enjoy some fruit from a single plant, adding a second Saskatoon berry to your garden will bring even more berries to your table!


Here are some tips from Braeheid to help you prepare for planting your Saskatoons:

  1. Site Selection: Choose a location with full sun exposure, as Saskatoon berries thrive in sunlight. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil, as they prefer slightly acidic to neutral soils.

  2. Soil Preparation: Prior to planting, amend the soil with organic matter like compost. This will improve soil structure, fertility, and moisture retention, all of which are essential for healthy Saskatoon berry growth.

  3. Planting: Plant bare-root or container-grown Saskatoon berries in early spring or fall. Space them at least 5-8 feet apart to allow for proper air circulation and growth. Dig holes slightly deeper and wider than the root ball, and backfill with soil, ensuring the crown is at ground level.

  4. Watering: During the first growing season, maintain consistent moisture to help the plants establish their root systems. Once established, Saskatoons are relatively drought-tolerant, but regular watering during dry spells is beneficial and will help your shrub produce large berries.
  5. Pruning: Prune the bushes during late winter or early spring to remove dead or diseased wood, and to encourage new growth. Thin out crowded branches to enhance air circulation and fruiting.

  6. Mulching and Fertilizing: Apply a 2-4 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plants to retain soil moisture and control weeds. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to provide necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

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