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Spindle tree: growth & care

Spindle tree: growth & care

In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about planting and caring for spindle trees. On top of that, we will tell you whether spindle trees are poisonous and whether they are winter hardy. Spindle trees (Euonymus) are incredibly versatile. The intensely…

Growing begonias: planting, overwintering & tips for begonia care

Growing begonias: planting, overwintering & tips for begonia care

Begonias produce splendid flowers when cared for properly. Here you can find out everything about planting and caring for begonias with tips for extra-long flowering. Surely you have heard of the begonia (Begonia) with its one-of-a-kind crooked leaves. You have likely seen them around or…

Pruning cherry trees: the best time & method for pruning cherries

Pruning cherry trees: the best time & method for pruning cherries

When do you prune cherry trees? Is there a difference when cutting young and old cherry trees? How to cut sour and sweet cherries? Find out everything you need to know about pruning cherry trees here.

Many gardeners aspire having their very own fruit tree orchard in the garden. And a cherry tree should definitely have a part in that. To ensure the tree producing as many cherries as possible, proper care is essential. Cherry trees require regular pruning. Pruning helps cherry trees to remain full of health. However, not every cherry tree has the same requirements: the larger but lighter sweet cherries (Prunus avium), for example, are usually much more vigorous than the smaller, usually dark red sour cherries (Prunus cerasus). Both trees require a different approach to pruning. In this article, we will tell you how to proceed when trimming cherry trees and what the differences are between pruning sweet and sour cherry trees.

When to prune cherry trees?

Cherries should be pruned annually. They do not respond well to rare and radical pruning.

When to prune sweet cherries?

While most other fruit trees are pruned in late winter, summer pruning is more suitable for sweet cherries. You can prune after the harvest, which is usually between the beginning of August and the end of September. Pruning cherry trees in summer curbs too much growth, which is typical for sweet cherries. In addition, cuts heal better in warm and dry weather, making the cherry tree less susceptible to diseases.

When to prune sour cherries?

Typically for fruit trees, sour cherries thrive best when pruned in winter. Ideally cherries are pruned between November and March.

Tip: Many gardeners are afraid that their cherry tree will lose vitality after pruning. The best way to prepare the tree for pruning is regular and proper care. Fertilise your cherry tree in spring using quality organic fertilisers. A healthy and well-groomed cherry tree can usually cope well with heavy pruning without any problems.

How to prune cherry trees?

The cutting of cherry trees is extremely important if you want to grow a vibrant and abundantly-fruiting tree. But how to trim a cherry tree? Before you start the process of pruning, you should consider the needs of your tree and the aim of pruning. The following questions should help you figure out the right pruning method:

How vigorous is your cherry tree?

On the one hand, strong growing varieties will grow even stronger when pruned regularly, but will produce less fruit. On the other hand, weaker growing varieties may need to be stimulated by pruning to produce new shoots which will bear fruit on. It is therefore important to consider the vigour when cutting the cherry tree. In summary: weak growing trees can be pruned more thoroughly than their strong growing counterparts.

cherry tree orchard
Weak growing trees can be pruned more thoroughly than stronger growing ones []

How thoroughly should you prune and what effects does the strength of the cut have?

Radical pruning stimulates vegetative growth, i.e. the formation of new shoots and leaves. This can be useful if a tree hardly produces any new shoots and thus no new fruit wood. However, generative growth, i.e. the new formation of flowers and fruit, is also reduced by excessive pruning, and the tree then only reacts by forming more leaf mass.

How to prune cherry trees?

With cherries, branches are not cut just above the basis of the branch (the thickened part of the branch at its very beginning). It is important to leave a stump and not to remove all of the branch. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to just remove a branch from the middle shoots or to divert it to a side shoot. Always leave a stump of at least 7 cm in length. Cherry trees hardly ever truly heal their wounds; their wounds usually just dry up.

Which tool for pruning cherry trees?

From a certain size onwards, cherries are primarily cut with a branch saw or, even better, a fruit tree saw, and not with garden shears. The reason for this is that you usually remove whole branches and not just individual twigs. In any case, it is important to make sure that the tool is clean and sharp . If the blade is dull or rusty, the cut may fray. If, on the other hand, the blade is dirty, the wound can be contaminated – both can lead to poorer wound healing on the tree or even to infection of the cut and should therefore be avoided at all costs.

How to tell which cherry tree branches to remove?

Sour cherries in particular tend to form unwanted dominant side shoots time and again. To prevent this, proceed systematically according to the branch thickness ratio when pruning. First, the trunk and central shoot are viewed from top to bottom. If the trunk tapers at a point where a branch emerge, shorten it. The more the trunk tapers, the more the branch has to be shortened.

This also applies to the leading branches attached to the trunk. If the central branch becomes considerably narrower at one point, the outgoing side branch should be shortened accordingly. That way, you can promote shoots and branches to become leaders and create a beautiful canopy instead of a chaotic shrub.

What is the difference between pruning sweet and sour cherry trees?

Sweet and sour cherries, despite being closely related, differ significantly in their growth and are therefore pruned differently, which is why we will discuss the different methods in more detail below.

What is the aim of pruning cherry trees?

Pruning aims at various goals depending on phase of life. Formative pruning when trees are first planted differs from maintenance pruning and renewal pruning. Find the details below.

The basics of cherry tree pruning in summary:

  • Adapt the cut to the vigour of your tree: strong growing trees are cut less than weak growing trees.
  • The stronger the cut, the more the tree reacts with vegetative growth. This can impair fruit formation.
  • Never remove the branch completely, leave a stump (at least 7 cm long).
  • Cut the branches with a saw rather than with gardening shears or scissors. Remove whole branches instead of small twigs.
  • Prevent the development of too many dominant branches: shorten branches where the main shoot tapers off considerably.
  • Sweet and sour cherries are pruned differently (find explaination in the following).
cherry tree and saw
Saws are better suited for pruning cherry trees than gardening shears [ Gornostaieva]

Pruning old cherry trees

If an old cherry tree begins to age slowly, i.e. hardly grows at all, forms little new fruit wood and accordingly bears fruit sparsely, you can encourage it to grow again by pruning for renewal. Keep in mind, though, that the tree has to expend a lot of energy on new growth, hence generative growth (i.e. the formation of blossoms and fruits) is often less pronounced immediately afterwards. But don’t worry – as soon as the vegetative growth flattens out after being stimulated by pruning, the tree’s yields will significantly increase again. This is how you prune an old cherry tree:

  1. Reduce all dead or diseased branches of the old cherry tree to stumps.
  2. Shorten the leaders to a quarter of their size, and cut back overhanging branches
  3. Remove branches that grow into the inside of the canopy or cross each other
  4. Avoid tree wounds bigger than 10 cm.
  5. Prune and rejuvenate very old trees, over several years.

Renewal pruning is best done at the end of February. However, make sure to prune only in dry, mild weather, in order to prevent frost damage on the wood.

Important: Radical rejuvenation cuts can reinvigorate old cherry trees. However, this will most likely also shorten the life of the tree, as cherries do not cope well with invasive procedures in the long term.

Pruning young cherry trees

Many gardeners believe that young cherry trees do not require pruning. The opposite is true though. It is precisely in the young years that pruning helps establish the foundation for a beautiful and even canopy. Decide on the structure of the canopy before you start pruning. Sweet cherries are best grown with spindle or pyramid-shaped canopies. For sour cherries funnel-shaped canopies work best, as they are suited for the typical multi-branch growth. Once you have made your choice working towards your desired canopy architecture starts the first year after planting. Proceed as described:

  1. Determine the middle shoot, or several central shoots depending on the desired shape of the canopy.
  2. Select several branches evenly distributed around the leader(s) for side branches. Reduce excess branches to stumps. Ideally, the selected side branches grow at a 45° angle to the leader. Unfavourable growth of branches can be corrected by tying them up or down.
  3. Shorten the guide branches of the cherry tree by about a third, making sure that the length of the leaders is equal. When training towards spindle or pyramid shape, leave the middle shoot considerably longer.
  4. Remove any buds on top of the leaders.

Cutting a young cherry tree does not stop after the first cut. Especially trees younger than 5 years still have a sparse canopy. Encourage them to branch out by pruning the young tree at least 3 years in a row. Proceed as follows:

  1. Shorten the central shoot and the leading branches by a third. Make sure that all leaders are about the same length. Always cut on a leaf bud pointing outwards.
  2. Cut off branches on the leaders that grow inwards. Leave a stump of at least 7 cm long.
  3. Regularly shorten shoots on the leading branches that grow outwards to promote branching.
  4. For the following years remove fruit wood ,leaving about four buds on a branch, from which new fruit wood then develops.
  5. Tie oblique side shoots on leaders at a 45° angle. Reduce vertically attached shoots to stumps.

Pruning sour cherry trees

As with all cherry tree pruning keep in mind to prune according to the vigour of the tree, remove the branches with a saw and with regard to the thickness ratio (as described above). When pruning sour cherries, the overall aim is to avoid the canopy of becoming too dense and bushy and to reduce the leaders to a desirable number. The ideal canopy of a sour cherry is funnel-shaped. The best time to prune sour cherry trees is between November and March.

There are two main cultivars within the group of sour cherries – the Morello cherry and the Amarelle cherry. The Morello cherry type requires its own method of pruning:

  • Morello cherry types only bear fruit on one-year-old shoots. That way the canopy quickly becomes full of bare, worn shoots that do not bear fruit the following year.
  • It is therefore essential to cut off or at least shorten each shoot that grows cherries – this is the only way to ensure enough new fruit shoots forming for the coming year. As a rule of thumb, three quarters of the fruit shoots are cut back to at least a quarter of their length.
  • Remove diseased, dead or very old wood and otherwise proceed according to the branch thickness ratio to support leader shoots.
ripe morello cherries
Morello cherry types only bear fruit on one-year-old shoots [ Milen Vaskov Mladenov]

In comparison, here is how to cut Amarelle cherry trees:

  • On the whole, pruning this type of cherry trees tends to be less demanding, as they often develop a balanced canopy even without being pruned.
  • The Amarelle cherry as opposed to the Morello cherry does fruit even on perennial wood.
  • For this reason, the Amarelle cherries are cut similarly to sweet cherries.

Pruning sweet cherry trees

Pruning sweet cherries goes by the main principles mentioned above: pruning is carried out according to growth vigour, with a saw and with regard to the ratio of branch thickness. The aim of pruning is to maintain the dominance of the central shoot and to generate new fruit wood. Sweet cherries are cut after the summer harvest.

In contrast to Morello cherries, sweet cherry trees develop most of their fruit on short shoots, growing on annual and perennial fruiting shoots. For this reason, sweet cherry trees are cut more careully and less vigorously as to not remove any fruit-bearing wood:

  • The first step in pruning sweet cherry trees is thinning out the canopy of the tree. Cut back branches growing inwards as well as strongly branched shoots with outdated fruit wood.
  • Preserve younger branches with fruiting shoots; only remove them if they grow upwards very steep or cross or rub with other branches. By removing old and retaining new fruitwood, the younger fruitwood will produce higher quality and larger fruits than outdated fruitwood.
  • In addition, when cutting sweet cherry trees, pay attention to rotten, diseased or dead branches – remove them as well.
  • Compared to the sour cherry, sweet cherry trees have a stronger apical dominance, meaning that they grow more central on their own instead of producing many side branches. With regard to the branch thickness ratio, competing side shoots that point upwards should nevertheless be removed.
  • In the case of sweet cherries, summer pruning is particularly recommended to limit their strong growth.

Info: Fruiting shoots are the short side shoots of cherry trees, arranged in a whirl-like manner. These often carry a particularly large number of flower buds and are therefore crucial for a rich harvest.

Pruning columnar cherry trees

If you don’t have enough space for a large and protruding cherry tree, you can opt for a columnar cherry. Thanks to its slender shape, this cherry’s growth habit is ideal for smaller gardens. They can even be cultivated in a large pot. However, to ensure that the tree does not lose its elegant shape, you have to prune them. Contrary to what some might believe, pruning columnar cherries is less complicated than the pruning of its larger relatives. Columnar cherry trees do not need to be pruned regularly, but only when necessary. The following steps are a guideline to cutting back a columnar cherry:

  1. Cut back side branches that are too long, shortening them down to 10 to 15 cm in length.
  2. Always prune far above a bud pointing outwards.
  3. Remove diseased, weak or steep growing branches.
  4. The middle shoot is not trimmed for the first few years but can be shortened afterwards if necessary.

Pruning dwarf cherry trees

Dwarf fruit trees, such as dwarf cherries, are a great choice for smaller gardens, as they require little space and can therefore be grown even in tiny gardens. As with all fruit trees, the dwarf cherry tree needs regular pruning to flourish. Since dwarf cherries can also be grown with spindle-shaped canopies, there is hardly any difference in the way dwarf cherry trees are pruned compared to large fruit trees:

  1. All side branches should only grow at a slight angle to the top and are not cut.
  2. Tied down steep branches to correct their direction of growth.
  3. Thin out the canopy where branches are too dense by removing one of them.
  4. Always cut off branches above a bud and leave a stump of at least 7 cm.
  5. Middle shoots are shortened to about 30 cm above the last side shoot.
Watercress: growth, care & benefits

Watercress: growth, care & benefits

Watercress is full of benefits for human health and it is often used to refine and decorate dishes. Learn everything you need to know about growing watercress here. Watercress (Nasturtium), or yellowcress, is a species of aquatic herbs, which is often used to enrich certain…

How to get rid of aphids: aphid control & prevention

How to get rid of aphids: aphid control & prevention

There are many different ways to get rid of aphids. We will show you how to control aphids naturally and will demonstrate the advantages of organic aphid control methods. A single aphid is not a big problem; however, aphids tend to mass reproduce. As the…

Neem oil on plants: tips for using neem oil in the garden

Neem oil on plants: tips for using neem oil in the garden

Plant protection products based on neem oil can be used for natural pest control of aphids, spider mites and other plant pests. You can find out how to use neem oil to protect your plants here.

Neem oil can be used in many ways. Its use as a plant protection agent shows great potential. In the following text, we give you exciting background information and explain how you can use neem oil in your garden or at home.

Neem tree: origin & characteristics

The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) belongs to the mahogany family (Meliaceae) and therein to the genus Azadirachta. This tree is also sometimes referred to as Indian lilac or nimtree. From this, you could deduce that the neem tree originated in South East Asia. More precisely, the neem tree commonly grows in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Because the neem oil extracted from the tree’s seeds is so popular and because it grows in most arid subtropical and tropical areas, the tree is now also cultivated in Australia, America and Africa.

The neem tree can reach a height of 20 metres and an astonishing age of up to 200 years. Additionally, it is very drought tolerant. It grows rapidly and can bear fruit after only a few years. A fully-grown tree can produce up to 50 kg of fruit.

The flowers are white, and their scent is reminiscent of jasmine. The resulting edible fruits are oval in shape and up to 2.5 cm long. The seeds they consist of up to 40% oil and that is where neem oil comes from. The helpful active ingredients of the neem tree are found in all parts of the plant, but in different compositions.

Almost all parts of the neem tree are used in different ways: leaves, seeds, flowers and even the bark. For example, during the Indian New Year, Hindu believers bathe in an extract made from the leaves of the neem tree. This supposedly cleanses not just the body but also the soul. Interestingly, the branches of the neem tree were formerly used to clean teeth.

Neem oil: production of the plant protection product

The fruits that fall from the neem trees are collected and the pulp is removed. What remains are the seeds, which are processed in a variety of ways. Neem oil is can be produced using these three methods:

  • Cold pressing: The whole or ground seeds of the nimtree are gently pressed. This produces a yellow and bitter-smelling oil.
  • Water extract: Another method to produce neem oil is water extraction. Unfortunately, it is not as effective, but it is cheaper than the other methods. The ground kernels are soaked in water and an extract is thus obtained.
  • Oil extraction: Neem oil can also be extracted from the kernels. Saturated hydrocarbon (hexane) is used for this.

Many insecticidal and acaricidal substances are found in the neem tree. The former is effective against insects, the latter against arachnids such as mites.

  • Azadirachtin (the main active substance)
  • Nimbin
  • Nimbidin
  • Nimbandiol
  • Salannin
  • Meloiantriol
dried neem fruits
Neem oil can be extracted from the fruits []

With an optimal extraction of the oil from the seeds, an azadirachtin content of 30% can be obtained in the oil.

Tip: If you have purchased neem oil prepared in this way, you should store it in a cool and dark place so that it does not go bad and does not lose its effectiveness.

Neem for pest control

The active ingredients from the oil of the neem tree give us an excellent opportunity to control pests on plants in a natural way.

Neem oil can be used against these pests

Plant protection products containing neem are mainly used against insects that damage useful or ornamental plants with their biting or sucking. It is particularly effective against biting insects, as it is absorbed by the insects while they feed. The azadirachtin in neem oil has an inhibiting effect on feeding and disturbs the moulting (or ecdysis) of the insects. Neem has a wide spectrum of application and can be used against the following insects:

  • Beetles (Coleoptera) like the potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) or weevils (Curculionidae).
  • Coleoptera (Homoptera), which includes aphids (Aphidoidea) or cicadas (Auchenorrhyncha).
  • Diptera, or simply different species of flies.
  • Butterflies and moths of the Lepidoptera order, which include pests such as the box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis).

How to use neem oil against plant pests

Primarily, azadirachtin from neem oil is effective against the larval stages by reducing production of the hormone ecdysone, which is important for the moulting of the larvae. This disrupts or delays the larval metamorphosis and prevents adult insects from developing from the larvae. The insects either die, are damaged or can no longer reproduce. In adult insects, neem inhibits the feeding activity. Death is not immediate, but the feeding stop occurs relatively quickly. As these hormones are very widespread in the insect kingdom, azadirachtin and neem are not specific, but have a broad effect. It should also be noted that azadirachtin only affects the last larval stages and some degree of damage by larvae cannot be avoided completely.

The following effects of neem oil can be observed in insects:

  • Feeding inhibitor
  • Feeding deterrent
  • Moulting and pupation disorders
  • Disturbance during egg laying
  • Reduced reproductive capacity

As the active ingredients of neem oil are absorbed by the plants, insects that do not come into direct contact with the agent but eat the plant or mine through leaves or roots can also be detected. Mining means that an insect eats inside a leaf and thus creates tunnels or mines. The absorption of the active ingredient into the plant is sub-systemic, so it is not distributed throughout the plant, but only in the immediate vicinity of the sprayed parts of the plant.

Tip: Preparations based on neem oil are particularly effective against aphids or whiteflies.

Neem oil pest control & plant protection

Important: The use of specially mixed preparations of neem oil as plant protection agents is not permitted. In the EU, only products that have been tested and approved are allowed for use. Illegal use could result in substantial fines. The same applies to the use of vinegar, rapeseed oil or soft soap on plants. If you want to use the oil of the neem tree, we recommend an approved product based on neem oil.

Neem can also be used as a powder, which is just as easy to buy as neem oil. Residues from oil production – the neem cake – can be dried and processed into powder or pellets. These products can be worked into the soil to improve it. Moreover, neem cake can be used as a fertiliser and can even combat nematodes that dwell underground and damage plants.

neem powder in a bowl
Neem can also be used as a powder [ THOMAS A]

The by-product of neem oil production, the neem cake, can be used in other ways, too. The neem cake consists of the whole seeds of the neem tree, which are crushed.

This precious oil has many advantages, but like any remedy, neem oil has side effects. Some plants are sensitive to the product and lose their leaves through phytotoxic reactions. All in all, processed and diluted neem preparations are better tolerated by plants than pure neem oil.

Although it is amazing just how versatile neem is in plant protection, neem oil cannot distinguish between pests and useful species and, unfortunately, can just as easily harm beneficial insects. Beneficial insects, such as parasitoid wasps Aphidius rhopalosiphi, lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea) or predatory mites (Amblyseius cucumeris) can react sensitively to neem oil. It is therefore extremely important that neem preparations are only used in accordance with the recommendations for use on the packaging or the instruction manual. This will keep the risk as low as possible.

Using neem oil in other ways

The ingredients of neem oil can also be used for our pets. Neem oil can be used to treat wounds or to ward off insects. Neem is not only good for our plants and animals however, we can also use neem ourselves.

Important: Some scientific studies have shown that neem oil treatment can lead to some degree of discomfort and in worst cases, even symptoms like tremors in some cats. For this reason, we advise to consult your vet before using neem oil on your cats or in close vicinity to your cats.

Planting Raspberries – A how-to guide to a great harvest

Planting Raspberries – A how-to guide to a great harvest

Raspberries are a healthy and sweet fruit – which grows across countries all around the world. In this short guide we will give you the most important tips on how to plant and grow your own raspberries. Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are a true powerfood –…

Whiteflies: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

Whiteflies: how to identify, prevent & get rid of them

The tiny whiteflies on houseplants and in the garden can be very annoying. In this article, we reveal how to get rid of whiteflies using household remedies as well as natural methods. The term “whitefly” is a trivial name for various insects from the Aleyrodidae…

Fruits rich in vitamin C: top 15 immunity-supporting fruits

Fruits rich in vitamin C: top 15 immunity-supporting fruits

Many people swear by vitamin C to strengthen their immune system and get through the winter well. But which fruit is highest in vitamin C? We have selected 15 types of fruit with lots of vitamin C that you can include in your diet to prevent colds in winter.

Hardly any other nutrient is as important for the body as vitamin C: the ascorbic acid is not only involved in building up connective tissue, but also protects the body from free radicals and promotes the absorption of iron. However, what vitamin C is most known for is its role in immune defence. For example, a sufficient intake of vitamin C is said to strengthen the immune system and reduce susceptibility to colds and as well as their duration. Therefore, especially in winter, many people pay attention to a diet rich in vitamins. But which fruit has the most vitamin C? Here you will find an overview of the best natural sources of vitamin C.

1. Kakadu plum

With a vitamin C content of 2,300 to 3,150 mg per 100 g of pulp, the Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana; also known as gubinge and billygoat plum) is very likely the fruit with the highest content of vitamin C. The green, oval-shaped fruits of the Kakadu plum are unfortunately not very well known outside Australia and are therefore extremely rare to find in Europe or the US. However, interest in this unique plum is gradually growing. Not only its high vitamin C content, but also its pleasant taste, which is said to be reminiscent of apricot and plum, is responsible for the plant’s growing popularity.

2. Camu camu

This fruit is regarded as the new “superfood” from the Amazon rainforest. The Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is still rather unknown to most but it has recently started to grow in popularity. With almost 1,800 mg vitamin C and numerous secondary plant substances, the exotic fruit is said to not only support the immune system but also have a positive effect on the gastro-intestinal tract.

3. Acerola or wild crapemyrtle

With just under 1,700 mg per 100 g, acerola (Malpighia glabra) simply cannot be missing from our list of fruits rich in vitamin C. The healthy fruit also contains provitamin A and various B vitamins. Unfortunately, the red exotic fruit is seldom found fresh in Europe and is mostly available as juice or dried. Although this reduces the vitamin C content, acerola is still a real vitamin bomb even in the dry or liquid form.

acerola fruit
The fruit of acerola is rich in both vitamins B and vitamin C []

4. Rose hips

Roses (Rosa) have a firm place in many gardens. Unfortunately, rose hips, which ripen in autumn on many wild rose species, are only rarely used. This is a great shame as there is hardly any other native plant in Europe with so much vitamin C. Depending on the variety, up to 500 mg of the immune system-promoting substance is contained in just 100 g of rose hips. What is more, rose hips are anything but boring in terms of taste, and their fruity flavour can be enjoyed raw or as tea or jam.

5. Seaberry

The sea buckthorn or seaberry (Hippophae rhamnoides) is often teasingly referred to as the “lemon of the north” because it has a rather sour taste. In terms of vitamin C content, however, the seaberry far outstrips the lemon. At 450 mg per 100 g, the small fruit contains almost ten times as much vitamin C as the healthy citrus fruit. Because the berries of the sea buckthorn form on the plant from December to spring, this rich in vitamin C fruit is a perfect nutrient supplement in winter.

6. Guava

Only rarely does the common guava (Psidium guajava) stray onto the plate in Europe. That’s a pity, because the tropical exotic has a number of benefits. It can score points not only with its bright pink or orange flesh, but also with its pleasant sweet and sour aroma. In addition, with 273 mg vitamin C per 100 g, guava is an excellent source of nutrients and, with just under 34 kcal, is a great low-calorie snack.

guava fruit
The bright pink flesh of guava is incredibly healthy [ Ricco]

7. Black currant

No other native to Europe fruit has as much vitamin C as the black currant (Ribes nigrum): at just under 180 mg per 100 g, the small berries even have almost five times more vitamin C than their close relative, red currant. In Europe, the black currant is unfortunately only in season from June to August. However, it can also be easily processed into jam or juice and thus be preserved for the winter months. Alternatively, you can also store the black currant in the freezer and, in this way, have access to it whenever needed throughout winter.

8. Papaya

Covering your entire daily vitamin C requirement with just one fruit? No problem with papaya (Carica papaya) – this tropical fruit contains a whopping 80 mg per 100 g. The papaya is also an excellent source of potassium. The tropical fruit can be found in Northern hemisphere supermarkets all year round and is therefore also suitable for the winter season. When buying papayas, however, you should be careful to choose fruits that are still unripe, as they will continue to ripen even after you purchase them.

papaya fruit
If you snack on papaya, you are sure to fulfil you daily vitamin C needs []

9. Strawberry

Many children wait impatiently for May, when the strawberry season finally starts again, and the sweet fruits can be eaten fresh from the field. Many adults are just as elated when the strawberry season begins. Hardly anyone can resist the aromatic temptation of strawberries.  Fortunately, the strawberry (Fragaria) is extremely healthy: with 65 mg vitamin C and just 32 kcal per 100 g, these red berries should be a part of everybody’s diet.

10. Lemon

If you think of a fruit rich in vitamin C, you simply can’t forget lemon (Citrus × lime). The sour citrus fruit has always had a reputation for being particularly rich in nutrients. Many people think that lemon is the fruit with most vitamin C. But how much vitamin C is in lemon really? Actually, at around 53 mg, lemon is surprisingly just in the middle of our list. Nevertheless, drinking some hot lemon water as a household remedy for colds definitely won’t do any harm.

11. Orange

An orange juice in the morning is not only delicious, but also helps to cover the daily vitamin C intake: with around 50 mg per 100 g, this delicious citrus fruit proves to be a perfect source of vitamins. Moreover, the orange (Citrus sinensis L.) also contains numerous minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium.

12. Grapefruit

With its slightly bitter taste, the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi L.) is not for everyone. But if you are not put off by this, you can benefit from including grapefruit in your diet. Grapefruit not only contains just under 40 mg of vitamin C per 100 g – its bitter substance naringin also lowers cholesterol levels and can even have a positive effect on blood sugar levels.

grapefruit pieces
Grapefruit is not only beneficial because of its vitamin C content but also because it can lower cholesterol levels [ Studio]

13. Mango

Mangos (Mangifera indica) are not only popular because of their sweet aroma – their high vitamin C content of 39 mg per 100 g means that this fruit is extremely beneficial for human health. In addition, B vitamins, vitamin E and a low concentration of acids ensure that the mango is one of the most popular tropical fruits in Europe.

mango fruit on the table
Adding mango to your diet is sure to benefit your health and improve your vitamin C intake [ Valentyn Volkov]

14. Red currant

Whether as jam or fresh from the plant – the red currant (Ribes rubrum) with its sour taste is a delight for many. Due to its low calorie and fat content, these berries are also considered extremely healthy. Of course, red currants are also high in vitamin C: on average, 100 g of the berries has 36 mg, which means that these fruits are a true vitamin C bomb.

15. Gooseberry

Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) are for many too sour and were therefore long considered to be inedible – but, in fact, their taste is pleasantly refreshing and sweet-sour. This makes them a real treat for the palate. Our health also benefits greatly from including these berries in our diets: with a vitamin C content of 34 mg per 100 g, as well as a high vitamin A and vitamin E content, the gooseberry is an exceptional source of nutrients.

A popular garden berry, the gooseberry, is perfect if you want to add a bit more vitamin C to your diet [ Alexandr]

If you would like to learn more about which other berry varieties are healthy and worth-growing in the garden, read here. We have also written an article on the weirdest fruit in the world, which might surprise you.

Olive trees in pots: planting, pruning & fertilising potted olive trees

Olive trees in pots: planting, pruning & fertilising potted olive trees

Olive trees in pots can help add a touch of the Mediterranean to your garden or balcony. Here, we will show you how to take care of potted olive trees and what is important for overwintering them. Olive trees (Olea europea) are used to the…