Goji Berries are a highly nutrition-rich fruit which can be eaten raw straight from the plant, cooked or dried and added to breakfast cereal or eaten as a healthy snack. Also the leaves and young shoots can be used as a leafy vegetable.
They are very hardy tolerating temperatures as low as -15°C or as high as 40°C, and they are drought tolerant when established. They are self-fertile and one plant can produce over 2lbs (1Kg) of fruit in its second season. They were originally cultivated in the Himalayan mountain region, and for over 2,000 years they have been recorded in folk lore for their unrivalled nutritional properties.
Flowering: July to September. Height: 6ft (1.8m). Position: Requires full sun.
Season of Use: July-First Frost
Claims for goji berries:
- Nutritionally rich in beta-carotene.
- Vitamins C, B1, B2, other vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids.
- Suggestions that the fruit also contains zinc, iron, copper, calcium,
germanium, selenium, phosphorus, B6, and vitamin E.
- Used in Chinese medicine and are believed to enhance the immune
system, help the eyesight, protect the liver and improve the circulation.
Compatative Antioxidant Capacity (Based on 100g)
Goji Berries 25,300, Blueberries 2,400, Strawberries 1,540, Spinach
1,260, Raspberries 1,220, Brussel Sprouts 980 and Beetroot 840.
Goji Berries do need a high temperature at the beginning of the season to fruit well, so grow in a sunny bed trained against a wall to get the best yield. When first planting cut back hard to encourage it to produce 8 to 10 strong shoots from the base. They fruit on the previous year’s stems, so when pruning in later years these should be left on and any old stems removed. They should be feed fortnightly during the growing and fruiting season with a high potassium fertiliser such as Tomorite. Keep the plants moist but avoid overwatering early in the season. The shoots should be trained on canes or wires against a wall where they will be very ornamental when laden with bright red fruit.