Growing goji berry plants

A couple of years ago, Rick and I traveled to various places in the U.S. teaching nutrition classes. One class was at the home of an inspiring couple who had a stunning fruit and vegetable garden in their backyard. One of the plants in this garden particularly surprised me, a goji berry plant.

Dried goji berries

At the time, I had never before seen an actual goji plant growing in a garden, given that goji berries are native to Asia and are not popularly cultivated as a garden crop here in the United States. Not surprisingly, the berries on the plant reminded me of tiny Roma tomatoes, given that goji berries (lycium barbarum) are in the nightshade plant family (Solanaceae), the same plant family as tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and Incan berries (a.k.a. golden berries).

I was excited to find after doing a little research that goji plants can grow in the area where Rick and I live. I am a big fan of locally grown food, so I thought it would be fun to grow some goji berry plants in my backyard garden.


Today, I looked for a suitable container in which to grow my goji seeds. I found an unused planter, filled it with soil, and made ½ inch deep holes about 2 inches apart. I opened several goji berries to find 20+ tiny seeds in each, which I carefully removed and did my best to place one seed in each of the holes. In several of the holes, I placed a single goji berry to see if multiple seeds would germinate together. I filled in the holes with soil and then watered the planted seeds and soil.

Goji berry with seeds

Now that the seeds are planted, I am looking forward to seeing how many, if any, actually germinate and produce plants. I’ll give you updates as the growing season progresses. :)

 

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