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I haven't seen bilberries for sale in greengrocers/supermarkets for decades, but I remember the wonderful bilberry pies my Granny baked back in the 1950's, probably with fruit she picked in the wild.
I would really love to grow my own but hear that they are exceptionally hard to get started ( although they don't seem to suffer in the wild! ). I have just bought 50 seeds.....what next? I have plenty of rough acidic ground and am in Aberdeenshire, so it's certainly cold enough!
I'm not a fan of the American blueberry, what I want are good, old-fashioned British bilberries!
Any advice would be gratefully welcomed.
so...I take it I'm the only bilberry fan out here!
Never come across one - so lets call me a potential fan. How different are they from blueberries ?
I have a couple of young bilberry plants I bought last year in large containers of ericaceous compost and which look to be doing well. I understand their crop is per plant considerably less than a similarly sized blueberry plant, so will be trying to propagate more from cuttings. Bilberry seeds need cold stratification and may take a long time to germinate, so don't give up if nothing appears. I'd be tempted to sow them in a mixture of your acid soil and lime-free compost and then leave in a cold frame until something happens. Some good info here:
Brenda, I love bilberries and like you grew up with grandparents who made yummy pies! I don't like blueberries as i find them tasteless. I have just been up to Scotland and managed to get hold of some plants and have planted them in containers with John Innes ericaceous compost. I will await next year with baited breath to see if they take, but knowing how temperamental they are........
My mum used to make wimberry (spelling??) pies in the 50's - they were gorgeous. I've often wondered if they were the same as blueberries.