Turkey berry is grown from seeds or stem cuttings. Interested in growing turkey berries or planting turkey berries because you’ve recently read about it?
Do you think the benefits of growing them are worth it? This blog post on how to grow turkey berry plants will guide you in what is required and how to grow turkey berry.
You can read the article on how to start a vegetable garden for tips and ideas. If your focus is growing turkey berries, continue reading.
Table of Contents
What is turkey berry?
Turkey berry is a shrub-like vine that is found in tropical and certain subtropical regions. The plant prefers warmer weather and grows in regions of the world where the temperature remains between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, though it can tolerate temperatures as low as 12 degrees Celsius.
It is commonly found in South America, Asia, India, and Africa, where it often grows wild. The plant gets its name from its fruits, which resemble small turkeys.
Turkey berry plants are also known as pea eggplant or wild eggplant and belong to the same plant family known as nightshade such as tomatoes.
How to grow turkey berry plant.
If you are serious about how to grow turkey berry plants, this short descriptive text tells you how.
Turkey berry plants can be grown from seeds. To do this, you will need to collect turkey berry seeds once the fruits have ripened and dried. Or you can buy turkey berry seeds online from Amazon.
To grow turkey berry plants follow the steps below. We will assume you’ve gotten your seeds already.
1. Soak turkey berry seeds for at least 12 hours.
Pour clean water about 250ml in a small bowl
Add about 50 to hundred seeds to the water
If the seeds are floating on top of the water, gently push them into the bottom of the water with your fingers so they will get soaked well.
If some seeds remain floating, remove them as the chances of them germinating is slim.
Leave the seeds undisturbed for 12 hours.
After the 12 hours, seive your turkey berry seeds.
You can sow the seeds immediately or allow it dry for about 2 hours before sowing.
2. Prepare media for germinating your turkey berry seeds.
You can use soil or cocopeat to start your turkey berry seeds. There are also great seed starting soil mix you can get to buy on the market depending on where you are located.
Whichever you choose to use, take notes and then settle on the best one that works for you.
Cocopeat is highly recommended as it has been used to germinate turkey berries with high success rates. To start your seeds which have been soaked and dried enough by now, we can go on to the next steps.
If you are using cocopeat, put your cocopeat in a cloth and dip it in water to get it soaked for at least 30 seconds.
Remove the cloth containing the soaked cocopeat and drain the water.
Fill your seed starting pots/cups etc with the cocopeat. These should have some holes at the sides and bottom to allow aeration and also soil/seed germinating medium to drain well.
Sprinkle your seeds evenly into the cup (paper cups are highly recommended) and cover them with a thin layer of extra cocopeat.
Cover your seed starting pot/cup with white transparent polythene to ensure maintaining consistent temperature for germinating seeds. Make a small hole (use a toothpick) in the polythene to also aid in aeration.
Leave your cup undisturbed and after 7 days onwards you will see the turkey berry seeds starting to germinate.
Get some good loamy soil.
Fill your cups with the soil.
Sprinkle some water on the soil so that it will be soaked just enough. After sprinkling get soil too wet as it miight lead to seeds rotting, dying and thereby not germinating.
Allow some few 5 – 10 minutes and then sprinkle your turkey berry seeds (from step one) evenly ontop of your soil in the cups.
Add about half an inch of soil to cover the seeds.
Sprinkle some water on the added soil.
Cover with transparent polythene to maintain constant temperature to aid in fast germination of your turkey berry seeds. Don’t forget to make a hole in the polythene for aeration purposes and proper soil drainage .
Leave the cups undisturbed in a location where there will be 100 percent shade.
After some days, you should start seeing your turkey berry seeds germinating.
3. Check The Progress of Your Turkey Berry Seeds
After every 7 – 10 days, check your turkey berry seeds to see if they are germinated. If only a few seeds are germinated, remove the polythene, sprinkle some water (use a hand sprayer/sprinkler) on the seeds or seedlings and recover them.
Now place the cups in a spot where they will get at least 50% shade throughout the day.
After the next ten days, all or majority of your seeds should germinate. Remove the polythene and your new sets of turkey berry seedlings as you would any other plants’ seedlings.
After a few more days, your turkey berry seedlings should be ready to transplant into your garden.
4. Transplanting your Turkey Berry Seedlings
Turkey berries, also known as false berries, are a type of Solanum fruit. The plants are native to tropical America, but they can be grown in other parts of the world.
When the seedlings are about 6 inches tall, you have to transplant them.
Turkey berry seedlings can be transplanted into larger pots or into the ground. If transplanting into the ground in your garden make sure the seedlings are spaced about 5 feet apart.
Soak the roots of your turkey berry eedlings in water for an hour.
Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and mix in compost or organic matter.
Gently remove the seedling from the seed starting container and place it in the hole in the ground or larger pot.
Backfill the hole with soil.
Water the plants regularly, but do not allow them to get too wet. Keep the soil moist until the seedlings are established.
The turkey berry plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Ensure that your turkey berry plants have enough sun light during the day.
Fertilize the plants monthly with a balanced fertilizer.
Does turkey berries require a lot of sunlight and warmth?
Turkey berries are a tropical plant, so they are best grown in the tropics and sub-tropics. However, with the right care and conditions, you can also grow them indoors during cooler seasons.
This plant does well in full sun or partial shade (if growing outside), but must be kept warm. In cool areas it should be grown indoors or in a heated greenhouse/polytunnel (high tunnel).
Should the soil for turkey berry plants be well-drained?
Turkey berries grow best in a well-drained soil. Sandy soil is your best bet, but as long as the soil isn’t heavy and clay-like, you’re good to go. Also, the soil should be slightly acidic or neutral (a pH of 6.5 to 7.5).
Is It best to plant turkey berry with its companion crop, trefoil?
It’s best to plant turkey berry with its companion crop, trefoil. These plants are mutually beneficial to one another. Trefoil is a nitrogen-fixing legume, meaning it adds nitrogen to the soil and improves its quality as a result.
It also helps suppress weeds that can choke out young seedlings of other crops. Because of these benefits, it’s recommended that you plant your turkey berries with trefoil at least once every 3 years if possible.
How long should turkey berries be watered after planting?
After planting, turkey berry plants need to be watered regularly for about 6 weeks or until they have become established.
Once your turkey berry plants are in the ground, you’ll need to make sure they get watered regularly. Water them every day for a few weeks after planting, and then reduce watering to once a week as they mature.
Watering in the morning is ideal because it gives the plants time to soak up the water before it evaporates in the heat of the day. However, it’s still better to water your plants later in the day rather than not watering them at all.
Water should reach down about 6 inches into the soil around your young turkey berry plants so that their roots have access to enough moisture for proper growth.
Is there a need to fertilize the turkey berry plant?
Fertilizer is not necessary for turkey berry plants because they are adapted to growing in poor soil and will thrive whether fertilizer is used or not. However, if you wish to fertilize the plant, you may do so.
How can I protect my turkey berries if I live in an area that experiences frost?
If you live in an area that experiences frost, you’ll need to protect your plant with a plastic bag or jar during cold weather. Here’s how:
- Make sure the plant is placed somewhere it won’t be disturbed by the wind.
- Measure the circumference of the plant, then add another 7 inches (17 centimeters). For example, if your turkey berry measures 12 inches around, cut a 19-inch-long piece of twine (47 cm).
- Fold a square of plastic in half and secure it with staples along the side and bottom. Leave one edge open for now.
- Once you’ve done this, place the plant inside and secure the remaining side with staples.
When is the best time to harvest turkey berries?
The best time to harvest turkey berries is just before they turn red and begin to ripen. Harvesting too early or too late can damage the plant, reduce yield, and decrease quality.
When harvested at the right time, you will get more berries per plant, they will taste better and be more likely to impress your friends if you serve them as an hors d’oeuvre.
These berries also have a higher nutritional value, so harvesting them at the right time means that you are getting the most out of your crop!
Turkey berries are nutritious and easy to grow if you follow these steps.
Whether you’re planting turkey berries in your garden or growing them on your balcony, all you need are the right seeds, a pot, and some soil.
Turkey berries are also called creeping nightshade. They originated in India and were brought to Europe by explorers. The plant can be grown from seed, but it can also be propagated through cuttings.
Turkey berries are rich in Vitamin C and potassium. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which is known to help treat kidney stones and gout when mixed with honey and water.
Benefits of Turkey Berry
There are some benefits that one can derive from using turkey berries. Some of these benefits include;
- Turkey berry is a source of iron. Iron promotes the development of red blood cells which helps in the treatment of anemia.
- It helps in preventing indigestion.
- Turkey berries also help in treating stomachaches
- It also helps in dealing with diarrhea.
- Turkey berries help prevent intestinal worms
- Treating diabetes.
- Prevention of cold and flu.
- Turkey berries can also help one get rid of phlegm and mucus.
These are some benefits reported by people who have used turkey berries. If you however have allergies, consult your medical officer for advice before using turkey berries as there may be some side effects you need to know about.
Turkey berries are simple to grow and come with lots of health benefits including help in treatment of anemia, preventing indigestion and stomachaches, etc.
If you want to learn how to use turkey berry to treat anemia read How To Use Turkey Berry To Treat Anemia in 5 Easy Steps.
It also has commercial value and can be cultivated on a large scale and sold. So there you have it. Happy cultivating turkey berries. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below.