Cranberry Sanding – March 2021

Sanding – that is applying 1/2 to 1″ of sand on top of the vines during the dormant season, was done in March 2021 at KillingworthCranberries. From the UMass Cranberry Station: “Sanding covers the leaf litter (‘trash’) layer on the floor of the cranberry bog. This has several benefits, including stimulation of organic matter decomposition (nitrogen release and relief of root congestion), suppression of fruit rot fungus inoculum. and promoting rooting and the production of upright stems (the portion of the plant that bears the crop).”

The only viable method for us is Sanding on the vines (dry sanding). Unfortunately, it is associated with vine injury even if the sanding is done when the vines are dormant. The weight of the Melville Sand Buggy with over 1 yard of sand can damage the brittle vines. This causes a decrease in blossoms and yield the subsequent season.