There’s nothing better than a sweet juicy berry picked right off the bush. You too can enjoy that experience by learning how to grow succulent summer berries in your own yard.
Most berries require little effort, thriving equally as well as a border for your flower bed or in pots or hanging baskets on your patio. All it takes is selecting the right berries for your location, and a little TLC.
Strawberries tolerate most all conditions and soil types, making them an excellent choice for the novice. They tolerate extremes well whether it’s those hot summer months or the cold of
Srawberries come in two categories: perpetual and summer-fruiting. There is also a small but deliciously sweet alpine variety with tiny white blossoms. It’s nice as a ground cover around rockeries or lining flowerbeds.
For the largest strawberries you’ll want to choose the summer-fruiting varieties. They can be counted on to produce high yields of mouth-watering fruit. Check with your local garden centre for these. Another popular variety because of its delicious flavour is the “Hapil” strawberry.
The Perpetual varieties don’t produce as many strawberries as the summer-fruiting strawberries. The berries are of medium size, but quite tasty. They will supply a steady crop throughout the summer. They can be found at most market stalls. They are a reliable choice if size is not a factor.
When planting strawberries, place them about 35cm (14in) apart. Make your hole deep enough that all the roots are buried, leaving nothing but the crown of the plant level with the soil. This is important as, if it the crown is below soil level, it can rot. Conversely, if it’s too high, your plant will dry out and die.
Rows of Raspberries
Raspberries are another succulent choice and easy to grow. They do, however, need to be sheltered from the elements as well as some sun. Raspberry plants come in two categories also. There are the summer-fruiting varieties and the autumn-fruiting varieties. If you choose some from both categories, you can count on a good six month’s worth of delicious raspberries.
Summer-fruiting raspberries such as ‘Glen Ample’ and ‘Tulameen’ will produce late in the season while the ‘Joan J’ and ‘Autumn Bliss’ varieties will produce for many months beyond autumn.
Your raspberries bushes will need support. Something as simple as stretching a wire between several posts will do. Depending on the size of your garden you can do with a single post or a series of them spaced across the garden.
Blueberries in Abundance
How about some blueberries? They work great in container gardens, especially when covered during winter months, or moved to a sheltered area. Most people these days are aware of the antioxidant properties of blueberries. Growing them in a home garden contributes further to those healthful benefits.
One hardy blueberry that’s good for starting out is ‘Bluecrop.’ It produces in mid-season, around July.
Blueberries need to be planted in acidic soil and have a sheltered location with good drainage. They’re white blossoms in spring and colourful autumn foliage make them perfect for landscaping.
If you’ve ever picked blackberries, you know how painful it can be. Not so with the thornless ‘Loch Ness’ variety. It’s compact and produces its yield of delicious berries beginning around mid-August.
Commercial cultivars are bred for constant producing and large berries. Wild blackberries, also known as brambles, on the other hand tend to produce sweeter fruit. They need a lot of space to grow but thrive in all kinds of soil. A sunny spot is best, but they do well in shade as well.
Gooseberries are hardy and thrive in all sorts of soils. They should be in a sheltered, well-drained area. Try ‘Invicta’ for a crop of large, pale-green goose.
Berries are not difficult to grow and certainly not difficult to eat. If you like berries, why not give growing them a try.