The secret to enjoying a delicious variety of berries all summer long is in the selection of a mixture of plants. However finding plants that will thrive in flower beds the same way that they do in patio pots can be difficult to say the least! That being said don’t despair! With a little hard work and forethought all gardens can benefit from healthy colourful flowers and fruit.
Simple Succulent Strawberries
Strawberries are hardy to say the least. Infact they are able to survive in nearly any condition or environment. Whether the sun is blazing from the sky or the ice is forming on the windows, strawberry plants happily thrive and adapt to their environment.
The two main types of strawberry plant are summer-fruiting and perpetual, as outlined below:
Summer Fruiting Strawberry Plants
These plants yield the biggest strawberries and the highest quantity. Most garden centres stock this type of strawberry plant, the most popular being the ‘Hapil’, earning it’s popularity by giving good yields of strawberries each year.
Perpetual Strawberry Plants
Usually sold at market stalls, these strawberry plants don’t give such a high yield as the summer-fruiting strawberry plant. The advantage with these plants is that they give fruit for a longer period and whilst the fruit may not be as big, the yield is regular.
The alpine strawberry plant gives another option to berry growers. Whilst the fruit given is small, these berries are extremely sweet. In addition the plant produces very pretty white flowers and makes a perfect choice for rockeries and flowerbeds.
To successfully grow strawberry plants they should be placed 14 inches apart. Ensure that the hole gives space for the roots to grow and that the crown reaches the level of the soil. It’s important to give attention to this initial stage of your strawberry plants. A crown which is below the soil level will quickly rot, one that is too high however will quickly dry out.
Whilst not boasting the same hardiness as the strawberry plant, the raspberry plant is still relatively easy to grow. The secret to helping your raspberry plants to thrive is shelter and a little sunshine, if your garden doesn’t get much sun there are lots of plants out there that will do really well with just a little amount of sunshine each day, http://www.findmeplants.co.uk/topten-ground-cover-low-shade.aspx this article will help you find lots of plants and shrubs, from Cyclemen to Rubus, it’s great guidance for the novice right to the expert gardener.
There are two types of raspberry plants as follows:
Summer-fruiting Raspberry Plants
Producing good large crops for a long season, the ‘Glen Ample’ and the ‘Tulameen’ are the most popular varieties.
Autumn-fruiting Raspberry Plants
For raspberry plants that will yield fruit from autumn time the ‘Autumn Bliss’ and the ‘Joan J’ are excellent choices.
These two varieties of raspberry plant mean that delicious raspberries can be enjoyed for around six months every year!
To successfully grow raspberries the plants must be well supported. If you only have a small area then use one post to give support to up to three plants. If you have a larger area available then arrange a series of posts with wire to give the plants appropriate support.
Blueberry plants need a little more care and attention, including covering the plants during the winter months. That being said they do well as container plants and the excellent antioxidant properties of these little berries make the extra work well worthwhile.
For a hardier plant, choose the ‘Bluecrop’. The Bluecrop will give beautiful white flowers during the spring months and will yield juicy light blue fruit in July.
For planting outside soil must be acidic, have good drainage and be sheltered. Planting should be done between November and March for best results.
Buckets of Blackberries
The ‘Loch Ness’ is probably the most popular plant used in the commercial growing of blackberries and for good reason. Yielding gorgeous glossy blackberries without the thorns this is a great choice.
Brambles (wild blackberries) can often be bitter however the commercial varieties always give sweet juicy fruit. Whilst blackberries will grow in nearly all soil types they do need to be allowed space. A hardy plant they will produce fruit in shade or sunshine, although they do prefer a sunny spot.
Producing a great crop if they’re neglected and an amazing crop if they are cared for, gooseberries are a great choice for the garden.
If choosing a spot for gooseberries then go for soil with good drainage and shelter. ‘Invicta’ is a good choice of plant which gives large fruit that is ideal in dessert recipes.
Berries are not only a great and tasty snack but are packed with goodness. With the possibility of enjoying succulent berries from your garden for the summer and autumn months there’s never been a better time to get busy in the garden.