“Berry” Good Advice

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Mine was busy, with my daughter’s birthday in the mix, I was pretty tired after the whole thing and decided to take some time away from the computer to relax for a few days.

I was sitting on the fence as to what I should be posting about today. I have a few posts I am working on and didn’t feel confident that I had them ready to post. Then a friend had contacted me today and told she bought some berry plants to put in her backyard and needed some advice. Voila! Now is the perfect time to talk about berries. And how yummy they are. And how wonderful it will be to go in your backyard and pick them and freeze them so you can taste a bit of summer in the sub-zero winter. And the best thing about it? It’s not hard to do, and they will grow like crazy.

Ok, so here goes. For those of you who have forced your berry plants indoors, good for you! At this point in my life, I don’t have the time or space to do so, but, just maybe this could be an option for the future.

Berries I will be talking about today are the most common ones.

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

Last year, I purchased a raspberry plant for my husband, because he loves those berries. I bought just a gallon size in May of last year. I planted it, and you wouldn’t believe how fast it grew. And I even got a few berries! I was over the moon! I thought it was going to be really hard to grow. I am going to get a blackberry bush this year, because I pretty much eat those all the time now! It will be nice to have my own from the freezer!


Tips on planting Raspberries and Blackberries:

Plant in early spring after the last freeze. Depending on where you live in the world, plant after the last freeze.

Make sure you plant them in full sun and WATER them like crazy. With any plant you put in the ground for the first time, you must water them a lot in order for them to establish. They are very easy to grown and will be multiplying before you know it. Even first year plants will give you fruit, like I have shown above!

Mulch the roots. I know after learning a little more about Raspberries, their roots don’t like the summer sun so much, so they like a mulch for protection. You could mulch your blackberry plants a little as well. Mulch is so important to all plants in your garden, especially during the dog days of summer, when moisture tends to get scarce and you are responsible for the watering when no rain is in the forecast.

Tips for Strawberries:

Plant them as early as possible. Again, depending on your little part of the world, for those of us who live in the Northeast United States, the strawberry season is shrt (and I meant that typo). The strawberry season is literally about a month-long or so for us, so the earlier the better to get strawberries for June. Also remember, there are different varieties of strawberries, all depending on your “neck of the woods.”

Plant in full sun and water. Wild strawberries grow amok around my parents house. Growing up, there was nothing better than finding tiny, wild strawberries in large, sun-filled hay fields and picking them before the first cutting of hay season. Sun and well-drained soil are all you need!

Tips on Blueberries:

Plant in early spring, or late winter.

Blueberries require a little more effort. I left blueberries last for a reason. They tend to be a little harder to grow than all the rest. They are a little high maintenance. BUT, if you put in the effort, you will have big, beautiful blueberry bushes that will last for years and years. My parents planted a row of several blueberry bushes in 2007, and it took a little while for them to establish and start producing berries. You will need to, eventually, stake them, because they get so big and heavy. Be ready to have a trellis, stakes or some support system when planting blueberries.

They like acid. Blueberries need slightly more acidic soil than other berries. If you are having issues with getting your blueberries to grow, this may be the reason and there are many different fertilizers, compost, etc. that you can use to help change the pH in your soil to get your blueberries growing.

Don’t forget sunshine and water. Isn’t that a saying? All you need is sunshine and water? I love it!

*Note for all berries– even though I explained it for blueberries, you may need to stake your raspberries and blackberries with a trellis or support system of some sort. They get very big and bushy.

You can prune your berry bushes in late winter/early spring. It’s good for growth to give ’em a haircut once in a while.

So, until next time, have a “berry” nice day! Sorry, I can’t help myself sometimes.