There’s nothing tastier than a bowl full of homegrown berries on a lazy summer afternoon. Fresh picked Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries from one’s garden are healthier, better tasting, and more economical than their store-bought counterparts. And the best part is that they are very easy to grow, even in pots, so let’s get started.
First, select a berry that you love to eat. Strawberries are a good choice because they produce a large amount of fruit in a small garden area and can be planted in spring, summer, or fall. Fall is the best time of year to plant strawberries giving them time for strong root development for growth in the spring. Raspberries, another popular berry, are also best suited for fall planting in cool climates. Ever-bearer raspberries bear two crops, one in the summer and one in the fall.
When selecting berries from your local nursery or catalog, always be sure that you select plants that are known to thrive in your local climate and hardiness zone. As with any plant, read the plant tag before making your garden purchase.
Most berries prefer well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. It is always a good idea to amend native soil before planting with products such as Schultz Garden Soil or Schultz Compost. Mulching around your plants throughout the season will help conserve moisture and minimize weed seeds from germinating. Prepare your berry plants for winter with a light layer of mulch.
Be sure to plant according to light and water requirements, but most berries will need full sun for highest yields; at least 6 hours per day and one inch of water per week. Apply a quality All-Purpose Plant Food in early spring when new growth and flowering begin. Be careful not to over-fertilize as it will cause excessive vegetative growth and reduce yields.
You’ll be enjoying home-grown and delicious berries before you know it!