Growing Your Own Berries

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Growing up in the country, there were always all sorts of berries you could pluck right off the bushes in the backyard for a quick, sweet snack. The taste was amazing and the fact that you could walk out your back door and immediately be able to enjoy a smorgasbord of fresh berries has always been a wonderful childhood memory.

These days, people are flocking to garden centers to purchase bushes that bear blackberries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, etc., to enjoy that same kind of experience. And why not? Growing your own is certainly less expensive than buying them at the grocery store or fruit stand and there’s also a certain pride you develop once you’ve harvested some of your own delicious berries.

If you’re going to grow your own, know going in that nearly all types of berries require lots of sun and rich, well drained soil if you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Some berry types also do best when you plant more than one.

Before planting, make sure your soil has the right amount of nutrients and then make sure the plants are always damp for the first couple of years. Then, decide how you’re going to keep deer, birds and animals out of your berries (fencing or netting works best). It will be well worth the effort to put thought into both location and soil preparation.

So, which berries to you want to plant?  Here are some of the best ones to try:

  • Strawberries. These perennials most likely will bear fruit within three to four weeks in late spring or early summer. They grow best in mounds, covered with mulch or straw so that the berries don’t rot on damp soil.
  • Blueberries. These shrubs varieties can grow a foot tall or six to eight feet tall and grow best in acidic soil. It’s best to grow different types that mature at varying times, spreading the timeframe for fruit over a couple of months. One of the most popular berry bush crops purchased today and also the most space conscious choice to select. And are among the most ornamental of berry crops with their more compact nature and brilliant display of burgundy to reddish orange fall leaf color.
  • Raspberries. If you can get these beauties to grow, you’ll be popular in your neighborhood because they’re among the most expensive of fruits. They don’t need a lot of care other than a little pruning and come in once and twice-bearing varieties. There are also multiple thornless raspberry varieties available
  • Blackberries. Much like raspberries, blackberries grow on thorny canes but the berries are larger. When it comes to blackberries is being patient – when they’re fully ripe and their sheen isn’t so bright, they’re at their sweetest.  There are also multiple thornless blackberry varieties available.

There are other berries – figs, gooseberries, Sweetberry, Goji Berry, & Grapes for example – that are also quite tasty and easy to grow. Regardless of what you decide to plant, you’ll be thrilled with the decision when you can finally pick a few off the bush and pop them directly into your mouth, savoring their sweet flavor!

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