What You Need To Know About Planting Berry Bushes and Fruit Trees
Regardless of the reasons you choose to grow your own berries & fruit, it can be a fun and rewarding adventure for any gardener and growing your own edibles is such a great way to teach children and young adults the rewards of yielding off one’s efforts applied. Purchasing your own fruit & berries these days is not very economical, so it can be economically rewarding as well. If planned well, growing your own edible berries & fruit can be very productive but not all are as easy to produce and some may be better suited for your gardens, space, and preferences. Due to choosing hardy varieties of fruits & berries, these repeat their yields each year and just keep on giving their tasty treats.
Larger fruit trees requires space and some time invested in pruning and some spraying care to manage typical pests may be needed. Apples, Peaches, & Plums are among some of these requiring some preventative spraying for best results. Pears, Plums, Cherries, are among a few of these that appear to be a little easier to grow but fear not, as long as you are prepared with proper advice, preventing some of these pest problems isn’t that difficult to manage.
Most common are semi dwarf fruit trees that can grow 12-15’ tall and wide varying on type of fruit tree. Some unique fruit, such as small space columnar apples can be great for small gardens and create not only a productive fruit tree but a unique addition to your garden that will certainly gets some attention to your visitors.
Berries crops can includes Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Gooseberries, Grapes, and those ever so popular Blueberries that have been the rage in berry growers. Many of these berries are not only tasty but nutritious and bull of healthy benefits. Vining fruit like grapes require some space and arbor like training where brambles such as Raspberries & Blackberries just take some root to spread but absolutely easy to grow and almost guaranteed producers. Raspberries, also planted in early spring or late fall, need plenty of room to grow and spread through shallow runners. To keep them from getting out of control you can plant raspberries in a raised bed. You should also cut them back after they bear fruit and prune older stalks in the winter.
Blueberries have become one of the most popular grown berry shrubs with some varieties only growing 2-3’ tall and others growing up to 8-10’ tall. This allows one to choose their space and area committed to such a productive fruit bearing shrub. Blueberries are can be very attractive and often produce attractive flowering in spring with burgundy tones to their fall leaf color. Blueberries also require a very low ph level requiring very acidic soil conditions. This almost always requires the application of acidifiers to maintain this low ph level.
Strawberries, which are planted in early spring, produce few runners and work well as a ground cover, intermixed with flowers or shrubs. Plant the roots shallowly in soil that is high in organic matter and be sure not to bury the crown. Also, be diligent about weeding – berry plants don’t fare well when weeds are in the mix.
So, once you choose your preference in what fruit or berries that you’d like to grow, first plan your space, talk to one of our professionals about spacing and location for your items, and prepare your site by investing in good organic soil amendments to create a planting area that will allow your crops to take off well. Good drainage is a must with most fruit & berries so raised beds work well to ensure good preparation of planting pit and ensure good drainage. Also, incorporate a well balanced fertilizer designed for fruit & berries. For most, Fertilome Gardener’s Special fertilizer is a great way to start and provides a well balanced fertilizer with necessary trace elements and a high level of phosphorous. Remember that fertilizers for Blueberries should have an acidifier incorporated or a supplemental acidifier can be acquired commonly needed for lowering this ph level.
Happy fruiting 🙂