How To Grow Berries At Home

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If growing fruit trees seems overwhelming or just plain too much work, consider growing berries. There are several types of berries that are suitable for a home garden. Most berries are easy to grow as long as they receive the right amount of sunshine, are planted in suitable soil conditions and receive just the right amount of pruning at the right time.

Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most popular berries for the home garden. Not only are these big, bright and red juicy berries a tasty treat, strawberries are easy to grow and produce an abundance of berries in a small amount of space. Strawberries are also great for container gardening.

Here are a few tips for growing strawberries:

  • Strawberry plants can be planted any time of year. If planted in the spring or summer, pinch off the buds and runners for the first year.
  • Choose June bearing varieties for the best yields.
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Blueberries

Blueberries are native North American plants that have been touted as a superfood with many healthy benefits in addition to tasting great. Blueberries are also a versatile plant, which grows in small spaces and makes a great container plant.

When shopping for blueberry plants, look for plants that are suited to the intended growing environment. Some varieties of blueberries do better in cold climates, while others are especially suited to tropical environments.

Follow these blueberry growing tips:

  • Plant in highly acidic soil.
  • Plant several varieties of blueberries to encourage fruit production.
  • Use plants to create a hedge around the garden.
  • Mature plants produce up to 8 quarts of berries in a season.
  • For the best flavor, leave berries on the plant for a week after turning blue.

Raspberries

Raspberries are a very hardy plant that produces a fruit that is both sweet and tart. The berries are used in jams and pies. The leaves of the raspberry plant can be brewed in an herbal tea that can relieve a sore throat or cure a stomach ailment. Raspberries come in a variety of colors but the red raspberry produces the most fruit and has the tangiest flavor.

When growing raspberries, keep these tips in mind:

  • Plant in a sandy loam soil that is rich with organic material.
  • Grow raspberries on a trellis to improve the quality of the fruit.
  • Raspberries are ready to harvest when the berry easily separates from the core.
  • It is important to properly prune raspberry plants after harvesting the last crop of the season.

Cape Gooseberry

Cape Gooseberry is also known as poha, ground cherry and husk tomato. Cape Gooseberry grows well any place where tomatoes grow, is easy to maintain and produces an abundance of round, orange skinned fruit that is enclosed in a tan papery sack. It is a juicy fruit that tastes sweet and tangy and is high in vitamin C and potassium.

Here are a few tips for growingCapeGooseberries:

  • Grow in well-drained but poor soil. If the soil is fertile, fruit production will be low.
  • Two or three plants will produce enough fruit for a family.
  • Harvest when the husk turns from green to a yellow-brown color. Pick the fruit in the later part of the dry when the husks are dry.
  • After harvesting the fruit, lay out to dry for a day or longer. The fruit will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days when kept cool and dry.

Blackberries, Loganberries and Boysenberries

Blackberries, loganberries and boysenberries that are grown in a garden have little resemblance to those huge brambling bushes seen growing in the wild. The cultivated varieties of these berry plants grow in a smaller space and produce an abundance of juicy fruits. There are dwarf and thornless varieties that make it easy to grow these berries in any home garden.

Here are a few tips for growing blackberries, loganberries and boysenberries:

  • Loganberries and boysenberries are hybrids of blackberries and have similar growing requirements.
  • Plant in slightly acidic soil.
  • Add compost to the soil every year in the summer.

Currants

Currants are a popular berry for jams and syrups. Their large, maple shaped leaves and glossy berries make them an attractive addition to the garden. While these berries can be grown in a variety of climates, they fare best in colder climates. Currants are drought tolerant but must be properly watered during its fruiting season.

To successfully grow currants, use these tips:

  • Grow in neutral or slightly acidic clay soil.
  • Add interest to a garden by training currants into a topiary sculpture.

Growing berries in the home garden is a rewarding experience. Once the berry plants are in the ground and established, they will produce fruit year after year. In addition, young plants grow into an impressive sized patch in just a couple of seasons. With the high cost of berries in the grocery stores, it just makes good economical sense to grow the family’s favorite berries just outside the kitchen door where they can be enjoyed by everyone.

Last Updated: December 28, 2011
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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