Berrilicious

Plant Your Own Smoothie

Make a pie, tart, jams, parfait, fruit salad, juice, muffins, pancakes, popsicles, etc…No matter which berry you choose (or choose them all), you are sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor!  Growing your own couldn’t get any better than berries.

Strawberries
June bearing strawberries give their biggest harvest in June (obviously), while everbearing bear the same amount of fruit but it is spread throughout the summer.  With so many varieties, there’s sure to be a
strawberry that thrives in your space. Plant in early spring. Strawberries typically are grown in beds/rows directly into the ground. Now with all the different varieties you can also grow them in a containers like strawberry jars, window boxes and hanging baskets. 
Obtain plants from your favorite local garden
center; they know which varieties do well in your
area and where is best to plant them.. Space plants about 18″ apart. Bury the roots, but not the center crown – Strawberries need lots of light and
fresh air (do not overcrowd). Add mulch to retain moisture and
discourage weeds. Strawberries multiply by sending out “runners” or long vine-like shoots, but are easy to maintain and keep within your designated planting area.

Raspberries (and blackberries)
Again, get healthy, vigorous plants from a local
garden center. Plant in early Spring, spaced about
3 feet apart. Because raspberries send long canes
upward as they grow, they will need support. Plant
them next to a fence or create a simple support
alongside the row with some stakes and wire.
Feed raspberries and blackberries in the Spring
and Fall with a high-quality, organic plant food like
Holly-tone. Water at a rate of about an inch per
week and spread organic mulch three to four
inches deep around plants. Raspberries ripen
Summer through Fall and once they get going,
raspberries can produce fruit for years – maybe indefinitely. Again, full sun is a must.

Blueberries
Besides being delicious, blueberries are just what
the doctor ordered – they’re loaded with healthy antioxidants. Blueberries require soil that is very acidic. You can easily increase the acidity of your soil with safe, non-toxic Espoma Soil Acidifier. Blueberry plants come in high bush, low bush or rabbit eye varieties. Space them 6 to 15 feet apart, respectively. Plant in full sun. Set each plant slightly deeper than it was in its pot. Right after planting, spread a three-inch layer of organic mulch over the ground.
Apply two inches of water weekly. Blueberries ripen mid to late Summer.  Blueberries set a better fruit when they are able to cross pollinate with another variety of blueberry.

Quick Care for your Berries

That covers the basics – but there is one more thing.
Remember, you’re not the only one who likes berries. You
can keep birds away by hanging shiny objects like foil strips
or old CDs nearby. When it comes to neighbors and family, you’re on your own.  Talk to us about insects!  Caterpillars, beetles and borers love these berries.  We can help!.

No matter which berry is your favorite, all of
them like rich, well-drained, acidic soil (very
acidic for blueberries), full sun, organic mulch
and about 2″ of water per week. Even if you
haven’t decided which berry to grow yet,
getting started is as easy as one-two-three.
Four or  five…
1. Select a growing area with full sun.
2. Work the soil 8 to 10 inches deep and add
in an organic compost. Especially if you have sandy or clay soil.
4. Feed with a high-quality organic plant food
in the area around the root zone, such as
Espoma Holly-tone®.                                                                                                                        5. Pick when ripe and bursting with flavor.

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