How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?

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How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?
How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?

Table of Contents

How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?

How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?How to Grow Berries in Your Garden?

WHY GROW BERRIES?

Flavor and price. The limited availability and high prices of store bought fruit give homegrown berries the highest ‘dollar per sq. ft. of garden’ of any crop you can plant. The plants are inexpensive, last for years, are easy to maintain and the fresh picked flavor is impossible to find in stores.

SELECTING VARIETIES

Almost any type of berry can be grown in our area although there are specific varieties that are better. The varieties we have available have proven themselves to be superior for local planting. Try to purchase roots or vines that are second-year transplants. This saves you half of the time from planting to picking.

POTENTIAL PRODUCTION

The Department of Agriculture gives the following estimates of fruit production from a dozen established plants. Blackberry, youngberry, boysenberry, and loganberry – 9 to 15 Qts. This information is offered to help you select the correct number of plants for your family and is not a guarantee of production.

WHERE TO PLANT

The right location in your yard will ensure the success of your crop. Blueberries, huckleberries and black raspberries need afternoon shade. Red raspberries and gooseberries are best with protection from extreme heat (keep roots cool). All other varieties should be in as much sun
as possible.

Berry plants can fit easily into the home landscaping. Compact bush varieties like currant, gooseberry, and blueberry take no more room than an Azalea bush. vine types of berries can be grown against a wall or fence or planted in rows and trained on wires strung between posts.

PREPARING SOIL

Berry plants will remain in the same location for many years so soil conditioning before planting is critical to success. Mix 20% to 30% organic material with the soil in the planting area. Fir bark mulch or redwood compost last the longest and contain no weed seeds or diseases.

WATERING

During the early months of growth and fruit formation, the soil should be kept moist but not soggy. After harvest, reduce watering to deep but infrequent soakings. Remove furrows and watering basins during the winter to prevent standing water that could rot the plants.

FERTILIZING

unlike other fruit-producing plants, berries require primarily nitrogen to produce
good crops. Use a slow release fertilizer like Master Nursery Mastergreen or Formula 49. Feed
just as growth starts in spring. Repeat in May and again after harvest. Apply the fertilizer at least 12
inches away from the plants and lightly work into the soil. Follow with deep watering.

PRUNING

CANE BERRIES

Fruit is produced on canes that grew the previous year. At the end of the harvest season, cut the canes that had fruit this year back to the soil level. Train the canes that grew this year back on the wires. Mark these canes with a spot of latex paint to make identification easier next year.

BUSH BERRIES (Blueberries, currants, gooseberries, and huckleberries)

Each year cut 1/3 of the oldest branches back to within 8 or 10 inches of the soil. This produces vigorous new growth from the base of the plants that will ensure good fruit production.

VINEBERRIES (Strawberries)

Remove runners for larger individual berries. Leave runners for a greater number of medium-sized berries. Replace plants every fourth year. Try replanting about 25% of the strawberry bed each year. This will keep the production going on every year and the bed will have to continue annual replenishment.

INSECT PROBLEMS RASPBERRY HORNTAIL

Tips of new growth wilt and die.

Control – cut out infested cane below an area of damage.

CANE BORER

tunnels running from cut ends of canes down into the crown area.

Control – after pruning, cover cut ends of canes with SEAL and HEAL.

RED BERRY MITE

Parts of fruit fail to ripen, remain pale and hard.

Control – spray SULFUR when leaf buds are 3 inches long in spring or NURSERY

ROUND PEST FIGHTER OIL

MITES

Foliage shows pale speckles and silvery appearance.

Control – Use SAFERS INSECTICIDAL SOAP or MASTER NURSERY YEAR ROUND PEST

FIGHTER OIL
APHIDS

Tiny green insects under leaves, sticky or sooty deposits on leaves.

Control – Spray MASTER NURSERY YEAR ROUND PEST FIGHTER OIL or SAFERS INSECTICIDAL SOAP as needed for control. Both may be used up to the day of harvest.

SLUGS, SNAILS, EARWIGS, SOWBUGS

Damaged fruit and foliage.

Control – use MASTER NURSERY SNAIL, SLUG and INSECT MEAL.

DISEASE PROBLEMS

LEAFSPOT

Small purple spots with pale centers on leaves and stems

Control – spray COOKE’S KOP-R-SPRAY in September, March, and April.

LEAF RUST

Orange powdery spots on the underside of leaves.

Control – spray COOKE’S KOP-R-SPRAY in September, March, and April.

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