growing-berries

Berries Just Want to Grow

Whether you’re growing strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or any other kind of berry, there are some basic facts about growing berries that are universal. While some berry varieties can require a bit more accommodation than others, most berries will grow easily, and quite enthusiastically, year after year. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know to grow juicy, delicious berries.

Your Growing Space

Berries like to roam about and spread out, so while you can plant just about anywhere, you want a long, narrow section of ground for your berry patch. You’ll also want a wall, a fence, or a trellis for certain plants like blackberries, which will grow upward.

The only other real requirement for your berry patch is that it needs as much sunlight as possible. Situate your plants in an area where there is plenty of full sun.

Whether you are planting a root start or from a cutting, your berry plants will thank you for adding plenty of organic matter to the soil. Some of the soil additions berries appreciate, depending on variety, include:

  • Bone meal – potassium, phosphorous
  • Bone meal – potassium, phosphorous
  • Coffee grounds – acidity
  • Blood meal – nitrogen
  • Peat – acidity
  • Seaweed – potassium, phosphorous
  • Compost – general nutrients

Berries are prone to sprawl, so it may be advisable to limit their growing space with an in-ground barrier to keep them from taking over your entire yard or garden; pruning and mulching can help keep berries in their designated space, too.

What To Do

One of the greatest things about berries is that they are really self-reliant. Beyond planting and watering (which you need to do frequently during the plant’s first year), your berries will require very little work from you.

Pruning will be necessary each year, and it varies by type of plant. However, for the most part, dead or unwanted branches should be removed. Check with your local extension office or nursery for additional pruning requirements for various plants.

You will generally want to fertilize your berry plants in the early spring, before they begin new growth. You’ll also need to add a layer of mulch, about three inches deep, to your berry patch, however, don’t mulch over the crown area of each plant; this will prevent rot.

These are general instructions for growing berries, however, each type of berry has some specific requirements, as well. In addition, most kinds of berries are not finicky and are happy to grow with just a little encouragement and sunshine.

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