You Are At: AllSands Home > Gardening > Berry growing
Nothing can compare to the sweet, juicy taste of a freshly picked strawberry or blackberry. Berries are not only a treat to eat, but also can be a delight to grow. You do not need to be an expert gardener to enjoy summer¡¦s bounty of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. Simply follow the tips discussed below and you will be on your way to a luscious, mouth-watering harvest.

Blueberries

*Plant blueberries in well drained, acidic soil (pH 4.5 ¡V 5.2). These plants produce dense roots, so adequate drainage is necessary.

*Choose an area that receives at least partial sun, although full sun is preferable.

*Mulch around the bushes to prevent weed growth.

*When planting, place the bush into a wide, shallow hole less than eight inches deep.

*Apply a fertilizer made specifically for acid loving plants both at the start of blooming in late spring and also one month later.

*As the berries start to turn blue, cover the bushes with bird netting to prevent birds or other animals from enjoying your harvest.


Blackberries

*Plant blackberry bushes two to three feet apart in well drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0 ¡V 6.5).

*Choose an area that receives full sun at least six hours a day.

*Mulch around the bushes to prevent weed growth.

*Although blackberry bushes tend to be draught tolerant, remember to water them weekly during dry weather.

*When new growth appears, fertilize each bush with about three ounces of a 13-13-13 mixture. Also, during mid-summer of the first year, mix into the soil one ounce of ammonium nitrate per plant. Continue to fertilize each year in the spring.


Strawberries

*Plant strawberries in rich, well-drained soil.

*Choose a location that receives full sun at least six hours a day.

*Mulch well around each plant to reduce weeds. Also, in areas where the winter temperatures drop below 20 F, cover the plants completely with a thick mulch of straw and/or leaves.

*When planting, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots, but leave the crown above the surface. If planted too deep, the roots will rot. If planted too shallow, the plant may not produce fruit.

*Space the plants about 12 ¡V 15 inches apart to allow ample room for runners (baby plants).

*To enjoy a full season of strawberries, plant both the June-bearing type (produces fruit in early summer) and the everbearing type (produces fruit from early summer to frost).

Raspberries

*Raspberries can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, but do require full sun.

*Mulch well around each bush to prevent weed growth.

*Since these berry bushes have thorns and grow long canes, plant away from walkways.

*When planting, dig a hole larger than the root ball and plant at the same depth as did the nursery. Fill the hole completely with soil then water thoroughly.

*Raspberry bushes should be pruned annually every spring and also after each harvest.

*Like strawberries, raspberries can be enjoyed all season by planting both the summer-bearing and the everbearing plant.