All kinds of berries- straw berries, blue berries, raspberries are a great supplement to your garden. Here are a few tips to help grow different varieties of berries in your garden:
- Add mulch like straw to strawberries to maintain the cleanliness of your fruits. Straw prevents berries from rotting and moulding by preventing disease spores from splashing on to the berries. They last longer and look better. Straw also allows soil to be moist, thus reducing weeds and plumping up the berries.
- For a complete summer harvest, grow strawberries that are day-neutral. June fruiting strawberries bear fruit in summer and ever bearing berries in fall and June. But day neutrals can flower and fruit throughout the summer.
- You must plant strawberries that are day neutral as early as possible in spring and all flower buds must be pinched away for six weeks after planting. This strengthens the plant before it starts to fruit. After they start flowering, add fertilizer every month to maintain plants productive and strength. But the pace of productivity might go down every passing year. If the plants start producing less and less, consider starting a fresh patch of strawberries.
- Strawberries can be planted in a strawberry jar on a patio for an edible feast. These jars are around 2 feet high and have side opening, all ideal for planting strawberry plants. They look attractive, especially when runners dangle down the sides. Use extra compost to plant in peat based potting.
- Trim the canes away on raspberries and blackberries when planting new plants. Canes refer to the long flowering stems. Leave only a few buds at the base of stems. This prevents any diseases which, might have piggy-backed to your garden through the berry plants. It slows down spring flowering enabling the plant to become strong before flowering and fruiting.
- Prune one third of all raspberry and blackberry canes to keep them productive. Blackberry plants can grow into thorny, tightly packed thickets. Crowded thickets prevent one from easily picking the berries and also forces canes to engage in a fight for fresh air, nutrients, sunlight and moisture. This results in smaller and more diseased berries.
- As soon as canes have finished with bearing fruit, cut them off near the base to give space to new canes. Get rid of any scrawny, sick or weak canes. After this, select and remove additional canes from crowded thickets that are marring the space of the rest of the garden.
- You can make pruning easier if you wear thorn proof, thick gloves and use pruning loppers that are long handled. You will also do well with a pair of sun glasses.
- Use fine nets to cover ripening berries like strawberries, blackberries, grapes, blue berries, raspberries and cherries from being attacked by birds and insects. These pests love the juicy flavour of the berries and tend to attack plants once the berries get colour. The net properly placed will prevent any attack from birds and insects.
Once you have cultivated berries in your garden, you can share them with friends and family to spread the joy around. One can make fruit baskets with them and use fruit basket gift delivery in UK to share your produce with your loved ones.