Don’t Starve, Grow Berries

GROWING

Don’t Starve, Grow Berries

If you have been thinking of starting a garden to grow berries, you have a lot of great options. You don’t need a lot of land and there are all different ways to grow them. You can grow your own food and have delicious, organic berries available any time you want them. Plant your berry patch so that you can enjoy these delicious treats. Continue reading to learn all about growing your own berries at home.

Start by Choosing a Location to Grow Your Berries

When you grow berries, you don’t need the kind of space that you need for full-sized fruit trees. However, they still need rich, fertile soil and access to full sun. They need to have good drainage as well, so you want to choose a great spot. Some people create raised beds for them, which is great because wild berries won’t get in the way. This is important because when you grow your berries, you want to make sure that they aren’t at risk of diseases from your wild plants. Make sure that your berries will grow in a spot where they are not near other plants.

Make Sure That the Berries have Access to Fertile Soil and Full Sun

Most berries need full sun to thrive. Some types of berries, such as raspberries, can grow in partial sun but they will do better in full sun. They grow best when they can bask in the full sun. You also need to make sure that you have soil that is fertile, rich, and nutritious. If you take the time to set up optimal conditions for the berries to grow in the beginning, the plants will have a better chance of doing well in the future years.

Another important part of growing berries is making sure that you have fertilizers and other organic materials that help your berries grow well. You can remove the topsoil in the area where you want to plant your berries and replace it with compost so that it is fertile and conditioned to promote growth.

Once you choose your location, you will want to remember to compost a few times a year. You need to pay attention to your berries because they don’t handle weeds well. You can use a layer of mulch to help prevent weeds. You will need to look at specific needs for particular berries, but that will be addressed below.

Finally, the berries need room to grow when you plant them. They will become dense patches, but they will spread out and you need to make sure that they have room for this. You will also want to make sure that you get rid of dead pieces over time and keep your plants neat and tidy.

Some berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries are perennials and they will grow year after year. Strawberries can survive around three to five years and they also spread out as they grow. However, they can spread with runners of baby plants and take over other plants. If you don’t pay attention and make sure that they are kept in control, they can reduce the number of berries that you get each year.

Growing Blueberries

Blueberries aren’t too hard to grow, but you have to pay attention to a few of their needs. One important need is acidic soil. When you plant blueberries, you need to check the pH of the soil because they will not do well if the soil isn’t acidic. You can add acidic organic matter for them, including coffee grounds, shredded leaves, or pine needles, and let it break down over time.

You can test the pH of the soil and look for it to be between a 4 and a 5 on the pH scale. You can add pelleted or powdered sulfur to make the soil more acidic. You will want to add in organic matter but do not add fertilizer or manure to the blueberry patch. You can add peat moss to the hold when you plant them. Blueberries also will grow more fruit when they are in the sun. They can grow in partial shade, but you will get more berries with more sun.

You might want to consider using a protective netting over the blueberries because birds love to eat them. You will want to water the blueberries well and make sure that they get regular water after they are planted. You can use a drip system for best results.

Types of Blueberries

There are several different types of blueberry bushes that you can grow. You can choose from highbush, lowbush, rabbiteye, and half-high blueberries. Highbush blueberries grow best in Zones 4 through 7, the warmer climates. They can grow up to eight feet tall. In the fall, they have red and yellow foliage, and they can be an attractive plant in your landscaping.

Lowbush strawberries do best in Zones 3 through 7, and they are usually around two feet or less. They are sweeter berries and they can handle a cold winter. The rabbiteye and half-high blueberry bushes are a combination of highbush and lowbush plants. The rabbiteye grows to between two and four feet and it does well in warm climates. The half-high bushes do well in cooler climates and also grow to between two and four feet.

A few great blueberry plants include the following:

  • Duke Blueberry: northern highbush grows between four and six feet tall
  • Sunshine Blue Blueberry: southern highbush grows up to four feet
  • Top Hat Blueberry: lowbush stays smaller and can be grown in a container

Blueberries do well when you plant them in groups because they benefit from cross-pollination. They will produce bigger, sweeter fruit. They do not usually have deep roots and you need to know that they have trouble growing in compacted soil, so you will want to dig out soil to make sure that they can grow well. Add peat moss and compost along with sand when you plant them.

Growing Blackberries and Raspberries

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