Whenever you head to the supermarket, you probably wonder how you can grow your own raspberries and blueberries instead of resorting to their bland and pale imitations. This summer get the berry patch you always wanted in your backyard!
Choose a sunny spot of your garden or balcony, as fruiting plants require at least six to eight hours of sunshine daily.
When planting berries, watch out for the material of the containers. Note that as terra-cotta is a breathable material, the plant will dry out faster as compared to a plastic or ceramic pot which prevents humidity from escaping. Further, a terra-cotta pot tends to crack when it undergoes freeze-thaw cycles in winter. Containers with drainage holes are essential to avoid an accumulation of water which causes roots to rot.
Always make sure the potting soil is moist but not wet. Depending on the day, windy or hot, your plant will require more watering than usual.
Raspberry varieties usually grow too large and cannot fit containers but there are a few varieties that can be grown large pots such as ‘Heritage’ and ‘Raspberry Shortcake.’ A Raspberry plant requires at least 24 to 36 inches of width and depth within the container.
Use soilless potting mix for growing raspberries in containers as soil from the garden may contain bacteria, spores or plant-eating insects. Apply a fertilizer after planting in the Spring.
Raspberries will yield fruits on the second year. Hence, it is advisable to prune dead canes at ground level.
If you live in a very cold region, move your raspberry pots to an unheated garage during a harsh winter and return them to their sunny spot after the frost passes.
Get a pot that is at least 20 to 24 inches wide. Use a potting soil with a pH balance between 4.5 and 5.5, as blueberries are acid-loving plants. Apply organic fertilizer (naturally acidic) during the early and late Spring of the plant’s growth. You can even sprinkle coffee grounds around the plant. Blueberries need full sun and consistent watering to do well.
Begin pruning the deadwood in early Spring. Many blueberry plants need other types of blueberries around for pollination. However, some varieties such as ‘Peach Sorbet’ or ‘Jelly Bean’ do perfectly fine with self-pollination.
Just like raspberries, blueberries need protection from harsh winters.
There is nothing more delightful than a quintessential summertime where you can pluck fresh, vine-ripened berries straight from your containers!