Berries are delicious seasonal fruit that are easy and rewarding to grow. There is nothing like the taste of your own homegrown strawberry straight off the plant.
Bramble or cane berries are a group that includes thornless blackberries, boysenberries, marionberries and raspberries are part of the rose family (Rosaceae). Also popular in gardens are blueberries and strawberries both of which have slightly different growing needs to other berries. Best in cold climates are black, red and white currants and their relatives.
Plant potted berries at any time (but avoid extremely hot or cold conditions). In winter, cane berry plants and the different types of currants are widely available as bare-rooted plants. Strawberries are also available in winter to plant for spring fruit. At planting time and to reduce transplant stress, water with Seasol. Mix 30mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can).
For small gardens or for containers, blueberries and strawberries are an ideal berry choice. Thornless blackberries are also a friendly choice for small spaces as they are thornless and can be trained against a vertical surface such as a wall or fence. Plants are highly productive.
As there are many berry types and varieties, choose your favourite berry and grow several varieties that ripen at different times to extend the harvest season.
Aspect All berries need a bright, sunny location with shelter from strong winds. Ideally, they should have sun from the morning onwards but can tolerate a little afternoon shade especially in summer.
Soil Berries grow in a wide range of soils but grow best with good drainage in deep, fertile soils. Blueberries prefer a slightly acid soil. Keep soil around berries and particularly around strawberries well mulched.
Climate Although most bramble berries, particularly raspberries, and currants are cold climate plants that require a period of winter chill to flower and fruit, varieties of blueberries, strawberries and some of the brambles grow in warmer conditions.