Grow your own berries this summer

Growing berries is a lot easier than we tend to think and are sure to astound you with their fresh and tasty berries every year.  With the popularity and demand for berries growing in South Africa due to their health benefits and amazing taste more and more people are asking us for all the different kinds of berries.  Currently we only have black and blueberries in stock during the summer months and hopefully we will have other varieties such as goji berries and raspberries available in the future.

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A blackberry already stretching towards the sun

BLACKBERRIES

 

Blackberries are rambling plants that are at their happiest against a wall in a sunny spot.  They work great for training up any bare piece of wall or trellis and can even be planted to trail up a dead tree.  Plant them with fresh compost and a bit of bonemeal (superphosphate if you have inquisitive dogs) and apply a nutritious layer of mulch around the base.  Give them a good watering and a regular feeding with a fertilizer like Nitrosol or Multisol whilst training any wayward shoots upright.  Blackberries will fruit from the second year and give you more and more delicious berries year after year.  Always prune blackberries after fruiting by cutting back the fruiting canes which usually die back after you have enjoyed their gifts.  Blackberries are deciduous and drop their leaves during winter which you can use to mulch around its base keeping it snug till spring.

BLUEBERRIES

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Already fruiting in its first season

A really versatile shrub that can even be grown in pots making it the perfect companion next to the pool in the sun where they form a formidable combination during the hot summer months.  Plant them the same as you would blackberries, adding acid compost for the increased acidity and using potting soil if you decide on planting in a container.  Planting them in the ground will give you a bigger crop but we don’t always have space for them, whilst planting in a pot we can restrict its growth a bit. Prune back any growth older than 5 years to ensure that the new canes can develop faster.  Feed them regularly and ensure they have a fresh layer of mulch above their roots.

 

Remember the sooner you plant them the sooner you can enjoy their delicious berries.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask us.

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