Best Berry Bushes to Grow in Your Yard
There are many advantages to having a berries plant in your yard, and there are plenty of ways to encourage your fruit-bearing shrub to bloom. The first of these is a healthy dose of antioxidants. Elderberries, for instance, are an anti-viral, immune-boosting fruit. Elderberry cultivars are 6 to 8-foot shrubs that require average water and fertilizer. Pruning is necessary once a year, either early spring or late winter. Cut old stems to promote new growth.
Crown gall disease affects berry plants. These wart-like growths appear on the berries and are spread by insects and bacteria. Infected plants will turn dry and weak and will not produce berries. If you notice berries that are showing symptoms, you can treat them with fungicides or dormant oil sprays. Chickens can also help control pests naturally. Insecticides are also a good choice if you want your berries to thrive in your garden.
While you can purchase commercial cranberry varieties, you can also grow them yourself. You can find dwarf cultivars that grow to just 4 inches in height, but produce normal-sized berries. Cranberries are native to latitudes north of the Mason-Dixon Line and prefer cool winters and unobtrusive summers. For best results, use Fafard Ultra Outdoor Planting Mix. Your cranberry plant will thank you.
Blueberries are the most popular type of berry plant. Usually, they are grown in eight-inch mounds, and spaced six feet apart. Blueberry plants should be pruned before they develop flower buds, but do not prune the plants after they start fruiting. Blue Pearl Farms sells four types of blueberries and rabbiteyes. You can choose the type that suits your taste. Your local nursery will have many different varieties of these berries for sale.
Huckleberries are excellent for making a hedge, and can also be grown in containers. The flowers attract butterflies and bees, and the fruit is highly coveted by wildlife. Honeyberry cultivars are particularly suitable for containers. They are also good for potted arrangements. If you choose to grow them in the ground, make sure that you prepare the soil with a compost before transplanting them. After planting, make sure you water your huckleberries regularly.
Blueberry plants require six to eight hours of sun a day. They tolerate shade later in the day. Picking blueberries is best done between June and August, and after they have turned a rich, deep blue color. Those ripe berries should be picked by mid-July or August. When picking, wait a few days until they deepen in color, or pick them before the first sign of winter. You’ll be rewarded with tasty fruit for the rest of your life!
Blackberries require regular fertilization. Fertilize your berry plant three times a year. Fertilize the plant when new growth appears and again in late fall, before the first hard freeze. Fertilize berries with an all-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 16-16-8, or you can choose an organic fertilizer like Compost to help improve the soil’s composition. And remember to prune your berry plants every few years.