Small Fruits in the Garden
An easy way to add homegrown fruits to your meal is by incorporating small fruits into your garden. Small fruits include strawberries, brambles, grapes, blueberries and such. They are ideal for home gardens because they don't require the space or care of fruit trees.
Here are a few basics about selecting and growing small fruits.
- Most small fruits have the same basic growing requirements: full sun and well-drained soil.
- Select varieties that are suited to your climate and look for those that are known to be disease and pest resistant.
- Buy healthy plants from a reputable source.
- Get off to a good start with well-prepared soil, the right amount of sunlight and proper planting techniques.
- Grapes and brambles have specific pruning guidelines. Don't let that put you off. You'll find it's easier than you think.
Incorporating into Garden
You don't have to have a dedicated area for small fruits. Edge a raised bed with strawberries or plant a blueberry hedge. You can train blackberries and raspberries to grow up trellises and grapes will easily grow over an arbor. Learn about the plant's characteristics and incorporate it into your garden's design just like a shrub, annual or perennial.
Strawberries - Strawberries form a carpet of semi-evergreen leaves that are tinged with red in fall. Plants produce runners with baby plants that can be transplanted to new areas.
Blackberry - Blackberries are available in both upright and trailing forms. Upright forms don't require staking. The thornless varieties make incorporating blackberries into the garden pain free.
Raspberry - Raspberries require trellising for support and they will produce an abundance of new canes each year. Available in both summer bearing and fall bearing. Good for an edible hedge row.
Grape - Grapes can live for 100 years or more. Their twining nature makes them ideal for arbors and trellises. The foliage is colorful in autumn.
Blueberry - Blueberries would be an excellent landscape plant even if they didn't produce tasty berries. The fall foliage makes them a colorful fall focal point.