Strawberries & Raspberries
There’s a very good reason for growing your own berries. Berry fruits are so soft when they’re ripe that they are easily damaged. It’s much better to grow your own and enjoy them when they’re yummily fresh and fully ripe.
Winter is a good season to think about planting raspberries because packaged raspberry canes appear in the shops at this time of year. Raspberries do best in areas with cool winters, where they’ll grow happily in full sun. In warmer places raspberry plants prefer a little bit of protection in the afternoon.
The first thing to do before planting is to clear away weeds because their competition will really slow the growth of the raspberries. Do this by spraying weeds with Yates Zero Rapid (fortunately Zero breaks down rapidly in the soil so won’t leave any harmful residues). After the weeds have died they can be dug into the soil. At the same time mix in some Dynamic Lifter and some Yates Superphosphate, which will encourage good root growth. Before planting, place some supportive stakes at the end of each row.
Prune raspberries in mid winter by removing old canes that have already fruited. After pruning, feed with Acticote Fruit & Citrus.
If you think that your garden isn’t cold enough for raspberries, don’t despair. Strawberries can be grown in almost any climate and they don’t even need a garden bed. Because the plants are relatively small they suit containers (guess how strawberry pots got their name?) or hanging baskets.
Strawberries can be grown from packaged crowns, small plants or Yates seed. Packaged crowns are available in winter and, because they usually possess a substantial root system, they’ll give the plants a head start. Small strawberry plants in mini pots are easier to find in the warmer months. Yates seed range includes an interesting alpine-type strawberry. Seed can be sown in spring or autumn but the small, sweet fruit don’t usually develop until the second year.
Grow strawberries in a raised bed or a container filled with good quality potting mix (Yates Professional Potting mix would be suitable). Feed regularly with Thrive Flower and Fruit and, most importantly, sprinkle some Blitzem or Baysol pellets to protect the fruit from snails and slugs.
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