Grow your own delicious blueberries & boysenberries
If home grown, freshly picked blueberries sound tempting, then it’s time to find a spot at your place for a blueberry bush or two. Blueberries generally prefer warm days and cool nights however there are now varieties available to suit a range of climates, including warmer areas, such as ‘Blueberry Burst®’.
Blueberries prefer an acidic, well-drained soil. In areas with alkaline soil (a pH higher than 7), applications of Yates® Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfurevery month will help lower the soil pH. Blueberries can also be grown very successfully in pots. Choose a good quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix, and a large 40 – 50 cm diameter pot to give them enough room to grow.
Blueberries will benefit from regular applications of a complete plant food from spring to autumn. Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Fertiliseris ideal for blueberries as it’s fortified with extra potassium to encourage lots of flowers and delicious berries.
Boysenberries are a delicious type of ‘brambleberry’ with rich dark purple fruit with a sweet and slightly tart taste that resembles a combination of raspberries and blackberries.
They’re rich in vitamins C and K as well as being a good source of dietary fibre.
Boysenberries (Rubus ursinus x idaeus) produce soft and juicy fruit in early summer, which can be used in desserts, crumbles, cakes, ice cream and drinks as well as turned into richly coloured jams. Of course they’re also delectable fresh and you might find that not many berries make it back into the house.
They are ideal for growing in backyards and make an extra special treat just for home gardeners, as they’re hard to find in supermarkets as the fruit don’t transport or store well.
Boysenberries prefer a slightly acidic, moist rich soil and perform best in a full sun position in cool to warm temperate zones.
Growing on canes up to 2 m tall, an added bonus of boysenberries is their pretty, white bee attracting flowers in mid to late spring.
To make maintenance easier (and promote a better harvest), boysenberry canes can be trained up between 2 wires on a T- shaped trellis. During winter, while the boysenberry plant is leafless, cut back to ground level the canes that have borne fruit, leaving fresh, newer canes to grow and provide fruit next summer. Do this each year to avoid the canes getting messy and out of control and encourage the best possible berry yield.
Also pull out any suckers that have emerged out of your planned boysenberry patch. A word of caution is that boysenberries produce thorns so a good thick pair of gloves and long handled pruners can really help!
Bare rooted boysenberry canes are often planted while they’re dormant during winter, however potted plants are also available at other times of the year. Before planting, improve the soil with a concentrated source of rich organic matter like Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser and then reapply around the root zone every spring and autumn to promote lots of healthy cane growth, a strong root system and encourage lots of plump, juicy berries.
Fruit protection tip: birds will enjoy boysenberries as much as you, so some bird netting may be required to protect your developing crop.