Growing Huge Berries

by April Reinhardt
(last updated January 18, 2017)

One of my fondest childhood memories is that of visiting my aunt and uncle's home in the country. The moment Dad stopped the car I bounded to the kitchen, grabbed a pail, and raced my brother to the top of the craggy hill. In the summer heat of the early afternoon, we clamored the path to the patch of spruce trees sheltering the wild blackberry bushes. Despite the thorns on the stalks, our small fingers furiously plucked the sun-warmed, black, succulent berries, leaving the green berries on the stalks to further ripen. Invariably, at the end of the blackberry search, our pails held only a few berries. Our stomachs held the rest of our harvest.

All berries grow in the wild. Left untamed, they may produce large berries, but the birds and rabbits may eat them before you can harvest them. You can grow huge berries in your garden, encourage them with a little maintenance, protect them from animals, and then enjoy the fruits of summer.

Follow these simple steps to grow huge raspberries and blackberries:

  1. Select a sunny spot in your yard, with no shade. Berries grow largest and produce the most fruit in direct sunlight. Make sure the area maintains moisture, but never pools with water.
  2. Dig and till the spot thoroughly, mixing in plenty of compost or manure, and then test the soil and adjust to a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0.
  3. Purchase plants from a reputable nursery and plant them according to your climate zone. For example, if you live in zone 5, plant in early spring. If you live in zone 6, plant in fall or late winter.
  4. Dig your holes, water the holes, then set the plants into the holes at about the same level they were set into the pots. Place the plants about 4 feet apart.
  5. Immediately cut back the plants to about 6 inches above the ground, and then water the plants thoroughly.
  6. Spread a thick layer of compost or mulch to the plants.
  7. The berries are ready to harvest when they are a deep shade of red and black. Use netting on your bushes to protect the berries from birds and varmints. You can also use cages and plant close to your house to detract animals.

The key to growing huge berries is finding the balance between plenty of direct sunlight, while simultaneously retaining moisture in the soil. Constantly check the mulch and compost around your plants. Add enough to retain the moisture, but not so much that the plants develop mold at the roots. Most gardeners recommend planting berry bushes on a sloped hill. That way, the cold air will waft down and away from the plants. Remember—the more sunlight and less shade, the larger your berries will grow.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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