Grow Your Own Berries and Make Berry Pies this Summer
The world of berries is beautiful. Go beyond what’s sold in grocery stores to broaden your berry horizons. First, we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite berries and then give you a roundup of fresh recipes.
General Berry Info
- Light: Full sun–six+ hours of direct sunlight
- Watering: Water regularly, when top three inches of soil is dry
- Blooms: Spring flowers, followed by late spring or mid-summer fruit
- Hardiness: Berries tolerate minimum temps of -20 degrees F
- Landscape Use: Mass planting, kitchen garden, hedge, container, border
Like most berries, blackberries enjoy well-drained soil. Fertilize in early spring and in summer. Blackberries often produce fruit on second-year canes; after harvest, prune only canes that have fruited, leaving all newly emerged canes to overwinter and produce next year’s fruit. In late spring, cut all dead canes with no new growth to ground level.
- Baby Cakes Thornless Dwarf Blackberry
- Marion Blackberry
- Prime-Jim Blackberry
For Sacramento, choose Southern Highbush blueberry varieties which have low chill requirements and are heat tolerant. Strategically choose varieties for successive harvesting to enjoy an on-going harvest all spring and into summer.
- Sunshine Blue
- Bountiful Blue
Raspberries like some afternoon shade in our climate. They like their soil on the moist side, rich with hummus and organic matter. Don’t forget to protect them from birds with silver strips of reflecting tape or netting. Here’s an excellent primer on pruning raspberries.
- Canby Red Raspberry
- Raspberry Shortcake Thornless Dwarf Raspberry
First of all, strawberry season begins earlier than most people think. Plant strawberries as early as February in our area for an early spring harvest. *These are ever-bearing and will produce fruit throughout summer.
- Albion Strawberry
- Sequoia Strawberry
- Quinault Strawberry*
- Eversweet Strawberry*
Planting for Success
- Dig the hole two times the width of pot, and only as deep as the rootball.
- Prepare the soil by combining planting mix and soil. Add slow release organic starter fertilizer. We like E.B. Stone Sure Start.
- Set the plant in the hole so that the top of root ball is slightly above ground level.
- Back fill and pack soil gently but firmly, and form a berm.
- Water to settle and add more soil as needed, water again.
- Add a two-inch layer of mulch, leaving a four inch diameter clearance around the base of the plant.