Whether you prefer eating them raw and by the handful, sprinkling them onto your morning yogurt, or baking them into crumbles, crisps, and cobblers, jewel-toned berries plucked fresh from the backyard are the ultimate summer treat.
And with H-G Sweet N’ Grow, growing all kinds of berries at home is now even easier and sweeter! Here are a few tips for growing blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries in your backyard:
Blackberries might be the easiest of berries to grow. They can be quite decorative too—let them ramble over arches, pergolas, and along fences. If you are short on space, there are compact types that grow perfectly well in containers.
- Plant blackberries in full sun in early spring. In the hottest regions, blackberries appreciate some shelter from hot afternoon sun.
- Provide well-drained soil with a mildly acidic to neutral pH (about 5 to 6).
- Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
- Cover with a layer of mulch annually (less if planted in a container). Make sure the mulch is placed two inches away from the crown to prevent rotting.
- Blackberry plants must be pruned. This will push more nutrients to the roots and crown of the plant.
Blueberries are the gift that keeps on giving. Planted in the correct location and given plenty of light and water, they will live and bear fruit for decades. Choose several varieties that fruit at different times for months of berries. Include a few that have been bred to thrive in pots and enjoy fresh berries right outside the back door!
- Choose a sunny spot. Blueberries grow in semi-shade in nature, but heavier fruiting happens with more sunshine.
- Add several inches of peat moss to the hole when planting (this is a one-time application). Top with a layer of mulch.
- Water well and regularly. Use a drip system if possible.
- Soil pH should be between 4 and 5, as blueberries thrive in acidic soil. If planting in containers, use a soil mix made for acid-lovers.
- Pruning will be required to stimulate blueberry growth after the plant’s first four years of life.
Raspberries are relatively easy to grow and—with proper care—plants can produce fruit for years. Choose either traditional types with long canes or newer varieties that have been bred to thrive in large containers, while still providing a full crop of berries.
- Select a site with full sun and good air circulation. If planting a variety with long canes, avoid places where high winds can whip the canes around and damage berries.
- Select raspberry cultivars that ripen at different times to spread out your harvest.
- Mulch to discourage weeds and keep the soil moist. Be sure to water during dry spells.
- Certain varieties will require support, so plant them along a fence or a trellis.
- Pruning requirements will vary depending on the type of raspberry you plant.
Ruby red, sun-sweetened strawberries, still warm from the garden, are unsurpassed for sheer indulgence. Just a few rows of plants will keep you well supplied throughout the season.
- There are two types of strawberries: June-bearing that produce their crop over three weeks from late spring to early summer, and ever-bearing that produce a heavy set of berries in early summer, followed by several lighter flushes in late summer and fall.
- Plant in fertile, moist, well-drained soil that receives full sun.
- Water strawberries at least one inch per week during their growing season.
- Strawberry roots don’t grow deep, which means they are perfectly happy growing in pots or shallow raised beds.
- Once the growing season is over, cut the foliage back to one inch.
Nourish Your Berry Plants With H-G Sweet N’ Grow!
Berries are heavy feeders requiring a consistent supply of nutrients. H-G Sweet N’ Grow is a plant supplement designed to increase the yield, quality, and sweetness of your homegrown berries. To nourish your berries with H-G Sweet N’ Grow, simply spray on plant foliage and soil media every 7-14 days, making the first application four weeks after transplanting.
With care, patience, and H-G Sweet N’ Grow you will be well on your way to:
- Increased yield
- Improved quality
- Higher Brix level
- Healthier soil
- Enhanced nutrient availability
Check out or products to learn more about H-G Sweet N’ Grow or contact us today if you have any questions—we’d love to hear from you!