Berries make an excellent addition to any yard, and Green Thumb Nursery offers a beautiful selection of berries. One of the perfect aspects of growing fruit is that you can choose berries that ripen at different times of the year. In so doing, you can almost have fresh berries year-round. Keep reading as we go through some options for berries and how to grow them.
Strawberries – Delightful Summer Producers
There are three types of strawberries and many cultivars of each kind. Those include:
- The June Strawberries – One berry production period per year, April, May, or June, in Southern California.
- Everbearing Strawberries – Smaller production crops, but they produce longer. They need 12-hours of sunlight and will continue to flower and fruit until the light changes in the winter.
- Day-neutral Strawberries – These strawberries are not light sensitive. They have a shorter growing period and should produce three sets of crops from March-September in Southern California. They may produce more than three crops in zones 9 -11.
A few Favorite Types of Strawberries
- Quinalt – Everbearing – Beautiful large fruit that is perfect for preserves or just enjoying right in the garden.
- Sequoia – Semi- Everbearing – with large berries ready as early as June.
- Eversweet – Beautifully bright – cone-shape berries from May- end of fall – Perfect for eating or preserves.
- Chandler – Large, glossy fruit that sets early. These are wonderful for eating.
Soil Conditions for Growing Strawberries
Strawberries are perennials, and they thrive in soil that has a lot of organic material. A good choice for strawberries in pots is EB Stone’s Recipe 420, which is organic and full of vital nutrients, which strawberries love. Strawberries also love soil that has a pH around 6.0 making it a tad acidic. For in-ground planting, use EB Stone’s Soil Booster before you plant. Another option for in-ground strawberry beds is Kellogg’s GroMulch. Be sure to check out all three soil products the next time you are in our nursery.
What kind of blueberries do you grab at the store? Surprisingly, there are many varieties of blueberries available for the garden. Those include:
- Misty – medium to large fruit ready, generally in June. These like full sun, and they are self- pollinating.
- O’Neal – Nice beautiful large fruit, generally ready in June. Plant in full-sun and these also are self-pollinating.
- Southmoon – Gorgeous large fruit, early producing May-June, plant in full-sun, in well-drained soil.
- Sunshine Blue – A medium plant at 3-feet tall, Perfect for southern climates, Early producing May-June and self-pollinating.
- Jubilee – Medium fruit size, loves full sun and very loamy soil – Self- Pollinating
- Southern highbush – Slightly smaller than the Northern Highbush cultivars, these stay between 6-8 feet. Like their northern cousins, a few bushes produce nicely.
Between the five types of blueberry plants are many varieties. Be sure to check with our garden experts about the differences in blueberries.
Soil Types for Growing Healthy Blueberries
Blueberries are acid-loving plants. The soil needs to have a pH of 4-5 for them to thrive. For that reason, it is easier to manage soil requirements year to year if you plant in containers. We recommend starting with a quality potting soil such as E. B. Stone recipe 420. If you need to lower the soil pH in pots or in the ground, E.B.Stone Sul po mag will work well. EB Stone also makes a Fruit, Berry, and Vine food for proper nutrition. If you are going to plant in the ground amend the soil with E.B. Stone Soil Booster. It is a unique blend of natural and organic ingredients designed to condtion and improve poor soils.
Raspberries grow on canes, and they make a lovely medium-sized hedge vine. Most varieties of raspberries like to grow in the cool, coastal regions. Some don’t mind the heat of zone 9 landscapes. Each year, the old canes must be trimmed back as berries will only grow on the new canes. Allow the raspberry plants to go dormant before pruning back last year’s canes that produced fruit.
Raspberries do best when the soil is sandy and drains quickly. Aim for soil that is rich in organics, but also sandy. E.B.Stone Recipe 420 Potting Soil is a good option, as is FoxFarm’s Ocean Forest potting soil.
Raspberries live for 3-5 years or more and produce decent-sized yields.
Other Berry Options
The vining berries include blackberries, marionberry, loganberries, and others. Some varieties are thorn-less, making them easier to manage. If you are planning a berry patch in your yard, the vining berries need support. Trail them along a fence or create a run for them. It is bare-root berry season too, so now is a perfect time to shop for berry plants.
We invite you to stop by any of our five Southern California locations. Keep in mind that our inventory changes daily, and it is best to call ahead if you want a particular plant or product. We are happy to check in-stock items for you. You can also shop online or email us with your questions. Each location has many garden experts available to chat about your project, plant selection, or show you the how-to options for making your garden project successful.
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