Gardening

Wild Berries: How to Plant Blueberries and Raspberries in the Garden

Today we will see how to grow wild fruits step by step, specifically how to grow blueberries and raspberries , fruits of two useful bushes in the garden that are also compatible to grow together.

The berries are so called because they come from plants that grow spontaneously in the field. They are delicious and very nutritious and, being wild species, they are able to get ahead on their own and  do not require too much attention and care , so… why not grow them?

What are red fruits or wild fruits and what are they for?

There are several bushes of wild fruits , berries or berries , which can be planted in the garden margins. Some of them are:

  • Blueberry (black, blue, or red)
  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Gooseberry (red, white, black or ‘gooseberry’)
  • Blackberry or blackberry
  • Guindo
  • Arbutus
  • Elder

It is highly recommended to plant wild fruits in the orchard because they favor biodiversity and the presence of beneficial pollinators . In addition, wild fruits such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries are beneficial health foods due to their high content of vitamins and antioxidants . These strawberries are consumed as fresh fruit but are also used to make jams, preserves and desserts.

In this post we will see how to plant blueberries and raspberries , but we also have the tab on how to grow blackberries in the garden . These are the most common wild fruits in Spain but surely there are many more in other parts of the world, if you know others, tell us in the comments.

How to Grow Blueberries in the Garden

To plant blueberries we need a temperate-cold climate , since this plant supports very low temperatures well, but not high ones. It prefers the sun but tolerates shade (although the lingonberry variety needs full sun). 

The blueberry plant contributes to the formation of humus in the soil. It requires humid and acidic soils (pH 4-5.5) and does not tolerate very strong winds, so if the area is highly exposed to the wind , protective nets or other windbreak structures may be necessary .

How to plant blueberries

Blueberry should be planted in fall or early spring .

If you bought the blueberry bush in a nursery, remove the suckers and secondary branches (leave a maximum of 50% of the aerial part before planting). Dip it into the soil at the same depth it was in the pot or a little deeper, and add manure or mature compost .

Irrigation

It is quite demanding , especially in the beginning, when you have just established the plant. If there are periods of more than a week without rain, water them with about 25-50 liters of water a week (one or two “mop” buckets more or less), which is what the plant needs a week. If it rains it won’t be necessary.

Fertilizer and other work to grow blueberry

Late winter put a  padding or mulching is highly recommended, and aunqu and are not very demanding in terms of nutrients , an annual application of fishmeal, blood and bones will favor the formation of new branches.

Blueberry pruning

A formation pruning or “topping” is necessary in autumn for the first three years (you will have to remove the tips of the branches).

Blueberries bear fruit on “old wood” so pruning will not be necessary for several years. When the bushes are larger and thicker, cut back the old or damaged branches, and make sure to leave enough space between them for air circulation (as you can see in the photo).

In the case of lingonberries, pruning is not necessary, and you will only have to remove excess branches and stolons.

How to Grow Raspberries

Growing raspberries is easy as it is a fairly tough and undemanding shrub . Raspberries are wild fruits that can be grown in almost all climates since they resist both low and high temperatures, sun and shade and do not require much water (only light watering is necessary during the summer months in very arid areas without rainfall) .

Raspberry needs deep soils (it does not thrive in pots) and with high water retention capacity but not flooded, so a compact soil is not recommended. A soil rich in humus or organic matter is essential , so growing blueberries together with raspberries is very suitable because the former favor their formation.

They need a soil with a neutral or slightly acidic pH (if the pH is higher than 7, they suffer from iron deficiencies).

How to plant raspberries in the garden

It is best to acquire the already formed bushes and plant the raspberries in autumn (Although they can also be sown from seed, this will take much longer).

To plant raspberries, if you put several specimens, you must leave a distance between plants of approximately half a meter and 1.5-2 meters between the rows.

The root ball is buried to a depth of about 50 cm, having previously mixed the soil with compost or well-matured manure

Tutor raspberries and other tasks

Raspberries are not very demanding in nutrients. Once planted they hardly need fertilizing , although organic mulching in spring comes in handy because it provides the necessary nutrients, protects the soil and favors the ripening of the fruits .

It is important to stalk the raspberries . This shrub grows best with a support that prevents the branches from bending (an example of how to plant raspberries can be seen in the photo).

Every year new canes will come out so when the old ones stop bearing fruit, cut them and tie the new ones in their place  – see section “Curiosities” -.

When to prune raspberry and how to do it

The first pruning of the raspberry should be done in late winter or early spring . Leave the thickest and most vigorous canes at a height of 80 cm or 1 meter and keep each bush 30 to 60 cm wide.

It is also advisable to  prune raspberries in late summer , after the last harvest. Before autumn it is advisable to prune the canes that have given up. They should be cut flush with the ground to favor the growth of new shoots.

Curiosities

The roots and crowns of this plant are perennial but its stems or canes are biannual . During the first year they don’t bear fruit (they just grow), and the next year they bloom, bear fruit, and die.

Raspberries can be eaten fresh or frozen to be eaten later (if you have a lot it is better to do this because otherwise they may spoil).

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