Berries are the perfect fruit – not only are they great to eat, versatile in their usage and add fabulous colour to desserts and baked goods, but they are packed with nutrients including good doses of Vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. They are really easy to grow, occupy only as much space as you are willing to give them, and produce prolific quantities of fabulous fruit. They make jolly jars of jam and cheerful chunks of chutney when you have a bumper crop.
There is a wide range of Berries to choose from, some of which are known as Brambles, due to the fact that they have thorny or spiny canes and branches. Brambles are those tasty, colorful delights of early summer and autumn. The genus Rubus is divided into many species that include raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, loganberries and boysenberries. Berries include strawberries, blueberries and gooseberries.
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Berries are often treated as gourmet fruit because they don';t store well. They are easy to grow and are a desirable addition to any home garden. Summer-bearing brambles ripen right after strawberries, creating a succession of fruit crops.
Select a planting site higher than the surrounding area if possible, as this provides essential air circulation and water drainage, reducing disease and insect problems. Strawberries and blueberries can be successfully grown in containers if space is limited.
Pruning is essential for maximum fruit yields. Some gardeners prune their autumn-fruiting raspberries to the ground in early spring, sacrificing the summer crop for the sake of one big bumper autumn crop. Raspberry bushes send up suckering stems that must be cut out immediately with a sharp spade, although the black and purple varieties are a little tidier.
Brambles are adapted to a wide range of soils but do best when planted in well-drained, deep, fertile soil that is high in humus. A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is preferred. Compared to raspberries, blackberries are more tolerant of heavy soils. Adding organic matter and planting in raised beds can be of help in avoiding diseases.
There are so many mouth-watering recipes that include berries. Here are just a few fabulous ideas: Berry-Yoghurt Ice, Raspberry Nectar, Loganberry Jam, Boysenberry Parfait, Blackberry Cocktail, Chocolate and Blackberry Brownies, Boysenberry Brulee (just dee-licious!), Bramble Crumble (yum!), Raspberry Pavlova and the all-time favourite, Blueberry Muffins.
Desirable, weeping form of the highly ornamental Mulberry tree. The glossy large heart shaped leaves always look fresh. Small edible fruits appear in spring and are loved by birds! Give this special tree the space to spread its lovely pendulous branch formation. Deciduous.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Pendulous Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: Std 2m
Morus Alba Pendula
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Black Mulberry has sweet, intense, blackish red fruit approm 2cm long which mature in late spring/early summer. Quite juicy. Good flavour. Warning the birds love them! Lovely heart shaped, glossy green leaves dress the well shaped ornamental tree. Quite easy to grow in a sunny position. Deciduous.
Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 5m x 4m
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AKA as Chilean Guava or NZ Cranberry. A reliable little shrub with tight small leaves in an attractive bronze green shade. Little white flowers in spring are followed by fragrant edible berries. Easy to grow, clips well so can be used for topiary or hedging. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m x 1m
Small firm rosettes of dark black berries. Easily removed when ripe. Upright canes, rose type leaves, simple small white flowers followed by sweet delicate dark fruit. A strong productive plant, spreads quickly, easy to grow. No spines. Self fertile. Harvest Dec - Feb Deciduous.
Colour: White Habit: Bramble upright canes Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 0m
An excellent variety of summer Raspberry with almost thornless 'canes' and bright glossy berries with an excellent flavour. Bred with good resistance to fruit rot. The fruit ripens in early summer. Plant in a sunny sheltered position. Deciduous.
Raspberries fruit on 2nd year 'canes' i.e. older wood. They need a support framework for the 'canes' to grow against. They love well rotted organic matter and will fruit best when given a well balanced fertilizer in early spring. It is also important that the soil does not completely dry out in summer.
Colour: White Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x spreads
Tulameen Raspberries are a widely grown commercial variety that also does exceptionally well in a domestic fruit garden, producing heavy crops of large berries. These are bright and glossy and have an excellent flavour. Upright semi thornless canes.
Unlike Regular Canes, Long Cane plants must NOT be cut back after planting. The canes should be left intact as supplied. They will then develop fruit-bearing side shoots at the top of each cane which will flower and produce fruit for picking in the first season after planting at the same time as new growth (next year's fruiting wood) is thrown up from the root stock. N.B. In subsequent seasons, treat as Regular Canes.
Colour: White Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 1.8m
This delicious Strawberry has large, conical shaped, dark red fruit with firm flesh and an excellent flavour. The main crop is ripe around December-January. Shows good disease resistance. Plant in well drained fertile soil and provide afternoon shade for best results. PVR.
To get the very best out of your Strawberry patch look at our 'How to' pages for growing tips.
Colour: White Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x Spreads
Strawberry Camarosa 10 Plants
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A cross between a black currant and a gooseberry. Great for eating fresh or cooking. Forms a large bush with spines. The fruit is ripe when it goes almost black.
Prefers well drained moist soil. Plant is sun to part shade. Frost hardy. Deciduous.