How to grow your
own strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and raspberries.
one of the richest sources of vitamin C. In fact, dieticians tell
us we should try to eat a portion of berries every day to keep our
levels of infection-fighting antioxidants at a high level.
But they're none
to cheap in the shops, so why not grow your own? And as it
happens, autumn is the best time to plant your berries. Prof Walker
shows us how...
Dig holes larger than
the existing root system and insert the plants. Be sure the roots
are not crowded or doubled under the plant. If container plants
are used, be sure the roots of pot-bound plants are cut once or
twice to allow better root spread and development. Place roots into
hole and firmly pack soil around them.
A general garden fertiliser,
citrus fertiliser or rose fertiliser is best applied in spring.
A very important part
of growing your own berries is to prune your plants, and this process
is different for every plant.
Pruning is undertaken
to control growth, define shape, create flowering/fruiting branches
for the following season and probably most importantly to remove
dead, damaged and diseased areas of a plant. Here's how to prune...
produce runners they then form individual roots which enables you
to have many separate plants from the one plant.
A good trick that Prof
uses is to place the runners into a 40 litre bag of compost. By
lying the plastic bag on its side and putting holes into the plastic,
runners can be planted into the bag providing a very simple and
effective way of growing your strawberries in a small space.
produce fruit on 2-year-old canes, which die after the crop has
Raspberries should be
allowed to produce long, unbranched canes rather than branched canes
like the black and purple varieties. The new canes are, therefore,
unpruned during their first season's growth.
Remove old canes, leaving
new ones 5cm apart.
After the old canes die
they should be removed as early as possible in order to remove sources
Redcurrants fruit on old wood, so pruning should be limited
to thinning out and the removal of weaker branches.
Blackcurrants produce fruit on the previous year's growth, so it's
important to encourage as much new growth as possible while ensuring
that stems don't become too overcrowded.
density of foliage and stems cuts down air circulation through the
bush creating ideal conditions for diseases such as mildew. Therefore
cut old wood out of the plant.
All types of currants
are best pruned between late autumn and early spring when plants