Berries and Other Small Fruits

Strawberries are the easiest small fruit to grow in the vegetable garden. For home gardeners the day neutral or continuous bearing varieties are the most practical. Best varieties are Tristar, Tribute and Seascape. Plant a double row of plants spaced a foot apart with plants a foot apart in the rows. Leave a foot or more space on the outside of each row to allow for runner plant production. Runner plants are sometimes removed the first year to increase fruit yields on continuous bearing varieties. Strawberries bear the most fruit when plants are no closer than 6 inches apart. After 3 years, plants produce less fruit. Older plants should be removed each year leaving newer runner plants. Strawberries can be used as a ground cover in ornamental plantings.

Raspberries are usually planted in a double row with 2 feet between rows. Everbearing varieties bear a crop in June-July on last year’s growth followed by a second crop in August-September on the current year’s growth. Heritage (red) and Anne (yellow) are 2 popular everbearing raspberries. Posts and wires or twine are used to hold plants upright.

Blackberries (including Marion berries) are grown in single rows with post and wire trellis on which to support vines.

Blueberries are attractive shrub-like plants which can be grown anywhere in the landscape. Two or more varieties are required for cross pollination. Currants and gooseberries are also shrub-like plants which are easily grown in the home landscape.