Berries are amazing, but unfortunately, they tend to be expensive in stores. Luckily, it’s not too hard to grow berries in your backyard, and with some simple tips, you can learn how to grow berries in raised beds.
Why Raised Beds?
Most berries have shallow roots, compared to other plants. And unfortunately for them, that means that they tend to contend with weeds and grasses in order to get the nutrients and water that they need. Many berry bushes have prickly thorns to convince you to stay away, and if you obey the thorns, you won’t be able to weed the area properly, causing the berries to suffer. A raised bed helps separate the plant from the weeds, and is much easier to watch over.
Step 1: Pick the Size
Most raised beds come in one or two different depths, and as long as you pick one at least 12 inches tall, you’ll be fine. What matters is how large the bed will be. A blueberry, blackberry, or raspberry bush will need much more space than a strawberry plant, and will require a larger bush. It’s recommended to have one raised bed per berry bush, so that you won’t have a carrot or tomato fighting for your blackberry’s plant food. The best size we’ve found for a blueberry plant is a three foot by six foot raised bed, though it can vary depending on the plant, and how much space you have in your yard.
Step 2: The Dirt
Once you’ve got the bed, with the right size, and you’re ready to start, you’ll need to till up the dirt available, set the raised bed down, and add more dirt. The thing to consider first, however, is what type of dirt your plant needs. Blueberries, for instance, require acidic soil, and easily accessible nutrients without fertilizer burning their roots.
So for a blueberry, you’d want to buy some gardening mix from your local nursery. This way you can make the soil more acidic, and the nutrients would naturally occur in the soil, keeping the blueberry healthy and happy with minimal effort. Blend your soils and mixes together before setting in your raised garden bed, keeping the same soil to at least 3 inches below the bed level.
Step 3: Watering
Finally, you’re almost ready to plant! Flood the newly packed soil with water, and let it drain. This is to test the drainage of your new bed, and to help set the dirt more firmly. Once it’s completely drained, flood it again, and check how long it took to drain fully. If you don’t have the right drainage for your berry plant, then consider mixing in perlite, or another addition that will help increase your soil’s drainage. If you’re good to go, then go ahead and plant your berry! Be sure to keep it well watered, and wait for the fruits of your labor!