Planting and Harvesting Bush Fruits: Raspberries, Blueberries, and More!

Planting Bush Fruits Raspberries Berries“Bush fruits” is a term that includes a number of perennial flowering plants that produce a soft fruit, such as berries.  These are plants that grow in the wild, as well as are cultivated varieties that produce fruit for mass, farmer’s markets and home use.  [image via wikimedia commons]

Blueberries are a great bush fruit to incorporate into a home garden.  They will produce a large amount of fruit but do not take up a large amount of space.  After only a few years, it is surprising how much yield can come from just one blueberry bush.  The biggest concern for planting blueberries is the proper soil.  Planting in the wrong type of soil will have failing results as blueberries need an acidic soil with a pH ranging from 4.0 – 4.5. Soil can be tested at home with a kit or taken to a garden center for testing.  Blueberries have the ability to thrive in rocky or other types of poor soil as long as the pH is correct.

Blueberry bushes should be transplanted in the spring, leaving ample room for growth between bushes.  They require full sun, meaning at least six hours a day of direct sunlight.  It may take up to three years for blueberry bushes to produce a full harvest around August.  It is essential to find a way to deter bugs and birds from eating a large percentage of blueberry crops, as they are a sweet favorite for critters.

Raspberry bushes prefer a soil with a pH of 6.0 – 6.5.  They also require full sun, although if planted in a very warm climate, they require some shade over the course of a day.  A wire or trellis of about five feet needs to be erected before planting raspberries.  They should be planted with ample room in between –about three feet — anytime in the late fall to early spring.  A raspberry cane needs to be trimmed back after planting and after each season making room for the new canes that will grow and produce the current year’s crop.  After the initial trimming, it should be left the first year, and then trimmed each subsequent year.  Raspberries should be pruned each year and helped to grow through the trellis or wires.

Like blueberries and raspberries, grapes are usually transplanted from seedlings rather than grown from seeds in a garden.  Grapes should be planted in the spring in a location that receives full exposure to the sun.  There should be about eight to ten feet between seedlings.  Like raspberries, grapes need support so a trellis of some sorts needs to be erected along the row and grapes will need to be trained to grow through it.  Grapes can be pruned while dormant to remove dead wood, and should be kept trimmed to avoid long runners.


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