Plant a Very Berry Theme Garden

How to Grow Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries

As I was out walking the property today I realized it’s the time of year to think about adding berries to your garden area. Berry plants need time to acclimate to their new surrounding and with the economy as strained as it is a Berry garden would be a perfect addition to your backyard garden areas. The booty
photo credit: Caitlinator

Homegrown berries also offer you the opportunity for fresh non-chemical fruit just outside you door. With very little effort you can assemble a Berry Theme Garden that will supply you with fresh fruit and add beauty to your yard.

Berry facts and tips

  • Every berry variety likes full sunlight and a well-drained soil
  • Do not plant berry plants where tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplant has grown.
  • Set out new berry plants as early in the spring as you can. This gives the plants time to adjust to the hot weather and transplant shock.
  • Buy disease-free plants and varieties that claim to be disease resistant.
  • Keep the plants roots moist before and during planting.
  • Give ample space between plants for air circulation
  • In the fall cover plants loosely with straw or the like as winter protection.
  • Berry plants will thrive better with a south-or east-facing slope.
  • Beware of planting berries in a hollow or bottom of a hill or an area that cold will collect.
  • Mulch. Berry beds that are mulched will have less disease, retain moisture in the soil and need less weeding and care.

To start a strawberry bed

Dig rotted compost or aged manure into the soil and place the plants eight inches apart in rows 30 inches apart. Make sure the new leaf buds should be at soil level. (This is the biggest mistake people make when planting strawberries: they plant them too deep!) Water the plants in dry weather preferably in the morning and mulch using straw to preserve moisture. This will keep the ripened berries off the ground. Berries that lay on the ground tend to rot. Fruit Tart
photo credit: Edgar Zuniga Jr.

How to start a blueberry bed.

Blueberries need generous rainfall and well-drained soil so place  the garden in an area you can easily water.

Dig a trench or holes at least 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide and fill the trench with a mixture of 2 parts peat moss, 2 parts sand, and 1 part garden soil. For a successful blueberry garden its essential to take the time to prepare the soil properly! Space the plants about four feet apart. Mulch the plants heavily at planting time and every year add more straw, peat, or leaves.

How to start Blackberries, Raspberries,  Loganberries, and Boysenberries.

These berry varieties need a moisture-retaining soil and a sunny spot to grow well. Before planting the berry bed, dig in plenty of manure or peat moss and compost. Space the Raspberry, Loganberry, and Boysenberry plants two to four feet apart in rows that are six to eight feet apart. Blackberries need even more space so allow 4 to 6 feet between plants and 6 to 9 feet between rows.

Now that I gave you planting space for the berries, I will admit I do not plant in rows. I plant in circular gardens that have a different ground level for each fruit. The strawberries have their own small-tiered garden area. The blue berries are planted in a mound that is oval in shape and the larger berries that grow tall are grouped by their varieties and placed in the garden area where they will not cast shade on the other berries. These berries are grown or a trellis. The berry garden has a theme look with a bench, a few wandering plants and garden art scattered here and there.

I believe that a trellis makes harvesting easier for taller berry plants, plus I like the look.

I grow about 25 strawberry plants, six blueberry plants and about 30 berry bushes. I produce more than enough for my family.

Berries are a wonderful addition to any garden area. If your garden space is limited many of these plants will grow in containers, hanging baskets or on trellises.

12 Comments

  1. My husband was just asking the other day- where are the strawberries! Well, I told him I wanted to build a tower for them- we haven’t gotten around to it yet- I think I’ll just throw a few in a bed I have that would be perfect because I love them so much! You’ve inspired me! Happy almost spring!

    Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms ‘n roots’s last blog post..Sunny Days are Here Again

  2. Hey Tessa,

    You can never have too many strawberries! I like a tower for the berries to, but I alwasys have a strawberry hanging basket. That way I can grab a handful of berries quickly. ( I grow berries all year)

    Strawberries do very well in a hanging basket, plus they look great!

    And yes, it is almost pring… I can’t wait! Denise

    Denise’s last blog post..Plant a Very Berry Theme Garden

  3. I’m actually looking for info on planting strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries possibly in containers. My yard is pretty little, and I don’t have the money right now to build raised beds, etc. (which I’d need to do here.) Do you have any advice on container size, etc. etc. and/or any sources/books you could recommend on this subject? Also, your tier/tower sounds fantastic, do you have any photos of that?

    Thank you for your time!
    Jenny

  4. Hi Jenny,

    Raised beds aren’t that expensive to make if you use foraged items. I use used boards, brick and cement blocks a lot. Rocks also work. I will have an article soon on raised bed gardening on a budget.

    As for berries. Next week I am having a week on growing fruit so check in and I hope I answer all you questions. This article gives and over all fruit growing run down, growing fruits in small spaces. I will also have a lead on a book or two for you.

    But a quick hint, you will need bigger containers for berries so that they have space to get air and to put fertilizer in the bottom of the container to keep them supplied with nutrients. A trellis for growing them vertical will be a big help too. Denise

  5. I was wondering if I could just plant 1 blueberry bush with 1 raspberry plant, or do I need at least 2 of each for the plants to produce fruit.

  6. The raspberry would probably do ok on its own. Blueberries usually need a pollinator. Sometimes even a different blueberry variety. check the planting tag to make sure of its pollinating needs or ask at your local nursery or garden shop.

    So I would probably go with two blueberry plants. If space is am issue add a lower crop or flower to the pot for more use of the space. Good luck, Denise

  7. Thank you for the information, Louise

  8. Can I plant strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry together ?

  9. Rachel,

    Are you talking about in the same container? If so, no there would not be enough room.

    In a small mini fruit garden, yes it would be fine. berry bushes like 12 to 18 inches of space.

    I like to grwo strawberries in hanging baskets. They get great air circulation and seem to have less insect problems.

  10. I have a raised bed garden 3′ wide x 10′ long. I planted four highbush blue berry plants in it. Can I plant strawberries in the same bed? I thought since there is so much ground space they would work like grouind cover and save moisture.

  11. I don’t see any reason you can’t grow strawberry plants along with the blueberries. The only concern I might have is blueberries and strawberries have a slight difference in the nutrients they need. A richer soil near the strawberry plants or a compost tea would help them.

    Strawberries usually prefer a ground cover. I usually use straw. It keeps the berries cleaner. Denise

  12. Hi,

    Is it possible to grow strawberries in tropical countries? Maybe this sounds stupid, but I really want to know. Thanks.

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