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The Berry Garden

I love berries of all kinds.  The berry patch provides us with gallons of fresh berries throughout much of the Summer.  I am growing blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and in the same area I have arctic Kiwi vines and a strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L).

To spread out the berry-picking season I grow a variety of each berry. Among the blueberries are: Reveille, Elliott, Premier and Bluecrop.  Once they reach their mature size each blueberry bush will provide us with two to three gallons of delicious berries.

In the blackberry patch are three varieties: Apache (thornless), Triple Crown (thornless) and Kiowa, which does have thorns and is the most prolific fruiter of the bunch. (2010 update - I yanked out the thorned Kiowa bushes and let the others expand).

I have one red raspberry (Heritage Red Everbearing) and one gold variety (Fall Gold). Each provide us with a half a cup of fresh raspberries each day during their fruiting season.

Blackberries and raspberries do multiply very quickly by sending out underground runners/shoots. Its a great way to quickly expand your patch or even have lots of plants to share with friends. But you do need to keep it under control if you want to maximize the quality and quantity of the fruit. I just dig up those that are a bit out of control. Some people cut off the unwanted ones with a trimmer. 

The blackberry and raspberry vines are supported on wires that are attached to metal poles in the ground. It keeps the berries off the ground, which increases their yield and makes them easier to pick and maintain. Surrounding the blackberry/raspberry patch is fishing line attached to posts anchored on the corners. I have found that it really helps to keep the deer from completely devouring the berries.

   Mature Strawberry Tree with fruit. 


 The blackberries and raspberries are trellised and then surrounded by fishing line to keep the deer from feasting on all the berries.








 We have literally 1000s of blackberries growing on the vines









Our 8 blueberry bushes taking off. Most bushes are fully mature around 5 years.  This is from 2009









We now have 12 blueberry bushes and some strawberry plants as of April 2011.  Some of the blueberries are producing a few hundred berries.  Others only a few dozen.