Friday April 3, 2015
Did you know it’s totally possible to grow delicious berries in your backyard in New York? Many gardeners stick to the veggie staples like pumpkins, carrots, and peppers, but our temperatures are absolutely conducive to growing berries. You’ll want to get started on your garden soon, so here are some tips on growing these yummy fruit.
Start with a healthy soil base. Deep, fertile soil containing high organic matter really helps to set the foundation for a healthy, prosperous garden. The garden site should also have excellent drainage year-round, and be prepared to address early spring frosts.
Weed control is a vital component to growing berries, especially strawberries. You’ll want to get a jump start on the season and plant your berry garden before mid-May, and start immediately with residual herbicides to address upcoming weed sprouts.
Otherwise, berries should be planted 12-18 inches apart on raised beds with around 40 inches between each row. Water daily to ensure adequate hydration, and with proper care, berries will yield about 6 to 7 pickings beginning about a month after the first bloom.
If you desire late-season pickings in the late fall, it’s important to take care of the garden area for cooler temperatures. Mow off leaves close to the ground so the deceased leaves can be replaced, improve access to sunlight, fertilize, place new soil over the plant crown to improve root growth, and apply a dose of herbicides to take care of weeds. Once it does start to get cool, it is recommended that you toss a layer of mulch to minimize frost damage. Just be sure to remove the mulch in the spring of the following year.
Will you spruce up your garden with some delicious berries this year? Let us know in the comments below!