Berries

I’ve been growing berries for about ten years now. I’m not an expert, but maybe could be called experienced.

We inherited two high bush blueberry bushes that were very large and highly productive for about five years. Then they stopped producing, and I thought it was lack of sun and pruning. I moved them, pruned them, and they revolted – no growth, no berries so far.

I planted three blackberry bushes last year, two survived, look great, and I’m going to order a replacement. No berries, but they look healthy.

Our schwartenzberry seeds we brought from Kansas grew in a raised bed and produced berries for pies that my husband not only enjoyed but also evoked great family memories. This year due to bad soil and compost mix that I purchased, they were petrified and pitched.

Love strawberries? So, do I, but we can’t grow them due to the chipmunk and squirrel population because they like them too. I tried it year after year. The plants did fine, they fruited, and as soon as the berries remotely started to turn red, they helped themselves to a bite thereby rendering it to compost. Hanging baskets? That just might work, but that would require too much work, watering, and over wintering.

The one row of raspberries we have has produced more raspberries this year than we have ever seen and filled our freezer to the brim while also delighting friends

I’ve had to go from giving friends pints and moved up to quarts, but no one has complained.

Today we picked five pints and a half a pint of bruised ones for the chickens.

I don’t know if you like raspberries or if you’ve ever thought about growing them, but let me tell you, they are easy keepers.

Plant them, support them, and once they are done fruiting prune out the dark brown branches. That’s it. The green branches will fruit next year.

I’ve given away eight pints to friends, have five pints sitting in the fridge, 34 pints in the freezer, and that doesn’t even count all that we’ve eaten fresh and on shortcake and in pie.

If you’re in the neighborhood let me know, because I’d be more than happy to share. πŸ™‚

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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60 Responses to Berries

  1. Jnana Hodson says:

    You don’t say how much sunlight your berries receive. With our little city farm, we have nowhere that receives full sunlight. I’m amazed how much difference a few feet one way or another makes in plant growth.
    Building cages for bird netting over our blueberry bushes and strawberries and stringing reflective tape over our raspberries has greatly increased their productivity this year … birds and squirrels are kept at bay.
    Remember that some plants run on every-other-year cycles, too, so feeding them through a dormant period might help. Others, like strawberries, have limited lifespans. Our main strawberry patch needs to be replaced next year. Alas.
    And don’t rule out some of our weird winters. Remember a few years ago when that late-winter warm spell followed by a deep-freeze snap wiped out all peaches north of New Jersey and a lot of our perennials, too?
    Maybe we raise those berries just to remind us how precious they are and how fabulous they taste even in limited quantities! Hope you keep at it, regardless of the outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My blueberries are in full sun while the raspberries and blackberries have a couple of hours in the afternoon when they are shaded. I’ve tried netting and that didn’t work well. I tried reflective tape this year, and that has worked much better in keeping the birds at bay. The chipmunks and squirrels seem to not be bothered by anything I do. I tried everything with strawberries in the ground, and they won every year. We have very old oak trees, and they are attracted by the mounds of acorns. There is nothing like fresh berries, so I will keep at it and enjoy every one of them. πŸ™‚ I think the raspberries are loving this hot and humid weather even if it is sapping the strength right out of the humans. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I’m envious of your blueberry bushes. Our’s just haven’t filled out the way your’s have. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Fresh berries are always a treat, but they want too much room and attention for our tiny space. We’ll have to continue buying them from local farms. I like you little cart/seat thingie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bought that from Garden Supply probably 8+ years ago. It was pricey, but it is built like a tank. You can raise and lower the seat by turning it, and it is great for certain projects like getting into the middle and lower part of the bushes. It’s also good for weeding, and you can kind of scoot along. Good product. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I was a neighbor! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s blueberry season here, and I’m gonna go to the farm — but to buy, not pick my own!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I lived closer I would come and get some! Enjoy them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ally Bean says:

    I adore raspberries, but have never thought to try growing any of them. I couldn’t give you a reason why– I’ll try to grow just about anything. Next year, perhaps. That being said, I am jealous of your garden seat with tires. It looks delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a seat that any gardener over 40 would appreciate. If only it had an odometer, I think we’d all laugh at the miles it has seen. It is from Garden Supply, and is built like a truck. I had gone through two other seats before this one, and it has been worth every penny I spent. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzanne says:

    The only fruit I have ever grown is pineapple. My little postage stamp garden can handle about 4 plants and that’s it. I can’t get over all those raspberries! What luck for your neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pastpeter says:

    We used to grow fruit in MA when we lived on 3acres of excellent soil – strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries,elderberries, blackberries: all part of our Brit upbringing! Marian’s family lived in the prime strawberry area of the south of England. Everybody’s back yard was given over to strawberries and raspberries. Moms picked dozens of quarts a day, and a truck came down the street in the evening to collect them and drive hundreds of pounds to Covent Garden market in London. After we married and lived in London, Marian’s Mom sent a huge basket to us weekly in care of the truck driver! I would walk round to Covent Garden and pick them up at lunchtime. Great memories! We did well in NH with high bush blueberries, despite competition with the birds! Nothing like fresh berries!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this family history. It gave me goosebumps – what wonderful memories. I especially love the part of Marian’s Mom sending you a basket via the truck driver. Those were the days of real community spirit. I am still hoping those high bush blueberries come back to be productive because they were here when we moved in and they’re part of the history of the property. We’ll see. And, yes, there is nothing like fresh berries of any kind. I wish I could send you a quart by someone heading south. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    We’ve had a bumper crop of raspberries this year, too. They’ve been in our breakfast smoothies and I’ve made cobbler and froze a gallon. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. germac4 says:

    I wish we were in the neighbourhood.. I love raspberries and we seldom get good ones here. Lucky friends & family!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Murphy's Law says:

    No berries growing here. Not enough room to properly accommodate the plants. But this post brings fond memories of my grandma and great aunts, who were born and raised on a farm, and pigging out on buckets of berries. My lips were alternately stained red or blue all summer!! Lol.

    Those raspberries look good enough to eat. 😜 If I were your neighbor, I’d help you bake the pies and bring the ice cream too. I figure the healthy fruit will counteract the calories in the ice cream… ….or not!!

    Love your cart. No doubt it’s paid for itself by now!!
    πŸ”Ή Ginger πŸ”Ή

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was a kid in the summer on the farm, I’d put on a long sleeved shirt and jeans, and my Grandfather and I would head out into someone’s field of wild raspberries to go picking. I’d pick, I’d eat. πŸ™‚ Of course, fruit would counteract the ice cream carbs. πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. Oddment says:

    Everything about this post and its comments is neighborly and comfortable — thank you. I just watched the news and needed the antidote. I have no experience growing berries, but I know about eating them. How wonderful to have such a harvest!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. joey says:

    Wonderful post. So many variations on what grows well for whom and where. Pity you’ve had some give up. That’s how it is, though, hm? I’ve tried two tulip trees and two shots at lavender from seed… so many failures. Our raspberries produce good yields, but our blackberries are better. It’s blackberry cobbler time. I really wanna get blueberries in. I’ve thought about strawberries in window boxes. I wait for my husband to build those, so I’ll let you know how it goes when I’m 102. By then, the squirrels may drive hovercrafts?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My Way Home Life says:

    I had no idea raspberries were so easy to grow. Interesting! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Joyce says:

    Your squirrels need to educate mine. When I’m out of peanuts, I toss a few strawberries out on the deck to their inquiring little faces. They sniff them and walk away! Of course, my berries are store bought and probably smell and taste like plastic to them!
    Raspberries are $3 for a half pint here. They probably taste just like the plastic strawberries I eat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now, that is interesting. My population are treacherous. I’m at the kitchen sink one night last week and watch this squirrel go up to the raspberries, stand on hind legs, and start picking the low hanging fruit off. They take one nibble and pitch it on the ground. So, when I’m picking, I have to pick up all the ones on the ground and give them to the chickens. Then the guy or gal moves over to the blueberries and checks for ripe ones. He got fooled there. πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. Wish I were close by, I’d stop in for a pint. πŸ™‚ One day, when we get to our next property, we’ll grow them, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I wish I were in the neighborhood. I absolutely LOVE raspberries. My favorite of all the berries. We have tons of blackberries, but we have yet to get a berry. The birds and other critters get fat and happy every summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    If you’re having problems with your blueberries, I won’t feel so badly that my 2 shrubs have been really floundering the last 2 summers. I’m not sure they’re going to make it and I don’t have another spot to move them to πŸ˜•

    Raspberries? No thanks. Not a fan. My father had a HUGE raspberry patch when I was a child. I HATED picking raspberries and transferred that emotion to the fruit itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laurie Graves says:

    Oh, I wish I lived nearby. If you gave me raspberries, I would your devoted servant for life. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dawn says:

    Mmmmm! Your raspberry harvest is amazing, Judy! I used to have a few raspberry plants, but the birds often beat me to the ripe berries. So, I transplanted them to a place where I could easily watch for ripe berries. Sadly, none of them survived in their new home. It’s fun to pop a dark chocolate chip into the center of each ripe raspberry for an instant treat! Enjoy your berry harvest, Judy!πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ogee says:

    Who needs strawberries when you can have raspberries!! Enjoy – and let someone else battle the squirrels!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That alone…oh, and of course a visit with you and Dennis!, is worth coming to your neighborhood! We don’t grow raspberries here, but should. Maybe on the list for next year! Lovely that you share them…we’re doing that with squash right about now but zucchini doesn’t quite elicit the same enthusiastic response!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Nancy says:

    I love berries! I just made a berry pie!

    Just wondering what’s going on with your blueberry bushes. We are thinking of blueberry bushes but not enough sun … me thinks!

    I’ll drive by soon for those give away berries. 😊
    ~Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

    • The blueberry bushes were originally in an area where they received sun but a little shade during the day. As the trees on the property border continued to reach skyward, it became total shade and they stopped producing which caused me to move them. They did not like being moved. I also think the soil where they are is not the greatest. I’m going to test the soil and amend it this fall and see how it goes next year. Enjoy that pie and honk your horn when you stop. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I love raspberries, so I may have to consider them. Not sure that our landlord would like to find them here, though.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Goodness, how lucky you are to have so many raspberries, both for yourselves and to share. We’ve been like that with oranges this season. We’ve been juicing like crazy and sharing them as well. Delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. tonytomeo says:

    Cane berries get a bad reputation here because of the invasive exotic brambles that are such a serious weed. Besides, not many know hot to maintain their cane berries properly. Blue elderberries grow wild here, but no one used them until my jelly started winning ribbons at the Harvest Festival. They work just like black elderberries.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Annie says:

    All those berries take me back to my childhood and my grandparents’ summer cabin on the Chesapeake Bay. All the cousins would pick black and red wild berries. Lots of scratches and nicks were worth the fun. Raspberries on cereal and blackberries in a baked dessert with hard sauce. πŸ˜‹

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I love all kinds of berries, blueberries most of all. In our garden, though, all the berries are for the birds. Berries to eat have to come from the farmers’ market.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Tina Schell says:

    I LOVE berries Judy, but cannot imagine trying to grow them! The local farmer’s market is as close as I get to home-grown πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  31. prior.. says:

    wish i was in the area – and wow you are generous – so generous
    I had a rasberry bush for a few years and it did so-so.
    Had blackcberries and they thrived too much
    well at first it was great – every other year was a huge crop –
    but they became invasive and not sure if it was not pruned and maintained – but glad to have the last root gone last year and will buy from now on
    oh and love your pics

    Liked by 1 person

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