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How to Start Fruit Gardening

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If you’re ready to Start Fruit Gardening, check out these tips first!

blackberries

About Fruit Gardening

When we talk about gardening, most of our questions from folks involve vegetable gardening. I think vegetable gardens are typical since in general veggies are hardy in our area of the country, and they are easy to grow.

We have a great climate for squash, peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. That said, you might not be going for a strictly veggie garden. We have vegetables but we’ve also been able to have a successful strawberry crop several times a year for a while. They they turn out great!

Homegrown berries are some of the best you will eat. Ours have a sweet taste and such a fresh texture–something we don’t find in store-bought strawberries.

In general berries are expensive if they are out of season, and if I am buying them at the store I try to find them at Aldi since they can be well over $3 for a small carton at our larger grocery chains. So, between the great taste and the savings I see from planting my own, fruit gardening is a win for us! If you’re leaning toward planting fruits or berries, check out my tips below.

Strawberry Plants

Strawberry Tips

If you’re just starting out planting fruits, berries are a great choice. They can give you more than one harvest a year, and they also don’t take a ton of upkeep. You can read our Secrets to Growing Strawberries post here.

Strawberries

Here are some general tips:

  • You will need raised garden beds
  • Allow space for growing- these grow OUT!
  • If you have a large bird population, protect from birds and rodents with a good bird netting
  • They need full sun.

Fruit Gardening- Blueberries

Blueberries might be on your list since there are SO many recipes that call for them. They actually freeze great, or if you’re into canning you can easily can the whole fruits, or jams and jellies.

I actually just wash and then let dry, and put them in a Ziploc bag to freeze flat. (They will stick together if you don’t lay the bag flat and spread them out evenly). Then they are easy to add to recipes and smoothies!

Blueberries

Blueberries take about three years to produce fruit, so be sure you purchase a well established plant. We are always frugal with our gardening purchases, but in this case we wouldn’t recommend starting with seeds. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can grow blueberries in a pot, but the bushes get very large so planting them in well draining soil would be our tip!

And, don’t forget that unless you want this to take over or you have a large acreage and nothing planted around it, choose a small (or dwarf) blueberry plant so it doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Although they love water like all berries and need to be watered every day, they also need good drainage.

Growing Raspberries

Raspberry plants love water! They need a LOT of water, around 2″ per week! To keep the soil from drying out a good layer of mulch is a must. We use organic mulch shown here.

Raspberry plants also prefer a trellis or some kind of support, even though they aren’t true climbing bushes. The berries tend to weigh down the thin branches and if they are on the ground they can be eaten by rodents or just end up rotting.

This is one of those plants you will want to go out and harvest often, since birds and rabbits love to take the best fruits! Like Blackberries, the bushes form thickets rather than small individual plants if they are left to themselves.

Collecting berries really brings back a lot of great memories from when I was younger. If you have the room, these thickets are a great way to cover a lot of area and are fun to harvest with kids or grandkids!

Fruit Gardening -How to Start Growing Watermelon:

In our area of the country, watermelon can be tricky since freezes can ruin a healthy crop. Watermelons do need special care, so do your research if you haven’t yet planted any.

This would be a good fruit to plant if you have experience growing fruits and veggies.

Watermelon

In general, watermelons take around 80-85 days to mature. The temperature needs to be 80 degrees or over, and watermelons cannot be planted before the last frost! You will lose your plants. If you live in colder climates, you can always start your seedlings indoors or in a climate-controlled greenhouse

So, a very warm climate is necessary. Watermelons are also subject to a few growing problems, so be sure to provide your soil with fertilizer and ensure you’re keeping common insects away. Aphids, squash bugs, and beetles like watermelon plants.

For growing watermelon for the first time, we recommend a guide book and a garden planner to keep track of your growing crop.  Scroll down and see our post on Gardening Planners below!  Here are some FREE tip books on Amazon:

Gardening Planners

5 Online Gardening Planners

See our full post on tips of How to Get Rid of Pesky Squirrels Here!

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