|Written by stone24|
You can enjoy strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries at their best by growing your own.
Every berry variety likes well-drained soil and full sunlight. Since berry plants are susceptible to disease, you may want to start with resistant varieties and disease-free stock.
Do not plant berry plants where potatoes, tomatoes, or eggplant has grown. Set out new berry plants as early in the spring as you can so the plants can adjust to the hot weather.
Keep the plants roots moist before and during planting. Give ample space between plants for air circulation. Prune old growth annually and keep plants weed free. Weed by hand because hoes and weeders can damage shallow roots.
To start a strawberry bed, dig rotted compost or aged manure into the soil. Put plants 8 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart (new leaf buds should be at soil level). Water plants in dry weather and mulch using straw to preserve moisture and keep the ripened berries off the ground. Strawberry plants need to be replaced every few years because they bear smaller and less fruit as they get older.
For blueberries, generous rainfall and well-drained soil are essential. To get the soil ready to plant blueberries, dig a trench or holes at least 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Fill with a mixture of 2 parts peat moss, 2 parts sand, and 1 part garden soil. Space them about 4 feet apart. Mulch the plants heavily at planting time and every year with leaves, peat, or straw.
Raspberries ,blackberries, loganberries, and boysenberries need moisture-retaining soil. They need a sunny spot to grow well. Before planting, dig in plenty of peat moss and compost or manure. Raspberry plants need to be spaced 2 to 4 feet apart in rows of 6 to 8 feet apart. Blackberries need even more space.
Allow 4 to 6 feet between plants and 6 to 9 feet between rows.