Everyone loves growing an edible landscape. One of the backbones of an organic garden is small fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. These fruits have been family favorites for hundreds of years, and are just as good fresh from the garden as they are preserved in jams or baked into pies and cobblers. Adding berries to your backyard will be one of the best investments of your time, as most berry crops can be expected to produce fruit for five to ten years or even longer.
Berries have also been used medicinally in many cultures for centuries.
- Blackberry plants have been shown to have antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-dysentery, anti-diarrheal and anti-diabetic properties. It is also a good antioxidant.
- Blueberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
- Raspberries are also high in various vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Additionally, they have been shown to have a high concentration of ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that prevents cancer.
- Strawberries have also been shown to improve eye care and brain function, as well as relieve high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, and various cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the antioxidant content in them helps in improving the immune system, preventing various types of cancer and reduces the signs of premature aging.
Start Growing Berries
All types of berries will have specific needs depending upon which particular type of crop you are planting. A few common similarities are that almost all berry plants throw out runners, or roots that grow horizontally out from the main plant to produce the next generation of plants.
Because of this, we like to recommend that berries are planted in raised beds, which can help not just with containing your crop to a designated area, but also with soil drainage.
Additionally, many berry types such as raspberries and blackberries grow upwards, requiring the support of a trellis to maintain their height.