Soft Fruit Planting

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Where has the year gone? As we go into autumn it’s time to plan ahead. October to December is the best time to plant soft fruit, ready for those delicious berries the following year.

Get your beds ready by digging over, to get rid of weeds, and dig in some manure or soil conditioner. Why not try growing fruit in containers? Blueberries and Gooseberries do well in pots. Blueberries need ericaceous compost, but Gooseberries will be ok planted in multi-purpose with John Innes added.

Use saucers under the containers to help stop the container drying out too much in the summer, (try to use rain water to water Blueberries as tap water is too limey) and make sure you feed from the spring when the plants start to grow (a good fertiliser to use is Vitax Q4). Pruning Gooseberries is easy. From November to March cut out any dead or diseased wood and keep the plant nice and open, also cut back by half the new growth produced this year. If you have a lot of growth in the summer you can also cut back the side shoots in late June.

Blueberries don’t need much pruning, just take out dead or diseased wood in the winter and again keep the bush open so that air can circulate. Soft fruit needs to be sited in full sun to ripen the fruit, but a little shade will be tolerated.

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