Crazy for Fruits & Berries

Soon we will be reaping the benefits of our vegetable gardens, berry patches, and fruit trees – if you haven’t already enjoyed early crops! The chipmunks and my children are presently in a race to consume all the alpine strawberries. Not only are these berries a sweet treat, they provide a unique full season ground cover. If you have integrated fruits and berries into your landscape or want to, Sargent’s on 2nd’s expert, Phil David, offers this advice –

 

Apple Trees
If you are considering purchasing an apple tree for your yard, you will need to have another variety of apple tree nearby for cross pollination. The general rule is to plant two varieties within 500 square feet of each other. Apple trees require full sun to produce well. In the spring before the tree leafs out, it is best to apply a horticultural oil to kill any overwintering insects. After Apple trees have flowered and petals are dropping, an orchard spray should be applied every 10-14 days to avoid any fungal and insect problems. If you are thinking about planting an apple tree and want to try something new and a little different, Sargent’s offers the “Triple Play Apple” this is a three mid-season blooming apple trees in one container to form a clump. Ease of pollination, an assortment of varieties and extended harvest make this a triple play! The varieties in this clump are ‘Honeycrisp,’ ‘Sweet 16’ and ‘Cortland.’ No other pollinator is needed. Another new Apple tree is the Colonnade. Perfect for small areas, these trees grow in columnar form to 7-9′ tall.

 

Raspberries
Because your raspberries will be in one location for many years, it is best to enhance the soil with compost before planting. Raspberries do best in full sun and if they receive an inch of water a week. Mulching will help retain moisture and makes a good weed barrier. The Heritage Raspberry is the most popular, giving you two sets of fruit throughout the year. A new variety at Sargent’s is “Raspberry Shortcake”- a small compact thornless raspberry with large juicy fruit.  It is perfect for containers also.

 

Blueberries
Blueberries grow well in full sun locations where the soil is well drained and acidic.  Ph levels should be between 4.5-5.5.  Apply a soil acidifier in the spring to help promote better fruit production. Blueberries are more prolific if more than one variety is planted in an area. Jelly Bean is a newer variety that gets 2′ in size and produces a large midsummer berry, which turns to red hues in the fall.

Sargent’s has many other fruiting plants such as grapes, honeyberries, gooseberries, cherries, plums as well as serviceberries to add to your home landscape.

Written by

"Jill" of all trades at Sargent's, Nina Sargent co-owns Sargent's with her husband and in-laws. She keeps communication going between the garden centers, landscape, nursery and the public. Nina loves helping connect people with their outdoor living spaces - especially while creating habitat for wildlife. She enjoys running, skiing (of all kinds) and reading.