My mom grows the best raspberries in her garden. There is nothing better than going out in her yard and picking a handful of just the most delicious ripe berries or having some of her homemade raspberry jam. So I decided it was time to try and grow some myself. I ordered them earlier this winter from Burpee and they just arrived, ready to plant. Of course, while I was ordering them I was tempted by the strawberries as well and ordered some of them too.
Now I don’t have nearly the space she does, so I hope I’m not creating a monster by planting plants that like to spread like berry plants do. But, it’s worth a try to get those fresh berries in my own yard.
The plants arrived as bare-root stock, which mostly means they look dead. I’ve had plants before come this way, so I’m not worried.
Much to my surprise, my new plants came from my old stomping grounds, Erie County NY!
Because I was indecisive, I order 2 different everbearing varieties: Heritage and Caroline. Everbearing varieties will produce two crops, one in July and the other in the fall. Both of these varieties seem to work well in my area so we’ll see if one is better than the other.
I spread them out in a couple of different garden areas that get a fair amount of sun. Right now, they look like dead sticks, but in the next few weeks they should start to grow.
While I was shopping for the raspberries, the strawberry ads caught my eye. I had grown a couple of plants last year that put out a few tasty strawberries, so I thought more would be better.
After a little research, I added 25 Evie-2 plants to my order. I probably don’t need so many plants, but that’s how they came. Unfortunately, before they came Burpee sent me a note that their vendor had a production problem and they wouldn’t be able to send them to me so they were issuing a refund. But, for my inconvenience they were sending complimentary Seascape Strawberry plants which I very much appreciated.
Both Evie-2 and Seascape are day-neutral strawberries that produce flowers and fruit all season, as long as the temperatures are between 40°F and 85°F, regardless of day length. Unlike everbearing varieties that produce 2 or 3 distinct crops per season, day-neutral produce continuously. A summer full of strawberries sounds good to me.
The plants come as bare-root stock and are sent at the right time for my planting area. Once they arrive they need to be planted as soon as possible.
Before planting, it’s recommended that they be soaked for two hours.
Once good and soaked they are ready to plant. I don’t really have a great place for them, so I decided to plant them in a bit of a no-man’s land garden area that I’ve been putting some iris’s (that never seem to bloom but just take up space) and extra grasses in.
I dug a small hole for each and spread out the roots in the hole. Cover with soil and water them in.
A couple of days later, we had an unusually late freeze so I covered the tender new plants with a sheet to protect them from the very cold overnight temperatures. We got down to 29°F, which hopefully hasn’t done any damage to any of my emerging plants.
The plants look just fine the next morning. Can’t wait for those berries!
But, while the strawberries looked great, I had bought a basil plant at a local store a few days before. I knew it was too early to plant and moved it into the screen porch that night. But alas, still too cold and it is now a very sorry looking basil plant 🙁 I will try to give it some TLC in the house before taking it back out to plant.
Have you grown berries successfully? Did they overgrow everything or was it ok? Peggy says the trick is to just mow over any stray raspberry shoots.
Hopefully the cold spring isn’t hurting your gardens this spring.