Berry Nice

There is nothing quite as delicious and satisfying as a bowl full of home grown berries, with a drizzle of fresh single cream!

Well, that is what Kim and I have been eating for the last few evenings as our dessert.

Our thornless Loganberries are fruiting abundantly.  This year has been the best harvest we have ever had.  I tried something different, and didn’t cut the canes right back in winter, leaving about two feet of last years wood above the ground.  The results have been more than impressive.  Kim has been harvesting a punnet a day for the past week, with plenty more on the bush.

As for the strawberries, we have about 15 plants supplying us with about  a bowl of berries per day for the past week.  The smallest ones are the sweetest.  This has also been the best year for strawberries, as I moved them to the south side of the house, right outside Kim’s office door.  She keeps them well watered, which has helped enormously.  We have had the plants netted for two weeks to stop the birds and our naughty dogs from eating them.  No problem with snails this year, as they are either elevated or off the ground on a wooden deck.  This has made a big difference to the quality and quantity of the fruit.

We still have blueberries that are just about to ripen in the next week or so, with one bush heavily laden with fruit.  We will probably harvest about three punnets in total off the two bushes.

The mulberry tree that is located in Cluckingham Palace, is growing very well.  All that natural fertilizer and moist soil is providing ideal  conditions for growth. We did have a heavy crop of mulberries, however I didn’t net them in time, so the sparrows have eaten them all.  Next year I will know to cover them earlier.

So there you have it.  Berries galore, and simple to grow in a suburban garden, as long as they are protected from the local wildlife.

Once the berries are finished in a couple of weeks, the first lot of stone fruit will nearly be ready.  I really love all the home grown fruit at this time of year, especially that I know it is organically grown.

Have you had a large berry harvest this year?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share to ensure a bumper crop?


  1. says

    Ooohh, berries – I am SO envious. As a result of eating seasonally, my family is doomed to frozen berries (not at ALL the same) until late May when the first local strawberries will appear. We had our last fresh blueberries in early October. Enjoy the fruits of your labour, you lucky dog!

  2. says

    I was lucky enough to be given some pots of currant cuttings which have grown well, some of them even fruiting. Given the indifferent watering and neglect and probably pot bound treatment they’ve received (they’re to be planted by the fence when the fence is finally built) they have supplied me so far with 2 red currants – 1 for me and one for the birds. My strawberries are also not getting much light so there are 7 or 8 flowers on 1 plant, no actual fruit as yet. Next year I shall take your advice and plant out a lot of them along the south side of the house. I reckon I might even try planting them in gutter gardens along the deck fencing out the front. :)
    I’m lucky enough to be a part of a great co-op though and we have been able to buy fresh organic berries this year – I’ve ordered a kilo each of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Next year however, I will hedge the front fence with blueberries and the 50m of side fence with thornless blackberries, raspberries and black currants.

  3. says

    I think you might be onto something with the south-facing berries. We found that the biggest strawberries came from plants on the southern side of our boundary fence. I guess that they have more water and more a constant temperature. We failed with our cane bearing berries, cutting them back way too much in winter. I’ll be much more conservative this year, me thinks.

    • says

      I agree Michael, the south definitely has something to do with it. The plants get full shade from about 11am to 3pm so they are out of the hot noon sun. Kim also keeps them well watered which has helped immensely.

  4. says

    We had our best season ever last year. Huge bow;s of mulberries every day, enough loganberries for all our customers to get a punnet each every week, but not many strawberries as we had just moved them. We had so many berries we were making jam and freezing them as well. This year we have had no mulberries at all and the little number of loganberries have nearly all been taken by birds even though we have netted them. Very disappointing. Do they fruit in 2 year cycles do you think. One bumper year followed by a lean year etc?

    • says

      Maybe that is the way nature intends. I know that plums work like that, last year we had hardly any fruit, and this year a good crop is growing. Maybe berries are the same?

  5. says

    I have got a berry harvest too this year for the first time (always lots of mulberries )…our raspberries are fruiting and growing. I have killed many of them over the years through over pruning and over caring…this time I just left the alone – result raspberries!
    Berries are a great crop , well done on your harvest , Gavin.

  6. says

    We’ve not eaten nearly as many strawberries as I would like so a move for them is on the cards to put them out of reach of the slaters and slugs. Hanging baskets or up on crates, I think!
    Enjoy :)

  7. says

    Hello Gavin,
    Your berries look scrumptious! Since my gardening skills are confined to my small greenhouse I have no wisdom to impart on that front-but I do like to pick berries though.
    Both my sons have raspberries and for the price of a few jars of homemade jam, I get to pick as much as I like. Mostly we eat them fresh and make copious amounts of jam for the winter months. I also freeze them to use in smoothies and baking.
    Raspberries and blackberries seem to thrive on semi-neglect as we have never done too much to the patches and they have tons of berries. Occaisionally we clear the old growth and as long as they get lots of water, they are fine.
    Late in the summer we pick wild blueberries in the bush-keeping a close eye out for bears! They thrive in the acid soil near pine trees. The soil is also very sandy, so I would assume that this is what they love. I freeze them to make blueberry muffina and pancakes.
    Happy berry picking!

  8. says

    Berries. One of the things I love most about summer. We haven’t been growing any, but the couple we share the “lot” with have been growing blackberries and strawberries. It’s been quite a consistent yield for the past couple of weeks and they sure are nice.

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