Remember I told you I would give you a glimpse of the garden through the next couple of weeks? Well you got the buckwheat, sorghum, perennial tour a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t you just love it? (Lie if you have too. Us gardeners can be sooo sensitive when it comes to their gardens.)
Well, if you love blueberries and raspberries with a little heirloom Cosmos and Agastaches mixed in, this is the five minute video you have been waiting for. Don’t miss the heirloom Cosmos or the bee magnet Agastache plant! Hurry. Tickets are almost sold out.
Growing Blueberries and Raspberries is Easy Peezy
Seriously, growing blueberries and raspberries is just so simple. They really don’t need much. I feed them both in the spring, water them, and they grow. (I feed the blueberries again in late summer for next year.)
Note, blueberries like their soil acidic. So make sure to test it. Mother Earth News provide some good tips on the pros and cons of certain blueberry varieties as well as how to amend your soil to make it acidic.
My favorite fertilizer for berries is organic Dr. Earth. I highly recommend it. You can buy it at the GT Store. I saw amazing growth in my heirloom organic apple trees this year. I attribute it to the fertilizer.
Beware. Birds Love Berries as much as Humans
Yep. You heard right. Birds absolutely love berries. Blueberries produce one liter. A one shot deal. So, I cover them with netting. The birds somehow get through the netting. (As they snatch the blueberries, I can hear them say “we love our dumb human.”) Any ideas are welcomed about how to keep my furry feathered friends from my delish blueberries?
On the other hand, raspberries just keep producing. And producing. And then producing. I don’t bother to cover the raspberries since there are so many of them. Who cares if the birds get a few.
Oh, by the way, deer like them too so you need to protect your plants.
Blueberry Plants Are Show Stoppers
Want another reason to grow Blueberries? The shrubs are show stoppers in the spring and fall. In the spring, they have beautiful white flowers. Then berries show up in the summer! I harvest mine in July. Just when you are start to get sad that your blueberries are barren, their leaves turn a beautiful red color in the fall.
But wait. That’s not all. In fact, their leaves are used for tea. Talk about a hard working plant. Some reports state that blueberry leaf helps lower sugar levels, age related loss of brain function, and preventing urinary tract infections. (Note, I could not reference any study on the benefits of blueberry leaves, so I can not attest to the credibility of the statement. Just food for thought.)
Unfortunately, I did not harvest my own blueberry leaves before they fell to the ground. (*Sniff*) But, there is always next year. Can’t wait? I did not think you can. You can purchase either the loose organic blueberry tea or tea bags (which are not organic) at the GT store.
Raspberries Are the Gift that Keeps on Giving
If you start with four canes you will end up with 16 canes the next year. Raspberries are so invasive and you really have to keep them in check. My friend gave me 8 canes and as you can see in the video, I am overrun with raspberries. Read this Mother Earth News article on how to grow raspberries.
I harvest raspberries in late summer and early fall. In fact, they were bearing fruit almost to November since we have had a warm fall in New Jersey. Be careful to wear gloves and long sleeves. I am allergic to the vines and I break out as if I have poison ivy. Is anyone else allergic too?
When you are done harvesting, it is tea time. Literally. This November, I started collecting the leaves. I made tea with them this weekend. Perhaps I did not steep the tea long enough but it tasted more like a regular tea. Not like the tea that I purchased from the store.
So you know, I have the leaves drying on my floor. (Yes. Another post, garden peeps!)
But you might be wondering, why Raspberry leaf tea? Some say the tea is beneficial for the health of our reproductive system; however, you should not drink it during pregnancy. Want a cup now? Buy organic raspberry tea at the GT store. I happen to love raspberry tea.
Oh, And Then There is Beautyberry Shrub…
Oh, did I forget to tell you about the Beautyberry shrub near the blueberries? Birds will love you. This picture above does not give this plant justice. Check this plant out in the middle of the gardening video!
Stay tune for more beautiful plants. You haven’t see my corn, squash, or watermelons!
What are some of your favorite plants in your garden. I know you have pictures. Link to them below. Or upload them to my forum and start gardening chatting with other gardeners.
Mama needs some more plants.