Growing fruit, particularly soft fruit like berries and currants, is really quite straightforward. But many people think it’s a tricky process and can be put off the idea of growing their own fruit by words like “cordon” and “espalier”. If you’re one of them, then please read on and be converted!
Where do I plant my fruit bush/plant?
Fruit is best planted in a sheltered spot that gets plenty of sunshine during the winter months when the plants are ‘dormant’ (i.e. not producing leaves or fruit and generally looking twig-like!) It’s during this dormant stage that we send most of our fruit plants, so they probably won’t have leaves when they arrive with you.
Can I plant fruit in containers?
Absolutely. Soft fruit is great for growing in containers. You just need to make sure the container is big enough for the roots to fit into without needing to curl them up or fold them over. Since the fruit plants are likely to be in the container for many years be sure to use a good quality compost which is well drained (placing small stones or pieces of broken terracotta pots at the bottom of the container will aid drainage).
What do I need to do when the plants arrive?
When your fruit plants arrive, all you’ll need to do is give the roots a thorough soaking for a couple of hours before planting them on a frost-free day when the ground is nice and soft. Dig a hole comfortably large enough to take the entire root ball. Most fruit plants that we send are bare-rooted (i.e., not in a pot – if it is in a pot, take the plant out of said pot before proceeding) and pop it in the hole ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil or up to 1cm deeper. Firm the soil around the root ball and water-in thoroughly.
What if the ground’s too hard to plant them?
If it’s frosty or if the ground is too hard when your plants arrive, don’t panic. Just give them a drink and temporarily plant your fruit bush in a big bag of compost (leave the plant in its original pot if it arrived potted), and put it in a sheltered spot until a warmer spell comes along.
How far apart should I plant fruit bushes/plants?
This depends on what sort of fruit you’re growing, but please don’t worry, we’ll send all this information and some other top tips together with your plants, so just follow the guides and you’ll be fine.
Once I’ve planted my fruit, then what?
As spring arrives and the weather warms up you’ll start to see some growth. This is a good sign that the plant is establishing properly. It’s a good idea to add a mulch around the base of the plant as this helps both to keep the soil temperature even and to retain moisture during dry spells. When the fruit starts to form in the summer it’s wise to add a netting to stop birds from eating your crop.
Other than that, the key things are training and pruning your fruit. This is actually very simple, and you’ll receive all the information you need in our growing guide when your plants arrive.
When will I be able to harvest my fruit?
Most soft fruit will be harvestable during summer/autumn months.
That’s all there is to it really, it’s not much work at all and since fruit comes back year after year you’ll be harvesting your own berries and currants and strawberries and….well, all sorts, for years to come.