Planting fruit in winter

Brigitta Blueberry Plant

If you have decided to grow some fruit this winter, then have a read of some of our top tips before you start planting so that you get the most out of your new plants.

  1. If your plants arrive bare-rooted you must soak the roots well before planting. Letting them dehydrate will be disastrous. Try to soak them in a bucket of water for a couple of hours. The same is true of potted plants – make sure they are watered before planting them as they will be dry from the journey.
  2. If the ground is frozen hard when your plants arrive, pop them temporarily into a pot of compost (or leave them in their existing pots if they arrive potted) until the soil is softer.
  3. Don’t try to plant out when the soil is waterlogged. A little moisture is ok, but if it has been pouring with rain, then wait until it’s dried out a little.
  4. Get the location right because once they’re planted it’s best to leave them there. Think about how much sunshine they will get, whether or not the location is inclined to get waterlogged or frosty or if it’s in a windy spot (not ideal!)
  5. When you’re ready to plant, dig a square hole rather than a round one…this is better for the plant’s root system.
  6. Add compost before planting, and dig it in a little so that there’s not a big sudden change between compost and earth. Again, this will help the roots.
  7. Mulch! This has got to be the best thing you can do for your fruit plants. A nice thick mulch of compost or leaf mould will really help to protect them, keeping the soil more consistently moist and warm.
  8. Make sure the hole you dig (or pot you choose) is big enough to hold all the roots without you needing to twist, wind or squash the roots.
  9. Depth is important – make sure rhubarb crowns and strawberry runners go in with the top of the crown nice and level with the soil surface. Potted berries and currants should be planted so that they are a tiny bit deeper (1-2cm) than they were in their pots.
  10. Soil is important – cranberries and blueberries like acidic soil or ericaceous compost.
  11. Check the growing guide for spacings as they will need room to grow, for both their roots and foliage.