You don’t need a huge outdoor area to foster your favourite berries, says Jackie French. These luscious fruits are perfect to grow in small spaces.
how to grow berries in small spaces
Berries grow in woodland groves. They also grow in pots or baskets on your balcony.
STRAWBERRIES Look for tiered strawberry planters. Choose varieties that bear fruit through spring, summer and autumn, or all year round in warm areas or on sunny patios.
BLUEBERRIES These like rich, moist soil – choose self-watering pots or a dripper system if you may not remember to water them. Choose a variety suited to your climate.
GOJI BERRIES These super, anti-oxidant fruits love sunlight, and hate competition from other bushes. In other words, they’re excellent in pots, are lowgrowing and extremely attractive.
CAPER BERRIES These love sun, well-drained soil and a hot, dry climate – the perfect balcony berry, though do water them till they’re established. The tight buds are the bit you pick and keep in salty brine, before they flower.
BRAMBLEBERRIES These include loganberries, thornless blackberries and youngberries, all similar but ripening at different times. They need netting to climb on, or can be twisted around the railings. But even “thornless” blackberries aren’t entirely thornless, so you may not want them on your balcony.
CAPE GOOSEBERRIES These grow to about one metre high and wide, love shade as well as moist, fertile ground. They grow easily from seed and, as long as you feed and water them well, you’ll get lots of fruit and a lush green bush in the first year.
RASPBERRIES There’s nothing like a ripe, just-picked raspberry – as long as you live in a cool climate. The warmer it is, the less taste the berry has. Unlike the rest of the brambleberry family, raspberries only have mild prickles, not thorns.
CURRANTS Black, red and white currants make attractive bushes up to two metres high but can be kept to a neat one metre mound, with bright green leaves and bright, shiny fruit in spring and early summer. They grow easily from cuttings.
WATCH OUT FOR FRUIT FLY! Try splash-on baits – they’re toxic, so splash on branches, not the fruit you or your family will eat. Fruit fly netting is also effective and will keep out foraging birds, too. Pick ripe fruit fast. A rotting layer of fruit attracts pests. AWW
Strawberries can bear fruit all year.