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.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Contents -

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.

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