Thursday, August 4, 2011

Berries, Berries, Berries

We love our berries here at the veg household. Naturally we decided to plant some blueberry bushes and raspberry canes in our yard. By far these have been the most popular and fruitful endeavor in our gardening (bad pun intended).

The kids absolutely love to pick them, no mind that a large portion never make it inside. There are a few things I've noticed after tending to these berries, which I hope help you in your gardening.

First is that raspberries love water. It doesn't have to be a lot, but a frequent, shallow watering led to much larger berries this year. Second, don't make the same mistake I did and skip pruning at the end of the season. They are the shoots which produce berries should be cut back to the ground, otherwise they are prone to pest issues.

Blueberries love an acidic environment, and also did much better with more frequent shallow watering. We are still getting berries off of the bushes, and it has been producing for about a month. Another tip, is to plant more than one variety for cross-pollination, which will yield larger berries. If you are planting highbush blueberries, two varieties are not necessary, but still recommended. It also helps to have native flowers to attract pollinators to your yard.

If you are looking for some delicious recipes for berries, try lemon blueberry muffins or chia raspberry muffins. We also love to add raspberries or blueberries to our pancakes, but go the lazy route with Healthy Smart Heart Bisquick. I've heard at Food Snobbery is my Hobbery there is a nice vegan pancake recipe in   Vegan with a Vengeance, which I'd love to try out.

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