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Gardening: The Basics: Berries

This is a how to guide to help anyone get started in gardening.


Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow. The taste of this homegrown fruit is far more flavorful than you’ll find in a grocery store. Why? The sugar in berries converts to starch soon after they’re picked. Learn more about how to grow strawberries in your garden or containers.

The best thing about strawberries is that they’re easy to grow in almost all climates and soils across the United States and Canada—as long as you plant them in a location that gets full sun.

Strawberry plants come in three types:

  • June-bearing varieties bear fruit all at once, usually over a period of three weeks. Day-length sensitive, these varieties produce buds in the autumn, flowers and fruits the following June, and runners during the long days of summer. Although called “June-bearing” or “June-bearers,” these strawberries bear earlier than June in warmer climates.
  • Everbearing varieties produce a big crop in spring, lightly in the summer, and another crop in late summer/fall. These varieties form buds during the long days of summer and the short days of autumn. The summer-formed buds flower and fruit in autumn, and the autumn-formed buds fruit the following spring. 
  • Day-Neutral varieties produce fruit continuously through the season until the first frost: Insensitive to day length, these varieties produce buds, fruits, and runners continuously if the temperature remains between 35° and 85°F (1° to 30°C). Production is less than that of June-bearers.

For the home garden, we recommend June-bearers. Although you will have to wait a year for fruit harvesting, it will be well worth it.

For other resources please click on Farmers Almanac Strawberries hyperlink.


Raspberries: Did you know that there are both summer-fruiting and fall-bearing raspberries? Learn all about planting and growing raspberries, one of the most popular berries in North America. One raspberry bush can produce several hundred berries per season!

About Raspberries

Raspberries are shrubs belonging to the Rosaceae family, in the genus Rubus. Not only are raspberries perfect for picking and eating straight off the stem, but they’re also wonderful in jams, pies and tarts, or smoothies and drinks. Plus, fresh raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C to support the immune system and help fight infections.

There are two types of raspberries, both with their own specific requirements for growing: 

  1. Summer-fruiting raspberries are more common, developing their fruit on last year’s growth. They bear one crop per season, in summertime (often June or July).
  2. Ever-bearing raspberries (also called fall-bearing or autumn-bearing) produce berries on new canes. They bear a fall crop and can also produce fruit the following summer.

A mix of both types of berries would be an ideal way to maximize the harvest period.

For other resources please click on Farmers Almanac Raspberries hyperlink.


Blackberries and Hybrid Berries: Blackberries, like raspberries, are a very easy berry to grow. Once this native berry is ripe, get ready for an abundant harvest, picking every couple of days! Here’s how to grow and harvest blackberries in your backyard.

Basically, there are three types of blackberries:

  1. Erect thorny blackberries
  2. Erect thorn-less blackberries
  3. Trailing thorn-less blackberries

Erect blackberries are bushes that support themselves, while the trailing blackberries have long canes that must be trellised for support.

All blackberries are perennials; the roots survive year after year. However, the top of the plant above the soil is what we call biennial. This means that the canes grow vegetatively for a year, bear fruit the next year, and then die. However, every year the plant sends up new canes to replace those that died! For a great fruit harvest and to avoid a messy plant, pruning is important. (Learn about proper pruning techniques below.)

For other resources please click on Farmers Almanac Blackberries and Hybrid Berries hyperlink.