Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Soft fruit – another must have for the lazy gardener

by Sarah - November 11th, 2011.
Filed under: Jersey Plants.

Why planting soft fruit is an easy option.
You can see the range of soft fruit at Jerseyplantsdirect here. It covers rhubarb, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and strawberries and blueberries.

Doesn’t sound very lazy does it?
Well it is! The effort is mostly in the preparation of the soil before you plant them. This is the hard bit so why not rope a friend or loved one into helping you dig and prepare the soil. Add some well rotted compost or manure if possible to enrich the soil. If you can’t then throw in some fertiliser. Plant and water. And that’s basically it. You can leave them alone then.
The rhubarb is the one to ignore completely for the first year. You could steal a stalk of it but let the plant use all the leaves to create energy through photosynthesis and build up a really good root system. This will then reward you in years to come as it’ll be bigger and stronger and produce more stalks
Berries are easy. You can let them get on with the growing as much as you like – there’s no work to do. With raspberries you can cut down the stems after they’ve finished fruiting but to be brutally honest if you don’t, no-one will complain to you! The fruit doesn’t mind! They will look a little untidy but it’s not a huge problem. You can thin them out when you’ve got time. Or not. If you leave your raspberry patch alone it’ll still produce loads of fruit so it’s not a huge problem at all.
Strawberries produce runners and if you want them to concentrate on fruit then you can cut off the runners. It takes a little effort. If you leave them you end up with a much bigger, denser strawberry bed and you can cut off the rooted plants and move them elsewhere in the garden.

One favourite of mine that JPD don’t have at the moment is blackcurrants. They are effort free. When you pick them cut off the branches with the fruit on and take it indoors or sit at the table outside with a drink and pick the berries off. This way you harvest and prune together and don’t have to stand up for ages picking tiny berries.

Soft fruit can be really rewarding financially too! Raspeberries are £2 for 100g in the supermarket and off a few plants in you garden you can pick more than that every day for weeks!

If you have room then you should plant some soft fruit. it’s a really useful thing to have and will serve you well in the summer for puddings! Or make jam!